Recent Vanity Purchases, Considered

Haircut, $80 for a cut and style, including tip

Getting my hair cut for the first time in five months was what I like to refer to as a Carrie Prejean moment: I AM DOING THIS. I felt flush from getting a few freelance checks, bold from staring down a girl I dislike in the street and, well, hot from having an untamed mane in 100-ish degree heat.

Into the salon I marched, and sat down in the chair before I could run home to my apartment to pick my split ends with one hand and loving stroke my cash with the other.

Worth it? I came out with bangs! Bangs that I didn’t ask for, but bangs that looked pretty nice. Bangs aside (even though they can’t be, those bitches go nowhere but straight down across my forehead), what I really got out of this purchases was a sense of trust in a hairdresser that I haven’t had since my mom’s favorite salon guy bullied me with a can of hairspray when I was 10.

At the most recent place I went, everyone who worked there made really sly mean comments, like saying that an angled bob—my cut of choice—was for “really thin fashion girls” (they wrote that off as “a Korean joke”). So this was a relief. If you’re too old to sit in a plastic car with The Wiggles playing four inches from your face so you’ll sit still, you’re too old for haircuts to be scary anymore.

Patriotic manicure, $25.50 ($8 metallic blue essie polish, $8 white crackle polish, $9.50 Sephora by OPI red glitter polish, gifted silver glitter polish)

I’m not so bougie that I go and get my nails did—living room is just fine for me—but I do love painting my nails (if I had a nail blog, it would be called “Nailed It”). I also I love the Olympics. I love the Olympics so much that I cried a little when Nastia Liukin fell flat on her face in the trials. I love the Olympics so much that I started obsessing over a good patriotic manicure weeks in advance and bought a bunch of colors for it, including a white crackle polish that I will probably never wear (again).

Worth it? The seemingly high cost of this probably-single-use color combo, however, is offset by the fact that I nearly bought an online-only patriotic glitter topcoat from Sephora, and was only stopped by the fact that I refused to pay shipping on the single ($9.50) item and Eventually Felt Wrong about spending an extra $50 on nonsense to get free shipping. USA! USA!

Gym membership, $40 for 30 day membership plus two personal training sessions (thanks, LivingSocial!)

I’m told that regular exercise is part of a “healthy lifestyle,” and I can’t bring myself to wheeze my way around Prospect Park in the billion degree heat as often as Jillian Michaels says I should. I’m also tired of Jillian Michaels yelling at me from my TV, so when a deal came along for a fancy schmancy gym, with classes and everything, with extra sprinkles and a cherry and personal training sessions on top, I pounced.

I’ve taken full advantage in the week since I joined, to mixed results. Saturday morning Zumba: dumb, and how does she do that with her butt. Wednesday night spin: I’ve been violated by a bike seat. Personal training session numero uno: The one compliment he gave me was that I had good lower body strength, but that was “probably from carrying all that weight around” (pardon me?). According to Trainer Phil, I need five to six months of weekly training sessions, to the tune of a thousand dollars a month, to not be a lardo. Buddy, I came here on an EMAIL COUPON. What do you think my answer is?

Worth it? Unclear! I saved a jumbo-ton of money on the deal ($250 initiation fee, training sessions run about $70 per and a month’s membership is around $80), BUT I feel like I’ve paid hundreds of bucks’ worth of mental bummer through the gym’s introduction process: Everyone is constantly trying to sell me things, the membership lady’s response to my (within official medical “normal” range!) BMI was that I wasn’t “really really overweight” and nothing can ever make me forget that she tried to convince me that strip-dancing cardio class was a great idea for me. But! Fitness is forever? Or something?

New Shoes, $35.69 (40% off clearance price, plus 15% student discount)

So I had blisters the next day, but now I have stylin’ feet until I get tired of my new kickds/wear a hole in them. I haven’t been a student for two years, but I look plausibly young, my ID doesn’t have a date on it, and I like seeing people’s faces when they try and decide if the pasty blue-haired girl in the picture is actually me. The guilt is a small price to pay for the awesome discount.

Worth it? Absolutely. I don’t care if they’re suede, I don’t care that I’ve gotten them dirty in one wearing. If you find a pair of flats at J. Crew for $35, if you’re me, you buy them.


Kase Wickman has bangs now.



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