#61. ESME’S RULES

by admin on February 14, 2011

sleep on it!

you’ve heard me speak of my dear deceased mother-in-law ethel (source of my ethel-coat and mr. noir) but i’m not sure i’ve mentioned ethel’s rules.  having a set of rules you pass on to your children is a good way to live in perpetuity! 

 we use ethel’s first rule almost weekly in our household, and never fail to think of her fondly as we implement it.  the first rule of ethel is this:  throw away left-overs after 3 days, no if’s and’s or but’s!  of course if you have live-in maids and cooks (as a childhood friend of mine had) or never cook and never bring home left-overs from restaurants— that is if the only thing your fridge contains is a bottle of champagne and some tinned olives, i suppose you don’t have to worry about ethel’s rule.  but for the rest of us it comes in very handy. 

the same probably applies to esme’s rules:  if you happen to be say paris hilton, imelda marcos, or the wife of a dubai ceo you probably don’t need them.   on the other hand, you might find it interesting to see how the other half lives! 

ok,  this is esme’s first rule:  sleep on it.  when shopping for sport it is easy to get carried away and buy the first thing that catches your attention, whether it be a lime-green scarf or a leopard-print bustier.  if you are like me, the first thing you want to do with your new purchase is WEAR it.  you gleefully rip off the tags and take it for an outing to your favorite restaurant, inevitably spilling a bit of bordelaise sauce on the bust as it dawns on you that your garment is actually a bit tight/scratchy/ridiculous-looking/not-attracting-any-attention-whatsoever and you kind of wish you hadn’t bought it. 

too late now, with the spot and the missing tags (unless you are a true sociopath, which i am not).    believe me, i have made this mistake more times than i care to remember.  the garment will then hang in my closet giving me “the look” everytime i see it, especially on the day the credit card bill arrives in the mail.  (bet you didn’t know that clothes, as well as esme and her darling mama, are capable of giving a truly eye-brow-singing “look”). 

so, the next time you go for a little shop, think back on this experience.  if at all practical, try the garment on, fantasize about it for a day, get a good night’s sleep, and see if it still calls to you in the morning. (please note that i advise sleeping ON it, not IN it).  if the store allows cash-back returns you might bring it home and set it in your window seat with the tags on (making sure your fox-terrier doesn’t take a nap on it of course).  then, if need be, you can return it in a day or so. 

most boutiques, however, only allow store credit, if that, and you would be well-advised to come back the next day.  to all my favorite merchants, i do apologize for this rule, as i know it will drive you crazy. however, think of it this way:  better to have a customer who makes a happy and considered decision (and might just buy something else on the trip back) than one who is constantly attempting to return/exchange/guilt-trip you into a deal.  as an added bonus, i often try to bring kate along for the final committment ceremony, thus increasing the boutique’s sales and visibility!

trying to live by the rules,

esme

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