Sunday, November 30, 2008

Real boots.

I bought boots. Which I will now post about, at length. Because the Riche are self-indulgent.

I didn't want flat-heel equestrian style, because I don't ride a horse. I always wanted girl boots with a heel. And I do mean ALWAYS wanted. Because since the 1980s IS always.

I used to handle my long-time wish for boots by sour-graping the boots in the stores. You know, when I took my children to buy the good shoes, I would also go look at the boots, and tsk-tsk how none of them were done quite right. A boot with an unfortunate embellishment here. A suede book that is so lovely but really not practical. And of course, none of the boots are made for walking--what is up with the 4 and 5 inch heel? I like to walk. So, why admit I could not afford boots? I could criticize them for free.

Yes, I noticed the boots you wear to church. Every.thing.about.them. And I wished they were mine.

So, while I was out visiting Bob and Bob and Bob on Monday (who knew that accountants, insurance agents, real estate agents, and doctors would be my new social life?), I went into the conveniently-located department store and asked the young woman at the shoe counter if Macy's had any kitten-heeled knee-high boots.

And she had no idea what I was talking about.

I can only hope she usually works jewelry. Or socks. Because otherwise, she should be reading Manolo's Shoe Blog until she gets up to speed. Because I love shoes, I could visit the shoe department anytime there is something new to see.

Fortunately, I was soon rescued by Ham, who not only knew what a kitten-heel is, but opined that whenever one finds a good shoe with a kitten heel, one ought to buy it immediately. I liked Ham immediately, obviously. After we lamented the world shortage of kitten-heels, I spotted over his shoulder a boot with a relatively sane 2 1/2 inch heel. I'm sure he never would have offered me this inferior substitute, but I was game.

I rolled up my jeans so I could see them on. And Ham told me to tuck just the hem of my jeans into to top of the boot. "You need to wear it tacky," he said.

"Sloppy, you mean? Casual?" Ham was born in another country, and he speaks more languages than I do, including the language of fashion.

"Tacky," he said.

"Tacky is good?" I say.

"Here," he said, and deftly tucked the hem of the jeans half into the inner top of the boot, so the jeans hung lopsided and sort of ruched over my knees, mostly above the boot. "or you could roll them."

"I'm going to wear them with a skirt," I said. I was feeling like a foreigner in the land of half-tucked boots. "Most of the time," I added, to show I was appreciating his advice.

So now I have boots! I wore them to church--with comfy unmatched athletic socks. Because, no one can see your socks when you wear boots!

I think I need another pair, in an unexpected color. These are the classic black knee-high ones I dreamed of. I need another pair, because now that *I* have boots, they will be completely out of style by 2010. So, expect to see me in boots A LOT through 2012.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

Hello All!

I'm still away with my family. I hope you are having a lovely Thanksgiving too! I'm having such a good time.

This afternoon Captain Awesome took one of our children out on an excursion. Turns out they ventured into the Black Friday madness and came back with a laptop computer. Which I then designated as a family computer with a homework purpose, much to the child's disappointment. It's really nice, but I didn't really want a laptop in the house to manage. Maybe I'll bolt it to a table somehow.

I'm typing on it now.

I'm getting almost used to this new marital pattern, where either of us spend that much money and doesn't need to tell the other first. In this case, Captain Awesome seems to have found a way around my insistence that Christmas presents look somewhat like they did last year--by putting the new computer into immediate, non-Christmas use.

I thought the laptop was great when he showed up with it, though I'd explained my misgivings earlier. And, I was embarrassed what my bigger family would think, impulse buying a computer. Just the people staying at this house know. So far?

This is the first I've seen most my family since the Nouveau life. Everyone is treating me the same, which is good. Still willing to loan me a spare coat for the kid who forgot to pack one, not expecting me to go buy another one just because I can. And I'm less concerned about do-you-like-my-kids, do-you-like-my-husband. My husband is an incontrovertible success, and he did it his way. And if my kids are in some ways like him, good for them too. I'm so relaxed and enjoying my big family, it makes me see I really was pretty wrapped up in worrying about what they were thinking about us.

