Nancy Roman

Personal Best!

I survived!

I survived a whole month without shopping!

My niece introduced me to Pretend Shopping. She finds great stuff on the internet and sends photos to her friends, saying, “I pretend-bought this for you!”

Here’s what she once picked out for me:

kitty tights


Pretend-Shopping is a great idea, and so I did a lot of it this month. My Pinterest page now has lots of stuff I will never buy.  Let’s just consider Pinterest my Pretend-Closet.

I Pretend-Bought tee shirts (mostly striped) and watches (mostly jeweled) and as long as it was only Pretend, I added gray suede over-the-knee boots and a bright yellow clingy dress.

But my favorite Pretend-Purchase was this:

ripped jeans


Oh yeah. I want holey jeans for my Pretend-Wardrobe. For the extra-chic, they are called Distressed Jeans. But I can’t call them that. It distresses me to think that jeans would ever be unhappy on my body.

I asked my Facebook friends if 63 was too old for ripped jeans. Everyone said to go for it. But mostly they are not 63.

So I asked my husband. “Do you think ripped jeans are sexy?”  He wasn’t sure. So that’s a NO. My husband is always sure of sexy. (He didn’t see them with these leopard heels though.)

Pretend-Shopping saved me shitloads of money.

But I can’t say I didn’t cheat at all.

My husband bought a dartboard on a whim. He built a backboard for it and hung it in the cellar. And it’s really fun. We’ve been playing almost every day. So I spent $6.00 on a whiteboard to hang near the dartboard on its backboard. So we can keep a scoreboard.  It’s my contribution towards togetherness, so it doesn’t count.

Dartboard with Backboard and Whiteboard.  The score is still up because I won. I erase it right away when I lose.

Dartboard with Backboard and Whiteboard with Scoreboard. The score is still up because I won. I erase it right away when I lose.


I also bought a microdermabrasion cleanser. I never knew I needed one, but a few months ago the saleslady at Sephora gave me a sample, and I really liked it. And the little jar was almost empty, so I figured I’d buy the full size one. I looked it up. It was $75.00. So I bought a different one from that was $13.00. I like the $75 one a lot better, but I consider my purchase as a savings, not an expenditure. So it also doesn’t count.

So neither the whiteboard nor the cleanser counts against my non-shopping month.

So how did I cheat?

We went to New York this week, and with time to spare before the train, we wandered into an art supply store. And there in one crowded aisle was one fabulous little memory.



My favorite teacher, Sister Regina Marie,  introduced me to these Cray-Pas oil pastels when I was in sixth grade. It was her way of helping us graduate from crayons to something a little more sophisticated. I loved these oil sticks. And Sister taught us how to blend colors so that this little set was all we needed.

I showed them to my husband, and told him that I had this set in school fifty years ago.

“Buy them,” he said.

And I did.

And that’s how I cheated.

The price:  $5.95.

That is the least I have ever spent in one month in all those fifty years since I drew with Cray-Pas. A Personal Best!

And it was a pleasure to use them again. I need a little practice, but I’ll get the hang of it. Here’s a self-portrait I did in my own inimitable style. My style is a truly unique technique – which you may have noticed – that results in every picture of me looking thirty years younger.

You can’t be a better artist than that.




  1. yrmama

    I’m going to start pretend buying things. We used to do it with the JC Penney catalog back in the olden days.


    • What I guess I should have admitted is how many items I have in my Amazon cart just waiting for me.


  2. I’d like to Pretend Buy a tummy as flat as the gal’s in the holey jeans and stilettos…..


    • i really want those holey jeans. I hate being old.


      • Those holey jeans are MUCH more accessible to you than that flat tummy is to me. Go for it – with those stilettos, your hubby will definitely find holey jeans SEXY!


  3. I will try that pretend buying thing but doubt I could last a month! The idea makes me smile though – and your stories make me laugh.


  4. Pretend Buying sounds like what we did back in the ’50’s when we would walk down “the” main street after lunch at “the” cafeteria. (It was a small town.) We called it window shopping. Lovely memory. I tried to instill in my daughter an appreciation for the distinction between shopping and buying. Didn’t work.


    • P.S.
      Need a link to your Pinterest closet!


    • I love internet window-shopping. And I have a lot more control online than in a store.


  5. I love your pretend outfit but I probably wouldn’t wear the holey jeans either and I’d fall over if I wore heels that high! I think it would look pretty good on ladies of our vintage if the jeans had no holes and the leopard shoes were flats.


  6. Just consider it your wish list! I have a long one. Think I’ll pretend buy a little this month. You know – it’s tax time and April is not always fruitful for me! Right in the middle of needing a new summer wardrobe too. 😦


    • I’m a little worried that I will buy everything on my wish list sooner or later.


  7. Love the idea of pretend shopping. Hubby and I used to window shop a lot…….. when the shops were shut!
    I also remember the dart board as I used to play many years ago before I met Hubby. ‘Home’ was in the hall and ‘Away’ was in the bedroom. The only time I scored the magic 180, no-one was there to see it!


  8. When I was a teenager I did pretend shopping in the Sears catalog. I would put fabulous (by my definition) outfits together but of course we couldn’t afford them. Not even from Sears. No wonder I love to buy clothes! All that holding back. BTW, love the jeans but I just gotta have those shoes! They are GORGEOUS! Of course, I need new feet to be able to walk in them. I hate getting old too. Go out and get the good cleanser! It will make your day.


    • I love those shoes too – but I have all but given up on high heels. I love that pricey cleanser – I will keep my eye out for a sale.


  9. Love your self-portrait – you’re very talented! That box of pastels brings back memories for me, too. Grown-up crayons – how cool is that?


    • Thanks! I am better with my colored pens than those crayons…. but I’ll practice some more.


  10. My sister and I used to ‘pretend shop’ via the (old) Eaton’s catalogues (especially at Christmas-time). We’d even cut out the pictures of the dresses and shoes and day-of-the-week underwear we wanted and paste them into little scrapbooks. Sometimes we’d try to replicate the outfits (using ‘construction paper’ and our trusty crayons) to create new wardrobes for our paper dolls. What fun! I think I’ll start pretend buying for my ‘someday’ retirement home – I’ll start with the Architectural Digest store!


    • My sisters and I used to make paper dolls out of the Montgomery Ward catalog.


  11. I love your style. You should do sketches of all your blogger friends *my hand is up* in that 30 years younger style.
    I would pin the same picture with the holey jeans but I would pin it because I love the jacket.


  12. I know I haven’t been keeping up my blog reading, but was this no-shopping for Lent??? I bought “distressed” jeans Wednesday at old navy. I like them, but hubby hates them. he said, “I cannot believe you paid MONEY for those.” he just doesn’t understand. and I really like your pastel selfie.


  13. Ok I am fascinated by and adoring the cat stockings!!!!! 🙂 LOL. Hey if the Purple Hat ladies can wear purple and red together in their 70s why can’t you wear distressed jeans??? How about “gently worn?” 🙂


    • Wouldn’t those cat stockings be fun to wear?


  14. I have done pretend buying for years, all mostly upgrades to my house. I keep the links to what I love on a spreadsheet. I like your idea though, expanding beyond the big ticket.

    I adore the cat stockings.


  15. I’m very jealous, pretend buying, sounds great. I’ve never heard of it, sounds better than Spider Solitaire. I’m missing the fun.


  16. I wish I was 30 years younger (and 40 pounds lighter) so I could buy those tights for real – so, friggin’ adorable.

    I still have the box of Grumbacher oil pastels I bought in junior high, but I never really learned to use them. Your portrait is wonderful!


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