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Recently, I’ve realized that I receive something like a bajillion and two business emails every day. Once upon a time, I signed up for them thinking that I’ll get more coupons and save more money. On a regular basis, I receive — and either open or straight up delete — emails from:

  • Ulta
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Michael’s
  • Jo-Ann Fabrics
  • JewelMint
  • O’Charley’s
  • Logan’s Roadhouse
  • Papa John’s
  • NY & Company

And those are just the ones I’m remembering off the top of my head. Has signing up for these email lists saved me money? A little. I like Logan’s “buy one entree, get one 1/2 off” deals. But the emails have also had me scouring Ulta.com to find some lipstick I don’t need just so I can get two free bottles of nail polish I don’t need.

Starting Jac & Elsie seems to have started another little trend for me: shopping online. Jac & Elsie means I read blogs more, and I like creative blogs, so I see what people I virtually admire are admiring. I easily find more than half of all gifts I purchase online. If I need a card, I’ll check Julie Ann Art first. If Scathingly Brilliant tells me about a great sale going on at Ever & Mi Crush, I’m over there buying two Christmas gifts in August (and a sweater for me). When What I Wore wears the same amazing black shoes in post after post, I’m going to stare at them wide-eyed until I can get into my local DSW and try them on. (Seriously, if anyone wants to send me those bad boys in black and a a size 10, I would not turn them down.)

As my world is opening to more than what’s at Kohl’s and the mall, I’m finding I like stuff more. And that makes me feel gross and materialistic. Me, a girl who judges small-time bloggers for doing outfit posts because, “Um, seriously? And who are you?” (but not you, aforementioned bloggers in this post, I heart your outfit posts, no lie), is suddenly interested in trends I see and admire. I want a Peter Pan collar (see below)! I want clothes with little leather detailing! No, I still don’t want you mullet hems and peplum, get thee gone, you ugly beasts. But, ooo, wonder what other colors of nail polish I can find over at Birchbox?

Now, I counter this with the fact that I’m kind of cheap. I rarely buy what’s not on sale (Mama didn’t raise no fool), so it’s not like I’m blowing wads and wads of cash on my frivolities. But that’s just it — they’re frivolities. Those fitted black stretchy pants I just bought with the amazing faux leather stripes down the side of either leg are not going to make my life better, not really. They just made my legs look good when I put them on. (And seriously. These pants. Oh man. Thank you, TJ Maxx.)

So lately? I’m grappling with feeling kind of materialistic. And it’s not a feeling I’m comfortable with. Because it makes me feel shallow.

My friend Amanda recently sent me this column with some commentary like, “Woah, this smacked me in the face in a good way.” I certainly feel gratitude every day. I certainly don’t think things will make me happier. If I had nothing, I’d still be happy because I have a lot of love and good people in my life. No, these things are just the frosting on the big, honkin’ chocolate cake of my life.

And sometimes, I guess, I just feel like a little more frosting.