Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Time is Money

This morning Angela came to help out again, and I went downtown to shop for a blouse for my high school reunion.

I had a very specific blouse in mind -- black and cool -- to go with black pants and heels. I decided to go underdressed for the reunion. I don't want to look like the reunion is the most important thing going on in my life. "Oh, a reunion. Well, okay, but I only get dressed up openings at the Met". Truthfully, I have been looking forward to an excuse to dress up in something other than Old Navy pants. It's even worth enduring the stress of trying to remember the names of ex-classmates.

My mother offered to watch the kids while I made a trip to the mall in New Jersey, but I resisted. Going down to 34th Street is great shopping fun. Macy's is huge. There are the cheapie stores, Zara, Daffy's, and H&M. There is much more selection than at the mall, and I just love having an excuse to go downtown without the kids. I miss the days when I could read the New Yorker on the train and just relax for 40 minutes. Even a subway can be a fortress of solitude. I was so nostalgic that I even loved the way the station smelled.

I got to Macy's a little before its opening at 10:00. The windows were an homage to Kathern Hepburn -- the mannequins were dressed in slacks and sweater sets. I waited with the other early shoppers in the lobby right before the revolving doors. Security guards kept pushing back shoppers who couldn't wait. At 10:00, a loud bell rang. "Charge!" I ran past the purses and the purfume spritzers to the old wooden escalators. I love Macy's.

No day is complete without a little guilt. Today's guilt was calculating how much this trip cost me. I got some shirts on sale, but there is the hidden cost -- babysitting time and the subway. Subway = $4. Babysitter = $40.

My freedom now has a cost. $10 an hour. More later.

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