jingle rangle jangle

06 Aug

I am not an impulse buyer.

I’m one of those people who likes to go into stores and browse.  I try on fifty pairs of pants, gingerly examine forty three pairs of shoes, try out the weight of eighty nine pairs of earrings, and then I breeze out the door, having found nothing that is absolutely perfect.  It’s gotten to the point where sales people are suspicious I’m about the rob the joint.  I’m just lingering until that buff dude leaves the bangle section of Claire’s, and then I’m going to pull out a semiautomatic and scream, “EVERYBODY HIT THE GROUND.  PUT ALL THE BEDAZZLED HEADBANDS IN THE BAG RIGHT NOW!”  They’d call me the Bogo Bandit.


Buy One, Get One.

What, you don’t speak Sale?  Neither do I.  I just know the good cuss words.

Anyway, yesterday I had to stay late at work and I decided I was going shopping.  I started at Ross (my usual haunt) and tried on everything in the store, including a pair of extra-large women’s shorts in a black and white cheetah print that said ‘LICK ME’ on the butt, and after I was satisfied that nothing in the world would ever fit me, I started walking out.

That’s when I saw it.

It was beautiful.  It was punk-rock.  It was a black t-shirt with the word ‘LOVE’ spelled out in faded sign language, and it spoke to me.  I grabbed it off the rack, and made the decision to buy it without trying it on.

You guys, I never do that.  Never.  Ever.  To me, that’s like scaling Everest without a sherpa, or jumping into the boxing ring with Mr. T.  It’s like I went to the luging track and was like, “Hey, can I get a luge over here?  I wanna go luging.  I’ve never done it before, but I saw it on T.V. once.”

So I took that T-shirt to the front counter and slapped it down in front of the tired yet friendly cashier.

“I am going to buy this shirt,” I declared, “without trying it on.”

“Great,” said the cashier.  “Credit or debit?”

“No idea what it will look like on me,” I went on.  “I just saw it and had to have it.  That’s the kind of person I am.  Today.  A person who buys things off the rack.  Maybe I’ll go luging tonight too.  Who knows?  I’m pretty nuts.”

“Have a good day,” the cashier told me, bagging my T-shirt and motioning towards the door.

As I headed to the car, I had brilliant visions in my head of my new punk-rock T-shirt.  I could wear it with ripped jeans and my cowboy boots.  I could do a messy ponytail, maybe some white shiny eyeshadow.  And…what else?  I realized, with a sad little sinking feeling in my tummy, that I didn’t really have any punk-rock accessories.  The bulk of my jewelry is hand-me-downs from Nana and the utilitarian necklaces that my sister left behind when she finished her flannel Nirvana phase.  I wanted, nay, I needed to go get some accessories to match the shirt.

Happily, I wandered into the Maurice’s next to Ross and bee-lined straight for the glittering columns of jewelry.  I selected two pieces, a long purple beaded kind of thing with lots of layers, and a shorter silver mess of pearls with a flower on it.  I paid and left, giddy with the adrenaline of my impromptu spree.

When I got home, I ran into the bedroom and tore off my work clothes and eager to try on my new hardcore outfit.  I slid the shirt on, and…huh.  Okay.  It kind of…pooched out my belly a bit.  And was kind of short.  And rode up on my shoulders.  And made my chest look weird.

I looked at myself in the mirror, wrapped in an ill-fitting shirt, and slowly pulled it off.

Caution – 1.  Impulse – 0.

The necklaces, at least, were cute.  This morning I got up early and showered.  I lathered some goop I found in the bathroom closet in my hair, and dried it with the hair-dryer, getting it as flat and shiny as I could.  I put on makeup and moisturizer, and selected a necklace.  The flower-pile won out, and I strode proudly into work, satisfied with the picture I made.  Stylish.  Trendy.  Modern Girl On The Go.  I looked like someone who didn’t have time to make small-talk.  Time is money, people!  Where’s my latte?

While bounding (as Modern Girls are wont to do) past the cubicles, I realized I needed to stop into Melody’s office.  Melody is a realtor in our office, one of the old school agents that goes after a deal like a determined pitbull.  She always has an oscillating fan reverberating in her office, even in winter.  She’s always a bit overwarm, a side effect of all her realting, I imagine.

So I lean into Melody’s office and as I do I hear a strange, yet ominous sound.


My necklace, my pretty little pile of flowers and pearls, jingles like sleigh bells whenever I move.

