I fell into a rabbit hole a couple weeks ago on YouTube, caught up in watching videos about things people no longer buy (this one, that one, and this one in particular). Isn't it interesting to find out what products people either find really useful or not, and how shifting needs or taste impact spending habits? This, of course, got me thinking about what I used to be very into but no longer purchase, as well as a few things that seem to be generally out of favor but I'm still spending my money on.
3 Things I No Longer Buy
Seasonal Decor for My Home
I struggled with this for years because I grew up in a magical home where my mom swapped out the decorations almost monthly to fit the season or an upcoming holiday. Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, 4th of July - you name it, we had an on-theme wreath for the front door. I loved how festive and fresh our house always felt. And to be honest, I thought that was the norm - doesn't everyone have a Nebraska Cornhuskers theme for the month of September? (If you live in Nebraska, chances are you do)
But when I moved out on my own, I struggled to remember to put my seasonal decor out. And in my late 30's, I had to accept that I couldn't force the magic my mom had made - because it wasn't my magic. My seasonal decor is paired down to only what I really love and am excited to put out - Halloween (Dan's favorite holiday), Christmas (because, obviously) and Valentine's Day (one of my favorites).
Free Gifts with Purchase
As someone who works in marketing, I appreciate the genius that is the tactic known as "Free Gift with Purchase." When I was in high school, Clinique was IT and that was my first introduction to the idea of spending more money than I'd intended to earn a makeup bag full of product samples that rarely suited my skin tone or needs. I can't even tell you how many small bottles of Dramatically Different Moisturizer were stacked up under the bathroom sink when I was 17. It was just so hard to not to fall into the trap..."If I spend another $10, I get this FREE thing!" Nevermind the fact that instead of spending $15 on the one item I really wanted, I was now spending $27 on an item I really wanted, and an item I kind of wanted, in order to get a gift that contained one or two things I might want.
Now, although my heart does involuntarily start racing a bit when I see a GWP offer and I instinctively start scrolling to find something else to buy in order to earn it, I usually stop. I don't need another makeup bag, and if I do I'd rather it be one of my own choosing.
There was a time in my twenties and early thirties when I was trying very hard to be the independent, career-driven, fashion-forward, unrepressed woman that Sex in the City told me I should be. Except my career was more like one job after another that I didn't like, my closet was full of business-casual clothes to fit those jobs, and the relationships I was in were the definition of repressed. So I filled my closet with fabulous high heels, hoping at least my feet would fit the image I had in my head of who I should be by then.
Fast forward 10 years and I own one pair of 2 inch black heels that I have worn outside the house exactly never. I came to grips with the fact that heels are just not for me. I'm 6' tall so don't "need" the height. And my plantar fasciitis really acts up if I don't wear a supportive flat. And flats are cute! I can walk a lot more quickly toward the life of my dreams in flats than I ever could in heels.
3 Things I Still Do
I was so sad to hear over and over in many of those YouTube videos that magazines are something people aren't buying any more. I mean, this isn't news. But still. I love a physical copy of a magazine. I have a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens because Grandma Ruth gifted it to me one year. She included a note with the magazine that said her mother always had a subscription, and she did too. Magazine subscriptions are a family legacy! I get a thrill every month when the latest issue shows up in my mailbox - something other than bills and junk mail. I enjoy sitting down with a mug of tea on a Sunday morning and reading the whole issue, from cover to cover, snapping pictures of articles that inspire me and filing them away digitally for future reference.
Look - once a paper person, always a paper person. That's just how it is. A paper planner, paper calendars, notebooks for taking notes, all of it. One element of my stationery buying that has really ramped up during the pandemic is cards. I've placed more Hallmark orders since March than ever before. Writing out cards and sending them to friends and family makes me feel like I'm doing something - to let them know I'm thinking of them, cheering for them, connecting with them from afar.
Paper Hand Towels
This practice is a throw-back to my Grandma Kappy. Her bathroom always had two things: shell-shaped bars of hand soap, and a sterling silver paper hand towel holder filled with thick, disposable hand towels. That always seemed so fancy to me. I'm well aware that disposable hand towels are not eco-friendly, which is why I only bust them out when entertaining a lot of people in my home. There's nothing quite like being the 10th person to use the restroom at a party and discovering the cloth hand towels are sopping wet after being repeatedly used. In that instance, paper hand towels are a luxury I will continue to get behind.
That's my list - what's on yours? What did you used to buy that no longer fits into your lifestyle? And what are you still buying, after all this time?
This is a place to celebrate all the parts of yourself that come with age and experience. I'm here to share with you what I know and to explore with you the many (many) things I don't.