From Dittos to Diesel - June 12, 2012

For those of you old enough, my mother was wearing Dittos until the late 90s.  If you lived in any part of the 70s, these were the colored, bell-bottom jeans with two lines embroidered on the butt.  Why didn’t she upgrade until well after two decades?  Because she didn’t want to spend the money on new jeans and these were perfectly fine.  I’m sure the zipper went kaput for the 30th time and she had no other choice.


She was a scientist, so it wasn’t like we were collecting food stamps or breeding worms to make our own garments.  I used to think she was crazy and cheap, pretty much crazy cheap.  In fact, I cruelly used to mimic a bird and repeat, “chhheeeap, chhheeeap…” in her ear.  Yes, I was very annoying and I’m sure this will come back to haunt me.  Babyface already has her share of annoying habits.


Well, it’s true that you never know what it’s like to be a parent, until you are one.  I am now walking in the same shoes as my mother and they’re old and worn.  I used to shop at BCBG and buy $10 drinks at the bar.  Now, my 401k has been replaced by a 529.  My BCBG and Betsy Johnson clothes are all circa 2005 and before.  Bargain is the new chic.


I had never even stepped foot into a Marshall’s or Ross: Dress for Less until I gave birth.  Now, I no longer know what the inside of a boutique store looks like.  I’m wearing the same jeans I bought five years ago+.  I’m glad I bought the expensive ones before we had to start saving $350k for Babyface’s college.  I should be able to break another five years out of these Diesel, bad boys.  Diesel will be my Dittos.


Yes, by the time Babyface goes to college, it will be well over a quarter of a million to go to a private university.  And, that’s assuming she doesn’t fall prey to the pony keg and porcelain god and need to stay another year…or two (well, at that point, there will be no 529 and she will have to work at Marshall’s or Ross).


Yes, there are state schools, but with the budget cuts occurring this far in the future, we may be forced to send her to private, in case she doesn’t get in, and I like to be prepared.  College may not be a right in the future.  It may only be for the financially privileged.


Everyone has a different view of where to put away their savings.  Some say, it goes into the retirement fund first.  Their kids will have to deal with paying for college; they’ll help the best they can.  Others, like me, worry more for the future of our kids and hope the nursing home will be cheap, so they don’t have to suffer.  I’m sure there’s a happier medium in this spectrum, possibly to donate to both.  But, until the economy flips around, we’ll have to pick and choose or maybe soon have nothing to put away and no choice to make.


I am a victim of cute, kids clothes, though.  I do my best to shop for sales, but Babyface pretty much dresses in BCBG for kids.  I can’t help myself.  The dresses are so darn adorable.


The fact that I do what needs to be done to protect my daughter financially, when I was flooding my closets with designer clothes just four years ago without a care, is a testament to how my parents raised me.  I have the same high standards for myself.


Wait a minute…Dittos are making a comeback.  Wish my mom saved hers.  They would be vintage.


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