I have no money.
This thought probably dawns on me at least once a day. It’s not like I expect to have a lot of money considering I’m in my early 20’s and living in Los Angeles, but it would be nice.
Usually this thought pops into my head while I’m in my car. I drive past rows and rows of storefronts touting clothing and wares that I cannot afford. It’s depressing. I would say for every 10 stores in Los Angeles, 8 of them I could not comfortably afford buying more than one item. Rough.
I used to go into these stores, not knowing really what to expect, trying to convince myself that I would be able to find a clearance rack with my name on it. But, after much trial and error, I gave up; resigning to the fact that at this stage in my life, I was sticking to shopping malls, not specialty stores.
I have come up with a list of rules that I follow to determine whether or not it’s even worth stepping into a store or not. A cheat sheet, if you will, to figure out (with very little effort) whether I can afford what’s being sold inside a store.
- If I can count the amount of items a store has in less than 10 seconds, I can’t afford it. We all know these stores. Real chic. Usually white walls and black clothes. Literally two racks of clothes is all they have on the floor. Think about it this way. A store has to pay overhead and its employees, while still making money. If they can do that by only displaying 3 shirts and a pair of jeans, you better believe it’s more than I can afford.
- If the store is “by” someone, I can’t afford it. I rolled past a store last night called Marc by Marc Jacobs. Maybe I could afford Marc…maybe. But Marc BY Marc Jacobs? That’s out of the question. If it needs a byline, I can’t afford it.
- If the store has a doorbell and/or security guard to let me in, I can’t afford it. Just to be clear, this excludes pawn shops. If the merchandise inside is so expensive that I can even come in to casually waltz around without being let in, it’s out of my league.
- If there is a live mannequin in the window…well that’s just creepy. Keep walking.
- If there is an option to valet my car just so I can shop at this one store, I can’t afford it. A valet for a mall is understandable. But, to have a valet just for your own store is a bit ridiculous. Like in Monopoly, free parking is key. I stay away from the valet.
I’m sure you can come up with more, but you get the point. One day, I hope to ring a doorbell and shop at a store that has next to nothing in the showroom, and sip champagne while doing it. But, until than, I’ll see you in the food court.