This is not a column about pet care, nor should it be, but my turn to contribute came about a month after I adopted a puppy, whom I named Louise, so pretty much the only shit I bought was shit for her.
I’ve never been much for shopping because the attendant guilt from spending money on myself sours the whole experience for me, and I don’t like carrying bags home on the train. But shopping for Louise is a joy. Nothing puts a spring in my step like bringing home a puppy Kong or a Leaps and Bounds Medium Wildlife Hedgehog Toy for Louise. Whatever shit that puppy wants, she gets. She also gets a ton of shit she doesn’t want.
Speaking of shit, puppies who don’t have all their shots can’t walk outside, so for now, Louise poops in the house, just like me. And you know what are expensive as hell? Puppy pads. I have been using “Wee-Wee Pad” brand. Like half of my paycheck is going to these things, which are probably terrible for the environment. They are essentially diapers that, instead of sticking to the puppy’s butt, lie on the floor. But they get the job done.
All that poop isn’t coming from nowhere! I’ve been feeding her Blue Buffalo brand puppy kibble in chicken and brown rice flavor because that is often what I order in my burritos, and I wanted us to match. This food is fine. In fact, when I told the vet what I was feeding Louise, he declared it “fine.”
I enrolled Louise in puppy kindergarten, from which she graduates this week. Her teacher, Suzanne, said at the end of class last week that she “likes to see puppies in formalwear” on graduation day, so I bought Louise a bright red bandanna to wear for the occasion. While at Petland, I also bought her a Stars and Stripes Doggiedanna which is apparently made by a company called TLAAME.
In addition to puppy kindergarten, I’ve been training Louise according to the teachings of the Monks of New Skete, a group of, well, monks, who live in upstate New York and raise German shepherds with names like Anka and Sasha who lie in a “down-stay” under the table all night while the monks eat dinner. In New Skete, no one ever has to go to work, dogs have acres of premium land to explore, and there are no neighbors who play loud trance music until 2am. This is exactly how my life is, so it’s going great! I bought and read both The Art of Raising a Puppy (Revised Edition) and How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners, and as a result, I keep referring to “the monks” the way I suspect some people refer to their cult leaders.
The monks recommend “crate-training,” a thing where you confine your dog to what is basically a cage overnight and periodically throughout the day to try to convince her that the crate is her “den,” and that she loves it. So a Petco Classic 1-Door Dog Crate is among the shit I bought. And guess what. It works! Do you know this meme? That’s Louise every morning.
All of this would be impossible without dog treats, which—I will level with you—have set me back a few bones.* I’ve been teaching her to “sit,” “lie down,” “shake,” and “blog” using Zuke’s Mini Naturals Puppy Dog Treats in “Pork With Bacon” flavor. I find the flavor redundant and suspect, but these are the only kind that don’t give her diarrhea.
While we’re on the subject of money: I don’t feel an overwhelming need to tell you how much all of this cost, but I will tell you that my bank sent me an alert about how there had been “unusual spending on category: PETS” on my card recently. I considered texting them back “this is my new reality, Chase!!!” but exercised restraint.
Despite my obvious even temper in the face of trolling by my credit card company, I am not an actual monk of New Skete. So yeah, I bought something for myself!!! Sorry, Brother Christopher!!!! I treated myself to this lip cream from Nyx in “Copenhagen” because my friend Claire suggested I try a dark lip shade, and guess what: I freaking loved it, ok? It doesn’t feel gross and works like a stain that isn’t too matte. I’m not brave enough to wear it to work, but if it’s Friday at 6pm you better believe I’m putting this on in the bathroom at work before going home to hang with my new gal pal, Louise.
By the time you read this, assuming an errant bus or feral hog or Internet commenter doesn’t intervene, I will be 31 years old. This week I’ve been remembering my teen years, a strange time in my life when I had clothing in colors other than black.
