Thursday, April 26, 2012

Perception vs. Reality

The part I miss most about apartment living is how the management office will sign and hold packages for its residents. For someone like me who orders off the Internet often, it's a treat not having to worry about packages sitting at my doorstep for hours. Sure, "often" is subjective, but when management asks, "Room number? Oh wait, 445 right?" upon recognizing me, yeah, it's a sign that I should probably cut back on this online ordering habit of mine *sheepish grin*

After moving (bye bye wonderful management office that I took for granted), I thought for sure this is the opportunity for me to stop cold turkey... until my bf's mom graciously offered us the use of her address. Poof, there goes my determination. After a few weeks of 1-2 packages per week arriving at her doorstep, she mentioned that she was surprised at the amount of packages addressed to me. I don't believe she meant it in any way other than a passing comment. She's just honestly surprised because she's always thought I was cheap/stingy/frugal when it comes to money. In return, I was surprised at her surprise.

I suppose my purchases are nobody's business but my own, but I've never felt the need to hide my spending. I prioritize and spend as I see fit. Along the same lines, I suppose I've never broadcasted my spending to others either (aside from this blog) because people will notice what they want to notice. So I figured this was an isolated incident of one person's perception of my spending. That is, until my own mother made a similar comment a few days later. She remarked that cameras are one of the rare items that my stingy self has no problem spending money on. Huh, once again, I was left surprised.

The reality is, I wouldn't say I spend more than the average person (most of my online orders are returned), but I'm also not cheap to the point where money has to be pried from my hands (those were the exact words my mom used, lol). So what do these two women see that I don't see myself? Then it hit me. They mostly see me in certain environments, ie: when we go out to eat. So it must be all the times where I stroll into restaurants in a sweatshirt and sneakers. I can't help it if I don't want to wear nicer clothes to (smelly) Asian restaurants. The grease sticks to you like second skin! I can already imagine the hefty dry cleaning bill if that happened. Okay, so maybe I am just a little bit on the cheap side.

Do you see your spending differently than how others perceive you?
scarf: American Eagle plaid lurex (similar)
tee: American Eagle deep v-neck (similar)
ring: Forever 21 faceted faux gemstone (sold here)
bracelets: Forever 21 sparkling woven (sold here); 
belt: Old Navy grosgrain (similar)
pants: Gap broken-in straight khakis (sold here

20 comments:

  1. Lol about smelling like grease!!

    I think people that know me well know my spending ways...a buy a lot of higher quality items on mega sale. But I have no clue how others perceive it.

    And...where did your face go?! Don't start hiding from us! :p

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    1. It's best that I kept my face/hair/head out of today's photos... don't want to take away from the outfit, lol. When my head is presentable, it will make an appearance in the future :)

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  2. I swear you could be a model Cee...you make everything look so fabulous! I know what you mean about the shopping perception (and like you, almost all of my online orders get returned)....still I do feel a bit sheepish every once in a while. Lol

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    1. Sometimes I feel guilty about all my returns that I vary which store location I go to. I doubt SAs would recognize me, but still, it makes me feel a little better, haha.

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  3. Interesting question. For me it comes in waves - either I binge on clothes or I hoard money. I'm still working on finding my happy medium with both of these things.
    There are some things I don't spend money on though - getting my hair done or expensive makeup.
    Laurafornerphotography.blogspot.com

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    1. Ahh, a twin after my own soul. I also get a lot of comments on "unhealthy" money hoarding, which I'm thinking partially stems from my fear of debt, or some sort of catastrophic event where I need to use all the cash I've saved. I'm also still working on finding my happy medium, so I hear ya completely.

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  4. I know exactly what you mean! For most of my life, I lived so frugally but once I came to college... let's just say that I have 4 packages on their way to me at the moment :D I don't dress nicely, usually just a hoodie, tee, jeans, and sneakers, but I one day aspire to dress more femininely and put together like you and other fashion bloggers do. My high school friend came to visit me last month and she was quite surprised of my love for brands because I never expressed interested nor did I have any calling for them a year ago.

    And I LOVE living in the dorms since the resource center downstairs accepts the packages and I wait for the e-mail to go get it [: It's like the management office!