But maybe all this healthy perspective is simply because I'm older?

Nah. I think I'm getting this ten years ahead of schedule.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Lest you think I'm not spending money--

I always had plenty of shoes. When one of a certain category broke down, I'd work around the hole until I could replace it.

--running shoes for exercise
--sandals for summer and to not wear running shoes all the time
--hiking boots for hiking and for not wearing running shoes all the time in the rain.
--black shoes for church.
--pink shoes for church.
--a couple pair of too-high satin strappy sandals you can't really wear anywhere.

But now I have an absurd number of shoes.

All of the above, plus:

brown sued ankle boots
capri-style sandals, but with wedge heel, 2 pair because I liked them so well
black ugly funk shoes for walking, which actually hurt my heels. Need to take 'em to the cobbler or give up.
Classic knee-high black boots (!!!!) Just bought them this month. Dang I love them. I wanted this category for 15 YEARS.

Being Riche Uncovers Other Problems.

I've always been one to snack at night. Something about having the kids finally abed after a long day. However, until recently, there wasn't much that was yummy in the house. Yummy in the junk food way.

However, these days I have plenty of money for processed and pre-prepared snacks. And in the last month--still not losing any weight--I figured out finally there's a name for eating until you're too full.
Duh: b i n g e     e a t i n g .

In fact, I think there's been examples of binge eating, binge sleeping, and binge reading in what I've been thinking of as my transition.

So, I thought about those three years in the middle of my motherhood experience so far, the three years when I was pre-baby slim. That time started when I lost weight without dieting, which I've never been able to explain. The "glory years" the now-teens don't want to hear about. And just now I realized those were the years I didn't snack at night, at all. I think of those years as being when I was so happy. Which is funny, because some of our most financially challenging years were in there, and one of my kids was drowning at school and I didn't know why. But I was making cheap art and taking belly dance, I had some friends to hang out with, and I was feeling my big feelings.

My life is absurdly easy now, right? Except that, duh, I don't feel happy all the time. I still have big feelings. Or at least, I suspect I do, under all my lectures to myself about how easy I have it, and how I have resources to address problems so there is no reason to get worked up about anything, and how I should not be disappointed (over the house that got away) or frustrated (that I can't find a place in the house to keep my sewing machine) or worried (about my kid facing some difficulty). Or unseemly happy.

No, I don't expect you to feel sorry for the poor little Riche Girl. But maybe, at times, maybe *I* better expect to feel something for her.

Because the stuffing of random food down my throat has got to stop.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

The one that got away

The Riche Lady is very sad. Captain Awesome found the perfect house for her, and put a big bid on it. Nouveau Me was so high-strung excited she has not posted for days, afraid to breathe a word about her perfect house, nervous to notice she was thinking about the many splendors of the house. Today we received our answer. The owners have decided not to sell. They have decided to keep the perfect house in their family.

Darn. I wanted to keep it in my family.

I am sure I will have perspective on this later. I will laugh at how silly I am. Blessed with so much. And how amazing of Captain Awesome to do all he did to get my house. Uh, not my house.

I know in real estate you're not supposed to fall in love. However, this was certainly an unexpected way for it to end in heartbreak.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Public Patronage

So, tonight Captain Awesome and I went to see Art on a Stage. We've been really excited about this event, watching it come together for premier. In fact Awesome contributed some money to support the Next Art Project so they could perform New Work.  Captain and I are into New Work.  Captain Awesome told me they might have our names on a program or possibly announce our names aloud in connection with that. Ick.  

Typical of our craziness, Awesome flew in from Tampa just a couple hours before the show. I came in from my last set of kid carpooling after him, with just enough time to change out of my jeans. I even thought of not changing, time was so short.  But I put on my black travel palazzo pants--though the zipper is catching, I learned in Europe that these pants go with everything--and my Look Nice Anthropologie sweater--sweaters don't need ironed. I quickly put on those dangly big pearl earrings Awesome bought me, worthy of Scarlett Johansson. No time for makeup, which I hadn't bothered with all week. No thought to change my shoes--I just kept wearing my favorite sandals although they are cracking. And carried my Rich Lady bag. In between making sure the kids were getting dinner, and the kids could reiterate how to spend the evening obeying rules.

