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Kirk: Why downtime is costing me, literally



Over the summer, I like to relax and breathe. I realized that this is one of my last real “summers.” You know, sleeping in until 11 a.m. (on most weekdays), staying up way too late causing mischief in the neighborhood, sneaking into my parents’ house when I’m intoxicated and, really, just acting my age. I’m at this point where I’m struggling to accept the fact that my future job won’t set me free for three months during the nicest time of the year.

This summer, I’m doing an internship and working part-part-time — I say that because my job varies like crazy, so some weeks I’ll have five hours of free time and other weeks I’ll have three days’ worth. Sometimes I find myself reading in the backyard for two hours at a time without being bothered, and other times, I have my boss at my internship emailing me, my boss at work calling me and my mom bitching at me to make an oil change appointment for Betty, my 1995 midnight blue Nissan Maxima — luxury vehicle of the year.

My first Monday off was really weird for me: I slept in until 10:30 a.m. — which is weird because during spring term, I woke up at 7:20 every morning even though I had class at noon.@@like, omg, [email protected]@ I accomplished my minor tasks: making the oil change appointment, updating my planner, cleaning my room, etc. I even had time to binge eat half a watermelon while reading. I’m not used to having so much free time, so here’s the problem that has become clear: I have a shopping [email protected]@what? this comes out of nowhere after three [email protected]@

It started about the day after I got home for the summer. I went to the mall with a friend to get some more clothes for my internship. She works at Nordstrom, so she’s got a sense of what fancy business people wear at work (something I’ve been dreading since I put on my first pair of Teva river sandals@@http://www.teva.com/@@ and never took them off. Give me a break, I’m a born-and-bred Portlander — that’s right, not Portlandian).

At the mall, strange things kept happening. For example, I saw a pair of Sperrys at Nordstrom Rack that I’ve been wanting for a long time; the problem was that they had a funny trim. So I said to my friend, I wish they had these in the plain pattern. BOOM! — There they are on the rack in my size, so I bought them. However, purchasing those shoes put me way over my budget and into financial depression — for about 30 minutes. I got home and told my mom of my impulse buy, to which Mama Barbie said, “Grammy always used to say: It’s just money.”

This is coming from a woman who at the mall the other day goes, “I just love the smell of the mall. It makes me so happy.” When I stared blankly at her, she justified her statement by saying, “Well, whenever I’m having a bad day, it cheers me up!”

It’s no wonder that my free time is now consumed by Amazon, The Clymb, and other online shopping — look at my female gene pool!@@yep, all their fault; can’t control [email protected]@ I’m the cheapest son-of-a-bitch you’ll ever meet, but — lo and behold! — I’ve found a shopaholic within myself. Do me a favor this summer and ask yourself:@@do i want to date this chick? [email protected]@ Is it worth it? If you answer no but then you leave the rack with a longing for the item, remember this: When in doubt, purchase. That’s what return policies are for.


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