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    1. I've also "matured" some between hs and college, and I'm sure my hs friends have thought the same thing about my interest in fashion since the awkward teenage years. Definitely enjoy your college years to the fullest -- I miss the days of blending in wearing hoodies and sneakers ;)

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  5. I have more than enough to dress me for a whole year or more with a different outfit every day.Still I buy more.It's my hobby and I spend the money I have saved not the money to pay my rent.And I usually thrift.What worries me sometimes is the craving feeling I get over items but I put that under control and rarely indulge.

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    1. You're not alone, Angie. The most important part is that we see our weaknesses and try to improve, so for that, we're one step closer ;) If time isn't an issue, I try to sleep on items for a day or two to see if I absolutely.must.have.an.item. If the needy feeling fades, then I have my answer.

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  6. Money should be a personal matter but in real life it unfortunately is not so personal. It is just funny because we are the ones who work hard and bring that money home, thus we shall be able to manage it the way we want without being judged or having to explain the reasons behind our spendings. I think i am somewhat frugal but at times i am willing to splurge on high priced items/vacation/fine dining as rewards, and of course some people do not understand. I would say do what makes you happy because it is your money.

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    1. I understand why people judge. I believe it's human nature and I've certainly been guilty of it at times. Once I catch myself though, I do try to reason out why I'm thinking the way I do. Most times it's just a difference of our priorities. Like you said, some people prefer to spend it on X while I'd rather spend my money on Y. And other times, I'm envious. Yup, but living vicariously through others is almost just as nice ;)

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  7. I go through periods where I order a lot of stuff online. For the most part, my shopping is cyclical, and I do a lot of shopping for a few months, then very little for a few months. But all my family remembers are those times when I get a TON of packages...even now, when I haven't really purchased anything in the last four to five months, if I were to get a couple of packages this weekend, my husband would make fun of me for shopping too much. It's not fair, really :)

    I love the fly away front on that blazer...such a great mix of casual and 'formal'.

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    1. Hahaha I can relate! It's funny how our memory works, huh? Ahh, the fascinating sides of the human brain. Hope you're doing well, Tara!

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  8. I can totally relate. I have to get my packages shipped to my grandmother's house so they aren't sitting out in the sun all day. She probably gets about 2-3 a week... or more. Luckily, she understands my shopping habit, but I do get the occasional comment of "you shop too much, you need to save your money."

    I think shopping often is okay so long as you keep your finances in check. I never shop my way into debt, and I think that's all that matters! So I say continue what you're doing, because it's what makes you (and I) happy! :)

    BTW, I love your outfit, as always. Now I'm off to buy some of those Gap pants. haha! :)

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    1. What about saying, "But grandma, some of these packages are for you!" ;)

      These Gap pants are seriously the.most.comfortable pair I own. Not too tight, not too loose. I'm considering buying more to slowly replace my jeans collection.

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  9. Continuing to love seeing how you style those navy pants! And funny note, I just DIY'ed 2 striped belts for me and E to wear together. She doesn't know yet to be embarrassed by her mother and I'm running with that for as long as I can.

    Umm, is it sad that pretty much everyone thinks I'm a shopaholic? One thing on perception vs. reality, everyone assumes that my husband is the dominant one in the relationship and it's actually me. :)

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    1. Haha, I tend to wear certain items a lot in the beginning, before they're relegated to the back of my closet =/ Do let me know when you get tired of them though ;)

      You MUST twitpic mommy-and-baby outfits when you get a chance! I keep going back to your matching gingham outfit idea, but it's just so easy to style. Perhaps we'll see one paired with the matching striped belt? :)

      There's much worse things to be perceived as other than a shopaholic, so nope, don't feel bad. It's funny you brought up relationship dynamics too b/c that's one of my favorite things to observe when people watching.

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  10. Get a UPS box! At the UPS stores, you can get something like a "PO Box" (but with a real street address). The employees sign for your packages and you get slips in your mailbox notifying you of packages waiting for you. It's so worth it.

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    1. I had no idea such a service exists o.O Where the world have I been?! This is such a great idea because they accept non-UPS packages too. Thanks so much for letting me know!

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