Dyeing for a Treat? Don’t Dismiss Guilty Pleasures

In the February issue of Town & Country, Bernie Madoff victim and former Self Magazine Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Penney discusses her upcoming book, The Bag Lady Papers: The Priceless Experience of Losing It All. Essentially, one day she was wealthy; the next, she was flat broke. She had to completely alter her existence and way of living. She made lists of things she could do without and things she had to keep. One thing she deemed necessary: her colorist.

Me too, sister! Even when I was unemployed, even as I try to save money today, I don’t know what I would do without my hair stylist and colorist Rick. In fact, I have an appointment today, and wild horses couldn’t keep me away. For God’s sake, I had to reschedule it from last week and tears pretty much accompanied the call to the salon. This may sound superficial and frivolous, but good hair makes me feel good. When my locks are scraggly and my roots look like Madonna’s, I can barely look in the mirror. Give me one afternoon with Rick? I’m a new person.

Moral of the story:  Try to keep at least one treat for yourself, even if you’re struggling financially. It could be anything from a piece of Godiva chocolate to new running shoes to a pair of earrings. For me — and Alexandra — it’s hair color. These little extravagances keep us feeling human, and for that, I don’t feel guilty at all.

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5 responses to “Dyeing for a Treat? Don’t Dismiss Guilty Pleasures

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m just finishing my 7th month of unemployment (I FINALLY start a new job next Monday).

    And, just as you mentioned, when I scaled back on many, many things in my budget there was one simple pleasure that I needed to keep. For me, it was pedicures. Now, it’s not like I was going weekly to the salon. But pretty toes make me feel happy. The brighten my day, they somehow make me forget (even for a brief moment) how overwhelming and stressful job hunting can be.

    And, in some strange way having nicely manicured feet gave me a much needed boost of confidence. When you’re unemployed you really need to hang onto something that makes you feel “normal”. Whether it’s hair coloring or manicures, or something completely different, find that thing that works for you and hang on to it!

    • Thanks so much for reaching out, and congrats on the new job!!! If you don’t mind sharing, how did you keep yourself going month-to-month. I have a lot of friends still searching for work and are finding it hard to jump-start the process over and over again.

      Pedicures ARE necessary. 🙂

      I’ll check out your blog soon!

      • misspinkslip..

        How did I keep myself going… great question! And, I guess depending on what day you spoke to me, you’d get a different answer. Some days I just plain didn’t keep myself going. I had plenty of “poor me” days where I sat in my pjs, miserable and scoured the internet for jobs.

        To be completely honest, finding ‘projects’ that kept my mind busy was the best way to maintain my sanity. I often mention in my blog that I suffered from “mush brain”.. the longer I was unemployed the more stupid & forgetful I became. Blogging became a way to exercise my mind and ultimately it became therapy for me. It gave me an outlet to journal my experiences and to share things that were going on in my daily life. Good things & bad things. And, for the most part, my blog allowed me to add my own lighthearted comedy to an otherwise really crappy situation. I tried to post entries that would make people chuckle. Laughter is a great tool to get through hard times!

        While I don’t suggest that everyone start blogging their innermost feelings, I do think that journaling can be a great way for people to deal with challenges in their lives. Sometimes it just helps to get it all out and when you’re unemployed and experiencing an enormous range of emotions it can be very therapeutic!

      • You are so right about journaling. I’m going through a crappy time personally right now, and it’s been helpful to just dump all those feelings out on paper. Things you never realized pop out at you, too, when you’re writing stream of consciousness.

  2. YES! Hahah my boyfriend yelled at me last month when I spent $200 to get my hair cut and colored. He’s like..”you are bitching about being broke and yet you spend that so easily.” I’m like, “Babe, you have know idea what getting my hair done can do for me. lol” It’s hard for to stop buying clothes and stuff..but I’ve scaled back. I will never EVER give up getting my hair done though. lol.

    PS. Mind adding me to your blog roll? 🙂

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