Category Archives: shopaholism

I’ll Start My Diet Tomorrow

I woke up on New Year’s Day totally and completely ready for a diet.  A financial diet.  (Please, Mamas, let’s be kind to ourselves.  Let’s just pat ourselves on the back for enduring the emotional and physical ringer of motherhood – and a two-week long winter break! – and be okay with where we are and try to drink more water and less wine and more fruit and less Skinny Pop without making ourselves crazy.  Deal?  Cool.)

My diet is one month (or two or three or infinity) of no spending except for the bare necessities (gas, groceries, Kefir, wine, and Chinese food delivery).  One month of simplicity.  One month of living with less.  This has nothing to do with being a shopaholic (don’t believe a word she says…shopaholics are liars!), but the excessiveness of the holidays has certainly left me craving a cleanse.

I would’ve started my diet on January 1st, but we went to the zoo as a family (which was lovely, by the way), and after we bought tickets, pretzels, popcorn, and lunch (for us and the giraffes), we had to walk through the zoo gift store to get to the parking where we spent another $10 just because.

When we got home that night, we found the floor was wet under the carpet in the boys’ bedroom next to the wall where the air conditioning duct enters the house.  That discovery didn’t cost anything yet, but the a/c repairman would have a looky-loo on Saturday afternoon.  The evening turned ominous after that, so we poured a drink, ordered Chinese food delivery (see list of bare necessities in 2nd paragraph), and called it a day.

I would’ve started my diet on January 2nd, but we met friends at the ice skating rink where we bought tickets and rented skates and a walker for Riley because he’s a hot mess on the ice.


(That $5 was worth every freaking adorable penny.)

We also bought snacks from the snack bar because I screwed up the time and we arrived an hour before the skate rental window opened, a bottle of water because someone was sooooo dehydrated, a pretzel, a blueberry muffin, and $1.50 in quarters because another someone wanted to “win” crap from the crap machines scattered around the rink.

Then, when we got home, I booked two nights at a local Marriott Residence Inn for when the house is tented for termites in ten days (gulp).

I would’ve started my diet on January 3rd, but we met friends at the children’s museum where we paid for parking, admission tickets, and lunch.  We got lucky at the end and snuck out the entrance instead of being forced to exit through (and spend more money in) the gift shop.

I would’ve started my diet on January 4th, but we had a babysitter.  I mean, come on!  I’d been on winter break with my (adorable, intelligent, lovely, etc.) nut-bag kids for seventeen days.  SEVENTEEN days!  I deserved a night off for everyone’s sake, didn’t I?  And after the diagnosis from the a/c repairman, I really needed a drink.  I mean, really needed a drink.  For some reason, I also had an urge to watch “Money Pit” with Shelley Long and Tom Hanks, which not only would’ve validated the crap sandwich that is home ownership, but also would’ve made me feel ancient because Shelley Long and Tom Hanks were younger than me when they made that movie and that movie was released in 1986.  1986!  Do you see why the babysitter and the drink(s) were legitimate – lifesaving, I dare say – expenses?

I would’ve started my diet today, but you see, parenthood is the ultimate money pit.  One kid needs shin guards for soccer and the other kid needs a mouth guard for basketball and there’s a preschool tuition bill sitting on my desk to the left of my laptop and it’s almost time to put a deposit down for camp and I need to go back to the grocery store because I have to pack lunches for school and I need cheese sticks and yogurt tubes and bagels and cream cheese and apples and would you believe me if I told you there is not one juice box to be found in my house?  Not a single one.

The point of all of this is that I’ll start my diet tomorrow.


Filed under money, New Years, school, shopaholism, Uncategorized


The Runaway Mama has been intense lately.  Harry’s medical crisis put us on a nauseating ride we just couldn’t get off.  He finally came home last Friday night – after spending ten long nights in the hospital and having surgery to remove an insulinoma tumor from his pancreas – only to have to go straight back on Sunday.  Our poor little pup began showing signs of possible pancreatitis, a fairly common (and fairly terrifying) post-surgery complication, and a new – that’s right, a new – herniated disc in his back.

At this point, I’m pretty sure Harry could be the star dog of a reality show about the medical mysteries and inner workings of an emergency veterinary hospital.   Mark Burnett, are you reading this?

On Wednesday morning, we did “take two” of Harry’s homecoming.


So far so good this time around, which is why I’ve officially lifted the veil of darkness from the blog.  It’s time to lighten up a little bit.  That, and being sad and worried and scared all the time is exhausting.