I have no idea why I didn’t notice it sooner.  My overconfidence probably clogged my ears with cotton.  I would have heard it if KT Tunstall songs about self-love weren’t pouring through my brain, like the opening of a chick flick where a gal gets ready in the morning.  In any case, my necklace was jingling, and the air from the fan set it off like a wind chime every time the oscillation pointed in my direction.

It’s okay, I thought.  We can be professional about this.

“So, Melody,” I said.  “Hi.  How’s biz?”

“Great.  Got any buyers for me?”

“You’ll be the first to know.  Listen, I had a-”


“I…uh.  Sorry.  I lost my train of thought.  I had…oh!  Yes.  I had a question about the storage in the new building.


“You’ve seen the little storage corrals they’re-”


“Uhhhh.  Uh.  Uhm.  What was I saying?”

“Storage,” Melody reminded me, the corners of her lips twitching.

“Right.  I wanted to see if you thought you might have-”


“You miiiiight…uh, do you mind if I come in?”

I repositioned myself in a place that I hoped would be less prone to sound-effects, leaning up against the wall.  My logic was this:  if I stood in the corner, where the fan only hit occasionally, the sporadic burst of air would set off the jingling.  So if I position myself where there is as constant a stream of air as possible, the jingling would lessen.

The only problem here is that this is an oscillating damn fan, and there is no constant stream of air anywhere.  The only thing I had accomplished was sticking myself in the exact center of the fans rotation, setting off my stupid necklace twice as often as before.  I had already made a point of moving though.  To do so again, chased around the room by a frickin-fracken fan was intolerable.  I stood my ground.

“So anyway,” I began again.  “I was curious about-”


“I was curious about whether you would have any-”


“If whether you might have some extra space-”


“In…sorry.  I can’t seem to keep my train of-”


“I said I can’t keep my…uh…my train-”


“Can’t keep my-”


“Can’t keep-”




“I can’t keep my train of thought.  Sorry.  It’s like my head is on backwards today.”

“Sure,” Melody said, nodding graciously.  I got the impression she was quietly laughing at me.  I couldn’t imagine why.  This was very serious.  I had something to say, and I couldn’t go more than five seconds without getting



Fuming, I clapped my hand to my neck and scuttled backwards out of the office, my eyes on the vicious fan.  Safely in the hallway I recomposed myself and reassumed my professional pose.

“Melody, you mind coming to see me when you have some time?  I…have to go.”

“Oh, of course,” Melody said.  “No problem.”

Smiling at her, I took off past the cubicles, followed by a chorus of sleigh bells.


Caution: 2.  Impulse: 0.


Posted by on August 6, 2010 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “jingle rangle jangle

  1. sarah

    August 6, 2010 at 11:08 am

    yes yes. this makes sense, of course. but your jingle jangling is probably less painful than the ghostly pair of Very Expensive Parisian High-Heeled Shoes that have been haunting me for the last four or so years. They were high-fashion enough that they were only available for one season, and then gone. So when Caution and Impulse finally had a baby named Reason, she was left without her damn pair of perfectly-fitting, sneaker-comfortable lovely shoes. Perhaps it’s just my obsession with regret. But I’d rather buy a few jingly things if it means I don’t have to be haunted for the rest of my life by the ghosts of Purchases Not Made.

  2. supesukauboi

    August 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I cannot remember the last impulse purchase I made. It was probably a Star Wars Roleplaying book purchased from Amazon. Online purchasing makes it far too easy to kiss your money goodbye. I’ve been resisting the Starcraft II digital download for over a week now.

    Too bad the jingle-jangle jewelry isn’t green, else it’d be perfect for Christmas time. Maybe you could still jury-rig it into wind chimes?

  3. Liz

    August 6, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Heeheehee! That made me happy! Not about your misfortune, but that I’ve lost to the impulse buying as well. I’ve been attracted to the punk look lately, but that would mean getting rid of the wardrobe I already have to make room for it, and I can’t afford to buy a whole new wardrobe.

  4. Kelly

    August 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Jangly necklaces are the worst! It’s why I can’t seem to get into really layering necklaces, even though I think it’s the bees knees on other (stationary) people.

  5. lisa

    August 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    It’s not the jangling of layered or statement necklaces that bothers me so much as the tangling. I never mastered the trick of layering necklaces and getting them all to lie flat and not get caught in a big mess.


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