Funny, in the movies that's not part of the getting-ready montage.

We arrived at the auditorium. My friends were there, and the people I always see at this kind of thing.

Then the show started. The Art was amazing. I could do this every month.

And at the end, they not only announced our names, but made us go up on stage to be acknowledged with Behind the Scenes people. Yikes! I managed to chose not to be terrified. And they said how much money we gave, I felt sort of astonishingly exposed. Yeah, I was glad I'd put on more serious clothes. Though I was in the shallow end of what to wear, at least I was in the same pool. Most women hadn't confined themselves to one layer like I had, but had jacket and scarf and pin and savoir-fair. Actually, it may be I did had savoir-faire.  I was so high off my enjoyment of the event, so delighted with the Art, that I didn't much care what I looked like. Though I was still capable of thinking thoughts like--the stage lights would have washed out my makeup anyway, so it doesn't matter that I'm not wearing any, and hope I remembered to tug my sweater down, so my belly's not gapping out between the bottom of the sweater and the waistband of my pants--and goodness sake, stand up straight and hold my stomach in!

I found it easy to smile at the performers upstage from me. I loved the show.

Afterwards, we mingled. There were drinks and snacks. I talked to people I wanted to see, and we didn't have to stay too long. I must say, Captain Awesome, networking gregariously, is a natural as a patron of the Arts.

And I can go along too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rich, and You're Rich Alone.

Yesterday when I went to pick up the dry cleaning, I saw that the coffee place on the corner had closed. I'd never eaten there, but my daughter had.

I went Christmas shopping at one of my favorite mid-range department stores this week. To my surprise, everything in the store was 40% off. The store is in bankruptcy.

My parents' 401K took a big hit. If there was more time, they'd probably be okay. But it really is time for them to retire. I wonder how much of my husband's money would make a difference for them. But I haven't talked to anyone about it.

I've got family in Michigan: bail-out or bankruptcy, I get how the auto industry affects everything there.

As grateful as I am to have no financial worries over my own little family, I worry in general and wonder what if anything I can do.

When Captain Awesome made his project pay off big earlier this year, that was a big surprise to me, even a shock. But I never foresaw life would go on to this.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Captain Awesome bought US ALL airplane tickets, and we're flying to have Thanksgiving with my parents.

I am sooooo excited. Planning the packing instead of the menu. And, I'm actually okay with giving up my Thanksgiving hostess superpowers for one year.

Of course, one of the kids who has never been on a plane doesn't want to go. My initial bribe is a new book.

How about you? Do you arrange the china and roast the turkey?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tagged: Seven Random Facts About Me

I've been tagged by Mommy Madness of Stretched to New Limits Everyday! Thank you, Mommy Madness.

This is the first time I've ever been tagged! Money has again gained me entry into genteel society!

1. I'm wearing (on the day I found I was tagged) those new flat Bjorn sandals I blogged about earlier, a brown dress from Layers, over which I pulled a hoodie with an advertising logo on the front. Sometimes the riche lack style.   Though I'm trying to convince myself this is beach-style. Like we don't wear to church. Are you convinced?

2. Captain Awesome wants me to hire someone to clean so I'll have more free time for myself and the creative projects which I like do. Free time for myself so I'll be cheerful, creative so he can enjoy a boast. I don't scrapbook

but 3. I do have creative abilities I have actually been paid for in the years B.C. (before children.) Awesome wants back the woman he married, now that he can afford to be her patron.

Dream come true, right?

BUT, I haven't yet hired anyone, though Awesome brought this up months ago. I'm nervous about having to hire or possibly fire someone, and I'm afraid I'll lose my tenuous grip on reality if someone else cleans my bathroom.

4. Captain Awesome doesn't want you to figure out who I am, since in all my blogging candor I am about as lovable as the Heinz heiress. He loves me anyway, but we don't expect you to. Therefore, I am nervous to reveal ANY random facts about myself. In fact, Captain Awesome suggested I not comment on your blog until I learn how to mask my IP address. That was an educational conversation.