It’s true: I had a ring-collar orange/white baseball tee that said TIGERS on it. I had a baby blue Dickies dress that I wore on dates (“dates”). I had a red and green plaid kilt. I still have all those things, actually, stuffed in a box in my room, although I don’t wear them anymore and never will again. Sometime in the past decade, everything I wore turned black, not necessarily because of my bad disposition—that too, though—but because it was easier and because I didn’t want anybody looking at me unless it was absolutely necessary.
In practice, this means that in the summer I have a heavy over-reliance on the same black tank tops and a single knee-length black skirt, plus a pair of black shorts I pull out when I’m feeling particularly nihilistic. It occurred to me recently that all of these things were disintegrating on my body and maybe I should buy new versions. Reader, I fucking did it, and in the process I introduced two things that are not entirely black into my wardrobe. Oh yeah. It’s a goddamn sea change.
I started by buying this bodycon skirt from Etsy that has dinosaur skulls on it. I see that the shop owner is taking a break, so you will not currently be able to buy one, but it’s a very good skirt. Extremely butt-friendly. It’s a little bit difficult for me to figure out how to wear, because it’s not totally black and because it requires a shorter-length top to look right, but we’re getting there.
Next, I went buckwild and decided it was time for a new pair of shorts. I had seen a girl at an art show wearing some that had an embroidered rose on them and was enamored, so I looked for a similar pair. I found Fashion Nova, which I guess is a site that the Kardashians frequently shill on Instagram. In what’s probably not a coincidence, all of their models have Kardashian-esque proportions.
I did not order.... whatever our girl there is doing on top or boot-wise. Good luck to her though. God bless.
Let me tell you something about these shorts: I first ordered them in a size small and they were microscopic. I usually have good luck ordering things off the internet in a small but these fit me like they were trying to rearrange my organs — again, maybe not a coincidence given the Kardashians’ love for corsets and “waist trainers” and other things the rest of us discarded at the turn of the century. I had to haul my decaying ass to the post office and exchange them, and then, when the medium size showed up, they were a little big. Whatever. They’re fine. I wore them to a picnic and didn’t feel like I was at risk of traumatizing the children who were present.
I also needed a new black knee-length skirt and new underwear, and I ordered all of that from Forever 21, plus a black crop top with little white buttons.
Look, I know. Fast fashion is bad. Buying things online is bad for the environment and bad for small businesses and I feel bad about it. However, the last time I physically went into a clothing store my shopping partner had to restrain me to keep me from leaving and force me to buy pants and a hoodie. I worked in clothing stores for a long time and now they give me hives and I can’t keep myself from compulsively straightening the hangers. The Internet is the only thing keeping me in underwear and that sometimes makes up for the sheer number of death threats it also delivers.
The bralette is incredibly nice. Fuck an underwire. The crop top and the skirt are both things I’ll wear constantly until they fall apart (three months, because Forever21). By the time you read this, probably all of these things will be unavailable, since clothing skids in and out of Forever21 at lightning speed and then goes to clutter a thousand landfills.
Lastly, I bought some new shit for my face, since I’m now over 30 and it’ll probably drop right off me into a moldering flesh-pile soon. I got this absurdly expensive Skin Laundry eye cream that’ll supposedly prevent wrinkles and this Ren face cream that is supposedly “anti-aging” and also good for oily skin.
It’s too soon to tell if either of these work, but they smell nice. In either case, no face cream or eye gizmo will prevent our inevitable decay or keep us from dying utterly and desolately alone. But I’d like to keep my shit tight until then, if possible.
My next, maybe unreachable goal is to get a new swimsuit that actually fits and that I did not pull out of the bargain bin at H&M. I saw one once at Brooklyn Fox that I still think about, but it was also $280 and my body is simply not worth that much. Please help.
This has been “Shit I Bought,” comprised of shit we actually bought. No company compelled us to write about it for any reason. We bought it all, for better and often for worse, with our own money and of our own free will.