It just so happens that Harry was first hospitalized the day after my 38th birthday.  This unfortunate confluence of events unleashed my inner shopaholic, which was downright reckless considering the cost of pet healthcare.  (FYI: Obamacare doesn’t cover dogs.)

Like our favorite Chinese food delivery place (that we can no longer afford), the veterinary hospital has our credit card on file.  Hanukkah and Christmas this year (and next) (and the year after that) are cancelled, and family vacations will resume in approximately 30 years when Dylan and Riley invite us on their family trips to babysit their whiny and cranky children.  We’ve even given Harry-Barry Bo-Berry Bo-to-the-Berry a new nickname: Reno, as in, the kitchen Reno-vation that will never happen.

Yet… even so… but still… nonetheless… be that as it may… I. cannot. stop. shopping.

It started off innocent enough.  It was my birthday, after all.  I had some gift cards from friends and family, all of which helped make a little electric stage blue dream come true.


Happy Mama!

But then things got a little weird.  One morning, I found myself filling an shopping cart with pillows, clothing, and tchotchkes covered with Boston Terriers.  On that wacky online adventure down the “let’s turn my house and wardrobe into a shrine to Harry” rabbit hole, I found that the jewelry company, Dogeared, has a new line called “Wag” that features charms of popular dog breeds.  I quickly deduced that they didn’t have a Boston Terrier charm, so I did what any Shopaholic Mama with a sick dog in the hospital would do.  I emailed customer service.

Dear Customer Service, 

Please – oh please – make a Boston Terrier charm – for your new Wag collection!  Please.  PLEASE.  PLEASE!!!


Crazy Shopaholic (With A Sick Dog) Mama

Do you know what?  They actually emailed me back.  The same day.  They said they’d forward my request to their design team (or perhaps to their security team).  Either way, I’m cool, as long as they make the damn charm.  In the meantime, I’m seriously considering their dog bone necklace in silver.

While we’re on the topic of online shopping, I may or may not have purchased a blouse covered with owls from  (They didn’t have a blouse covered in dogs…that I know of.)

After my online binge (relax, I didn’t buy anything on Etsy…yet), I moved on to some good old-fashioned brick and mortar shopping.  Of course, I timed that spree with the fall Bloomingdale’s Friends & Family sale.  Of course.  And, of course, walking around the store caused me to fixate on what to wear to my 20th high school reunion on November 30th.  The reunion that’s seven weeks from now.  Of course.

I could wear the owl blouse, but I wonder what my high school classmates would think about me walking into the reunion dressed as creepy owl lady a month past Halloween?  After twenty years, we’re supposed to be past all the insecurities, right?  My owl obsession is totally cool, isn’t it?  Isn’t it?

A sweater and boots would probably be more appropriate for Massachusetts weather in late November, but somewhere between the denim and the shoe department, I became totally and completely obsessed with finding yellow sandals, because a splash of color on my feet would look great with the black and white striped dress that recently arrived in the mail from  (Did I fail to mention that online purchase?)  It doesn’t matter, though, because I couldn’t find yellow sandals anywhere.  Winter boots and metal embellished booties were everywhere, which should have turned my razor-sharp Crazy focus back to cold-weather fashion for the reunion, but instead it further fueled my ridiculous infatuation with buying yellow sandals for the sleeveless racerback voile dress that I could never wear in November in New England…unless I had a cardigan, but I digress.

I left Bloomingdale’s empty-handed and defeated, with my tail between my legs, and, sadly, wondered if DSW might still have a good summer sandal selection.  Back at home, I walked straight into my closet and practically tripped over a beautiful pair of yellow sandals with a cork platform heel THAT. I. ALREADY. OWNED.

Dear God.

My name is the Runaway Mama and I am a Shopaholic.

Harry is finally home for good (we hope), and it’s no coincidence that my shopaholic bender has subsided, too.  There are still some packages arriving on my doorstep here and there (look the other way, people!), but the frenzy is over.

Poor little Reno, er, Harry has a long recovery ahead of him.  He spends most of his time resting in a crate.  He’s not allowed to do anything but eat, take meds, pee and poop, and sleep.  Doctor’s orders.  This course of treatment might also be the perfect prescription for a helpless, hopeless, and accidentally unleashed Shopaholic.


Filed under birthday, Happy Mama, Harry, Shopaholic Mama, shopaholism, shopping