An Economic Anxiety Diary

Two weeks of national chaos, as charted by my retail therapy.

January 22, 2017

Retail Therapy: Everlane Sweater Dress

My beautiful friend Katri stops by the shop for tea. I show her my pictures from the Women’s March on Washington the day before. “You look just like your mom,” Katri says. My mother’s smile in the picture is as wide as her “Feminist” sticker.

January 26, 2017

Retail Therapy: Crazy Sexy Wool in Stonewash Blue, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #15, Snotgirl #2

My current nervous habit, brutalizing my cuticles with tweezers, has one fatal flaw: eventually you run out of cuticles. Knitting seems like a healthier way to keep my hands busy, even if the only thing I currently know how to knit are increasingly long rectangles (“scarves” seems overly generous). As rumored, Looped Yarn Works (a very cute yarn shop in Dupont Circle) is 100% sold out of pink yarn.

My favorite D.C. comic book shop, Fantom Comics, is just a few blocks away, and today they’re donating 15% of the days’ sales to Planned Parenthood in honor of the March for Life downtown. I pick up the new Squirrel Girl and a back-issue of Snotgirl. (Don’t let the gross name scare you away from a delicious murder mystery!)

January 27, 2017

Retail Therapy: The Ordinary Retinol 1% and 100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil

Woke up to an executive order banning Syrian refugees. Donated to the ACLU between bites of cereal. Both sets of grandparents are WWII refugees; my father’s father from Ukraine, my mother’s mother from Sicily. Are we still the country that welcomed them? I decide that I will face the coming days with clear goddamn skin. Will report back on the retinol.

January 28, 2017

Retail Therapy: Jane Mai Motivational Notebook

The first day of the Lunar New Year. The shop is pleasantly busy all day, and my boyfriend and parents meet me for shabu-shabu after work. Life feels more full than I could ever deserve. Apparently pomelos symbolize abundance and prosperity during the Lunar New Year, so I make sure to hose myself down with Atelier Cologne Pomelo Paradis. It’s a charmingly familiar tradition as a Jew; pomegranates (with their many seeds) are a Rosh Hashana symbol of abundance.

January 31, 2017

Retail Therapy: Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

A lot of my first fragrance loves have drifted back onto my radar recently. Lipstick Rose, the first Frederic Malle I ever tried, sweet-talked me into bringing it home at Aedes de Venustas last month. And when New Haarlem, which I wore to freaking prom, dropped below $100 on FragranceNet, I had to click “buy”. Is it nostalgia? An escape to years that felt less troubled and uncertain?

The night of the inauguration, the unsinkable Alyssa Harad visited Arielle Shoshana for a reading of her memoir, Coming To My Senses. The last passage she chose was a list of inalienable rights to which every perfume wearer is entitled, which ends, “The right, when she wants it, to take up some space.” New Haarlem, for better or for worse, sure does take up space. This brazen frappachino of a perfume is a talisman around my wrist, a reminder that I have space to fill and ground to hold, too.

Alyssa Harad + enraptured audience.

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