5. I do not have, and have never had, a diamond ring. Until recently I took this as a sign of my personal lack of materialism, and my laudable political sensitivity for my brothers and sisters in Africa. Now we know it was all merely lack of opportunity. Which we should have figured out from the monthly gazing into the Costco diamond display.

6. I would never, never, really wear the hoodie with the advertising logo on the front to church on Sunday. Though the hoodie is so very comfortable, especially if I accidently sit in the back row with the cool ladies in Relief Society, where the air conditioning is in overdrive. I used to blame that cold air on men in jackets, but now I believe we're just doing our best to alleviate the suffering associated with menopause. Or global warming.

7. Apparently, I would wear to church a diamond ring. Or a brown dress from Layers, with a ketchup stain on the sleeve, that could be covered by an advertising hoodie. I've done at least one of those things before. After all, church is for sinners too.

And now I will tag:

Heidi Ashworth of Dunhaven Place, who's first novel just was published.

Amy of I Wish I Was in Dixie who's been offline lately, but I've been following her move to the new house. Hey Amy, do you have internet yet?

b. of i gotta b. and Good Mommy/Bad Mommy, who is wiser and kinder than me.

Thanks again, Mommy Madness, and sorry for my months-long delay in taking up this invitation. I was going to quit blogging, and then blogger suspended my address as a possible spam site. So your tag really came when I was feeling quite low, and I thank you for it. You were like my super-tuned-in blogging VT.


I was in an Apple store and already owned everything I'd probably want to buy.

Mind you, I'm sure I could have pushed admiration into desire if I'd wanted.

The shopping district was decked out for Christmas. Beautiful. I walked around a little and then went home.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Like the star of a Woody Allen movie

Those Woody Allen women. Living in amazing Manhattan apartments with lots of books, wearing great hats, and spending an hour each week in analysis.

I can be rich and neurotic too. But, since it's a New Century, I'm not going to hire a Freudian analyst. I'm hiring a Personal Coach. Talking to you blog readers here has helped me so much, and Thanks Again for the Comments. However, I need some practical encouragement on how to handle my schedule and my house, whether or not I'm still looking for a job (Before I became such a lady of leisure, I was working on getting employable this year, if not outright employed.) And maybe someone to report to, when I have another one of those days when I do no housework or cooking. i still seem to spend so much time stunned.

yes, we should all be stunned by sudden money.

I sent my prospective coach pictures of my totally messy house to quickly explain my organization problem. And an email of how I spent my time one typically crazy day. All those kid pick-up and drop-offs, and delivering the forgotten lunch, and squeezing the dinner in before some athletic practice or school event or youth activity. Ms. Coach acknowledged me, in her reply email, for all I'm doing to support my kids. Which was interesting, because all I had seen were the inefficiencies. And interesting, because she undercounted how many kids there are.

And I asked her if she would be comfortable working with a Mormon. Because Mormon I am, and if she believed I just took away her/others' right to marry, then perhaps our working relationship would be strained.

My first idea was to hire a caretaker, like you might hire for an aging parent, if I could find one who would do housework alongside me, and interrupt my train of thought by starting a conversation when I get the thousand dollar stare.

In a normal world, I suppose I would have asked for help from a visiting teacher. Or found a friend to play trade-off organization/declutter buddy.

Yes, that's the other thing for my coach list. I should figure out how to make some friends. I thought I was too busy before.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My new buddy, the jeweler

I finally figured out how to get into the jewelry store. I took my rings in to have them resized.

Thank Heaven for Sundays

On Sunday, there's no shopping.

In my case, there's not even thinking about shopping.

There's no attempt to sort the bills. Or clean the tubs that should have been cleaned before. I do sometimes iron.

On Sunday, we still eat breakfast late, and snipe at each other about who's turn it is for the shower.

At church, I'm not really listening to all the talks. I'm managing my offsprings' reverence with tools in a bag. I'm careful not to wake Awesome, who fell asleep, nodding. I'm trying to remember someone's name. I'm noticing that C. is here. I'm wondering what it is like to be old, I'm admiring babies, and I'm wiping my eyes carefully so my makeup won't smear.

