Vacations in the comfort of your own home

I have some sad news to share–I am on a shopping diet.

I know, I know. It’s TERRIBLE.

I think it’s the reason I’ve been SO CRANKY lately – except for the blog about the Tri-Fab (what my husband and I call “FabulousFabulousFabulous!” in shorthand) launch party for my two new books in May, my other recent posts have been almost GLUM.

It’s probably because I have been living in the “real world” all this past month – and no, not the one in Key West.

When I shop, I escape from the world, and I go on vacation in my head. Every new outfit, every new bag, is a peek into a whole new life, a whole new situation–for instance, last month I just bought a mutlicolored ruffled caftan ($115) from Polka Dots & Moonbeams (a really cute store on Third Street that sells very “LA” stuff-C&C t-shirts, T-bags dresses, jeweled flipflops) and when I put it on, I thought, I’ll wear it strolling on the beach in Cabo! I’ll wear it in Malibu when I go to the Crossroads Diner and bump into Britney and K-Fed! Or, it’ll go with me to Saint-Tropez this summer! One caftan equals three great fantasies. And where have I worn this? Nowhere! But that’s not the point. I just get giddy thinking of all the wonderful places I could wear the new outfit.

When I was just out of college, and my best friend Morgan (who is gay) and I were living in what we came to realize was “low-income” housing (it was a three bedroom for $1200 on 23rd St! We just thought it was a steal until my mom came to visit, looked at the vinyl floors and the garbage cans INSIDE the lobby and our doddering elderly neighbors, and appraised us of this fact), we would hole up in Morgan’s room–with the airconditioning blasting on high–which was SUCH a luxury for us, since we had lived through consecutive summers in New York City without one–and mix up a batch of pina coladas, and declare we were going on “vacation” because the air-conditioning reminded us of being in hotel rooms, and the pina coladas of being on a beach.

I still get nostalgic remembering all the great vacations we embarked on, without ever leaving 23rd Street.

It also reminded me of that episode on AbFab where Patsy and Edina are totally rocking out, the lights are off, and they’re dancing wildly, the lights are flickering on and off like a glitter ball, but suddenly Sapphie turns on the lights and it turns out the girls are just in their own living room, and not at a cool club, and Patsy was just turning the lights on and off to make it seem like it was a dancefloor. They look kind of sheepish at the realization, but it’s so TRUE.

After years of going to nightclubs, nothing has ever been as fun as just Morgan and me rocking out on the couch. The ashtray overflowing with cigarettes, the pitcher of colada on the coffee table, and every edition of European Vogue spread out in front of us. Friends–they’re life’s vacation. BWAHA HA HA HA…I hate when I get so sentimental! I really like this new word “caggle” – which I read in the Observer – a cross between a cackle and a giggle. CAGGLE. Nice.

More often than not, shopping has been my ticket to escape–books too, although shopping sparks my imagination more, since I am too worried about being influenced by books that are similar to mine, so my reading pleasure tends towards the kinds of books I would never write, like Kathryn Harrison’s painful confessional novels and the like. I never watch “The OC”, “Laguna Beach” and I haven’t picked up a Gossip Girl and A-List book in a long time. Ultimately, we pull from the same sources, and I don’t want to subconsciously copy, or subconsciously pre-edit myself since those books might have “gone” there too.

But since I’m on a shopping diet, there has been no escaping in a while. And lemme tell ya, life without escape is pretty lame!

Mike and I are buying a house, so we’re trying to suck in the financial gut, I’m just glad I was able to score my Chanel classic bag before the lockdown!

I’m on massive deadlines too, which have resulted in my having THOSE DREAMS again. The ones where I’m about to not graduate from high school because I did not research or write or turn in my Art History term paper. I have this dream ALL THE TIME on deadline, and not once have I been able to tell my panicked high school self in my dream that I DID graduate from high school and there is nothing to worry about. It’s just my brain freaking out that I have two novels due and neither of them is in any shape for delivery, which is the same feeling as having wasted the semester doing nothing and then finding out one is going to flunk out because of one’s laziness.

So, compounded with the lack of shopping and the doom of deadlines, it’s been pretty frosty here at chez Mel and not just because the temperature is always 66 degrees. (BWAH-HA-HA…)

I also bought a five-inch wide braided belt ($110) which I have lately worn with everything–Harpers Bazaar declared this the season of the belt, and who am I to argue? It’s really fun to put it on top of all the floaty tops and tunics I own–it automatically gives you a waist! Although at the store, the salesgirl said, “Um, maybe you want to not cinch it so tight, it should lay, not squeeze.”

Lay not Squeeze!

Girls, it’s a manifesto.

I’m excited to wear the big belt on top of my Chloe jacket like I saw a blonde Amazon on Robertson wear it the other day.

But it’s been a month since the big belt, and I’m already a teeny bit bored of it. I’m such a trendy person, I love ANYTHING new and shiny, like Mini Coopers and Hummers, when they first came out…but now I’m over them. Minis now seem overly cutesy and Hummers, well, just gross.

By the way, I always say how much things are, because it’s the first question that would come to MY mind when I read about shopping–how much? I hate when people don’t say how much they spent – it’s integral to a shopping story, don’t you think? Because if you want it yourself, you would think, “Oh, that’s a good price for that, maybe I’ll get one too” or “Oh god, Byatch spent way too much, what was she thinking?”

Anyway, maybe I’ll just whip up a batch of pina coladas, turn the lights on and off with a flick of the wrist and make out with the husband and pretend we’re in the VIP room at the Spider Club…