How To Buy Eight Pairs of Jeans, Seven Tank Tops, and a Sippy Cup for Under $100

I cannot guarantee success unless instructions are followed to the letter.


  1. Tell your husband you want to go thrift store shopping for jeans.
  2. When he asks if it wouldn’t make slightly more sense to go to a regular store so you could buy multiple pairs if you found some that fit, explain that it’s like the lottery. (Buying one ticket does increase your chances of winning compared to buying no tickets, but the difference is so small as to be negligible.)
  3. Also point out that it would be nice to not look like you’re wearing the same clothes everyday.
  4. When he says he only owns one pair of jeans, remind him that he has told you on multiple occasions that he really doesn’t like wearing jeans all that much.
  5. When he says that yes, khakis are actually more comfortable, respond in an exasperated tone of voice that yes, on the multiple occasions that were just mentioned, this information was also shared.
  6. Realize that since he went out of town for a day to play video games last weekend, it’s his turn to babysit so you can go shopping. (Update: Yes, it’s not called babysitting when it’s a parent, I know. Convenient shorthand.)
  7. When you ask if you can go shopping on Saturday, let him bring up his trip last weekend before you do so he doesn’t think you’re punishing him for it.


  1. Find a thrift store ninja to go shopping with you. (Someone like Grace would be ideal.)
  2. Pretend that you’re going to drive this time, then show up at her house without your car.
  3. Go to a really big Goodwill.
  4. Don’t get a cart, because honestly, how much could you possibly find?
  5. Work your way down one row of women’s jeans, pulling out every pair in either of the sizes you might wear that is not horribly ugly. (Your ninja will be going through the rack opposite you on your behalf, but moving twice as fast.)
  6. Complain bitterly about how hard it is to find jeans that fit.
  7. Realize it’s tax-free weekend, but don’t imagine it will matter.
  8. Remark that if you go home with one pair of jeans that fits, you will be shocked.
  9. Find a few really heinous pairs of jeans, show them to your ninja, and enjoy a laugh together. (Actually you can do this whenever, it’s just what you do at thrift stores.)
  10. When your ninja says she has to get a cart because her arms are starting to get tired from all the jeans she’s pulled out, say “Okay.”
  11. When she returns with the cart, start to dump the jeans you’re holding on top of the jeans she was holding.
  12. Realize that she’s actually laid hers out neatly in a manageable pile.
  13. Carefully lay your jeans down so she doesn’t get annoyed that you’re messing up the cart.
  14. Scowl at how many pairs of jeans you’re going to have to try on.
  15. Grumble when your ninja tells you to improve your attitude, since at least you have jeans to try on, unlike women who wear larger sizes.
  16. Adjust your attitude as best you can, because that is an excellent point.
  17. Continue to accumulate jeans until you have gone through all of the racks of women’s jeans.
  18. Start to wonder if maybe you will find two pairs that fit. That would be so nice.


  1. Push cart to dressing room.
  2. Release ninja to other shopping pursuits.
  3. Look for sign with an item limit or a prohibition on pushing cart into dressing room.
  4. Find none.
  5. Push cart with many items into dressing room.
  6. Set aside four pairs of jeans because the color isn’t right.
  7. Try on 21 pairs of jeans.
  8. Find six pairs that actually fit.
  9. Find two pairs that would fit if there was more junk in your trunk, which there has been in the past and very well may be again once you are no longer breastfeeding.
  10. Wander out of dressing room completely disoriented, because how is this possible?
  11. Request assistance from your ninja in checking for holes, stains, weak spots.
  12. Find none.


  1. Take eight pairs of jeans to register.
  2. While paying, tell ninja that you remembered to bring her money for gas, but it’s all in $1 bills.
  3. When ninja asks if you’re going to put it in her g-string, decline.
  4. Don’t get as much of a laugh from the cashiers for the g-string related banter as you might hope.
  5. Scold your ninja for asking for a plastic bag.
  6. Relent when your ninja reminds you she has several cats who use litterboxes.
  7. Leave store.


  1. Proceed to next Goodwill.
  2. When ninja asks what we’re looking for, say “shirts?”
  3. When pressed for details, suggest sleeveless, or possibly with sleeves, like last time when you and your ninja pillaged the Goodwill down south for shirts to wear to BlogHer.
  4. Go through all racks of sleeveless shirts.
  5. Inquire of your ninja twice “is this cute or ugly?”
  6. Remember with satisfaction why you bring your ninja with you on these excursions, because the answer in both cases is “ugly” and what if you had bought them?
  7. Release ninja to other shopping pursuits.
  8. Proceed to dressing room.
  9. Try on 11 shirts.
  10. Find six that fit.
  11. Go back and forth about the seventh until you realize that the strange sensation you are noticing is actually the feeling of having your stomach completely covered by your shirt even though you are wearing low-rise jeans.
  12. Realize that this is a good thing, since you are almost 34 years old.
  13. Decide to purchase seven shirts.


  1. Find your ninja in housewares with a new in package Foogo straw cup for $2.99.
  2. When ninja asks “Does Boy Detective need this?” say yes.
  3. Ask what you have done to make the thrifting gods happy, because you will do it again.
  4. Don’t get as much of a laugh from the other shopper nearby for the thrifting gods banter as you might hope.
  5. Proceed to cash register.
  6. Pay.
  7. Say to yourself “Holy cow, I bought eight pairs of jeans, seven shirts, and a sippy cup for $95.09!”
  8. Say to yourself “Did you just say holy cow?”
  9. Remind yourself that you are in an ongoing process of trying to swear less so you don’t end up with a toddler yelling “fuck!” in the grocery store.
  10. Admit to yourself that since the trying to swear less effort is so disorganized, you are now likely to end up with a toddler yelling “holy fuck!”
  11. Leave store.


  1. Call home to check in, get voice mail.
  2. Leave a message saying “I guess you’re either giving Boy Detective a bottle or putting him down for his nap, call me.”
  3. Propose to your ninja that lunch be eaten.
  4. Try to decide on a location for lunch.
  5. Answer phone when it rings.
  6. Find out that baby has not had bottle or nap.
  7. Sigh.
  8. Go home.

One thought on “How To Buy Eight Pairs of Jeans, Seven Tank Tops, and a Sippy Cup for Under $100

  1. Grace

    I may be the ninja, but I’ve NEVER bought that many clothes in one day. I bow to your superior ability to fit into common brands.

    Also, that was really fun. Except when the ladies didn’t laugh at my g-string joke. Don’t they know I’m a ninja?

Comments are closed.