We don't eat out--for Sunday, I'm actually prepared. I put some chicken and onions in the crockpot in the morning, and some rice in the rice pot. When we got home from church, I saw that I hadn't turned the rice pot on.

And that's okay, we just ate 40 minutes later. There's no where we have to be.

If I hadn't done the crockpot thing, we would have made pancakes.

On Sunday, the home teacher arrives, and of all the things we talk about, some quite tenuously related to the scripture he brought, none of them are money or how I'm dressed.

Late on Sunday night, some of the kids will realize they have more homework, but they manage not to need me to go buy a paperclip or purple marker.

On Sunday, the hymns we sing are the same.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Turned into a cheerleader.

So I was out with one kid (only one!) and she was hungry, (we had been to the doctor) so we went through a drive-through to get her a munch.

(I didn't do a lot of eating out, or fast food before. So, even the casual use of the drive-through is an eye-opener. However, this also proves I was never poor, since I always had the stable place to live and to store food that needs cooked, and to cook it. Some people are buying off the dollar menu for a reason, and there is something missed by the judges huffing that they should spend their money wiser.)

This time, I did something I've never done before. I ordered myself a drink without food. Heck, I'm so cheap, my usual practice at the drive-through, was to take it home and consume it with drinks purchased in large containers at the grocery store.

Though I never managed to be as cool as my mom, who would get the hamburger instead of the cheeseburger, since she wasn't about to pay 10 cents per slice of cheese on our sandwiches. She put Kraft cheese on them at home.

So, while I was ordering my child a cheeseburger and drink, I decided to get myself a drink. I'd already had lunch, but I was a bit thirsty. I'm serious. I've never done that.

The strangest feeling then came over me-here I am, driving around in my minivan, mind you. I'm 40 something in age and nearly 40 in extra pounds, and I suddenly felt like...a high school cheerleader. Queen of the prom. Golden.

Do you remember those girls in high school, sometimes the most beautiful women you'll ever see in real life (what movie is that from?) Haven't thought about them in years. They were driving their cool cars, not running off to their homework or part-time jobs, and they drove by drinking soda from the fast food. Using straws and disposable cups. Sometimes they'd go get soda in the middle of the school day, during break! Drinking soda from the fast food was conspicuous consumption to me. I never had money to go buy by-the-cup soda when I was in high school. I suppose they were drinking diet.

I also had no idea, in my sheltered and happy teenage years, what kind of unseen difficulties some of those apparently blithe high school princesses may have had. Sometime in the 5 and 10 and 20 year reunions, you find out whose parents had drinking problems, or were sleeping around, or beating them up, or were simply unavailable. That brave skill of keeping problems backstage is not one I ever picked up.

But for me right now, with my soda and straw, twice as old, with the sun shining on the dashboard, I'm everything I thought they were, and I have everything I thought they had.

Funny what set that off.

Of course, I won't make it a habit. I'd rather eat organic, and I'm still freaked by the amount of pollution cars put out idling in the drive through.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eat too much, sleep too much,

Too much!

Don't get me wrong--it's totally pleasant that I can now solve problems with money.   But, I still haven't gotten a handle on my schedule.  I used to wake up before the kids, get organized, get myself ready for the day.

Now I roll out of bed to drive one to seminary, drive back and assist everyone else getting off to school.  Then I come home, and without any clear plan, I go to bed.  I take a morning nap.  I have no young children at home anymore, and the sleep is delicious!

Sometimes then I go shopping.  All by myself.  

Obviously, the housework isn't getting done.

The other morning, the pre-seminary teenager looked over at me making lunches and said, "isn't that what you were wearing yesterday?"

"yup.  I just threw it on to drive out to the chapel."

"so you haven't had a shower?"

"uh, nope.  I usually take a shower after I get back from the elementary school."

"so, that means that if you stop and talk to a teacher or anybody, you're talking to them without a shower.  in yesterday's clothes.  That is so GROSS."

"uh, yes, I suppose it is."  I'm looking down at my hands, where I am making HER lunch, wondering why this is happening to me again.  "but I usually don't talk to anyone."  I'm thinking about the fact the shower probably won't happen until noon today.  Looking forward to going back to bed.  

I'll eat at 10.  I'll eat at 4.  I'll eat again at dinner.  Though I'd like to lose weight, lately I've been taking to stuffing myself.  And I do mean stuffing.  At night, I eat until my stomach is in pain.  I wonder if it will burst.  Then about 9 I am so tired, I go to bed before the teenagers.  But when I get in bed, I just start reading.  Because it's probably not that I'm so tired, as much as that I'm so tired of them.  Of being on duty, really.  

I'm addicted to pleasure.  I love eating and sleeping.  Somehow there's always something to do besides working.

And here's my soundtrack:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Looking for Role Models in the Media: Maid to Order

Maid to Order

I haven't seen this movie in a really long time. In fact, it may not have ever come out on DVD. But I do keep remembering things about it since I became rich.

For one thing, the rich couple that hires Ally Sheedy displays a principle I think may be important. Inconsistent spending. It costs a lot of money to keep a staff. Then the rich wife yells at Ally for not saving the aluminum foil so she can redeem it. Later, when the rich couple puts on a charity benefit, the wife bargains with the floral designer to use cheaper materials and donate services. All so she can present a bigger check from the benefit to the charity. Which redeems her inconsistent money spending in our eyes.


I would totally trust Beverly D'Angelo to be my fairy godmother.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mom, don't ever change. Your clothes.

I'm in the kitchen, prepping dinner.  I had spent the morning trying to declutter my room, and as a reward in that process, I found a jumper I bought last year, as summer dress from the Gap outlet.  Although the weather's changed, I put it on.  In the words of my favorite expensive designer, see what happens when you dress up a little?

Teenager comes in, "is that a new dress?"

Me, "no, I bought this for last summer.  I just found it in my closet.  I've been looking for it."

Teenager: "because you're buying an awfully lot of clothes lately."

Me, "an awfully lot?"

Teenager, "yes.  too much."

Me, confused.  "I have been buying some clothes, but so have you."

Teenager, "but I'm using my allowance.  And I needed clothes."

Me, "and I don't need clothes?  don't you think I have something like an allowance?" 

Teenager, being disgusted.

Me, being bewildered.  

Teenager, "are you sure that's not a new dress?"

Me, "yes, but would it matter if it were?"

She also complains if she catches me wearing make-up.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is there an obligation to look good? All the time?

Yes, I have been watching more cable television. In a way, isn't that letting myself down? Let's face it, to the degree I ever fantasized about having money before money unexpectedly happened, I never was thinking "ah, if I were rich, I would sit on the couch and watch lots of cable t.v.!"

I've been watching What Not To Wear. And Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. So last night, being at some store that will be open after 9:30 p.m., buying some unexpected office supply item my kid absolutely needs to finish some two-week project in one night, I found myself wondering would Tim Gunn approve-or would he at least forgive?

No he would not. Because, even if you throw a classic trench coat over it, and carry a $400 purse, Tim Gunn does not approve of wearing gray sweatpants and a t-shirt when you run an errand.

And he's right.

But he told me about 15 minutes too late.   In this way, Tim Gunn differs from a spiritual prompting.


Now as I'm writing this, I wonder if I really would ever stop and take more time redressing myself after most the kids are in bed. The trick must be to have the errand outfit hanging on a hook--like a bathrobe, or a superwoman costume. Actually, most definitely like a superwoman costume.

Maybe Tim should get back to me after he has a handful of kids.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rethinking the move

Captain Awesome is emailing me prices of houses in our old neighborhood in the Midwest, and prices of houses in Utah. Telling me we could retire in less than two years if we move out of state.

Whiplash. Used to be I was the one petitioning to move somewhere affordable.

Suspicion. Is Captain Awesome capable of retiring under any condition anyhow? I've hardly seen him work less than a 70 hour week.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Looking for Role Models in the Media: Real Housewives

Real Housewives, of Orange County, New York, and Atlanta.

Absolutely no help. Good grief, that one in Atlanta is someone's kept mistress. I almost liked that Duchess in New York who's writing the book on manners, except for the way she treats people.