Recent Vanity Purchases, Considered

by Kase Wickman

Haircut, $80 for a cut and style, including tip

Getting my hair cut for the first time in five months was what I like to refer to as a Carrie Prejean moment: I AM DOING THIS. I felt flush from getting a few freelance checks, bold from staring down a girl I dislike in the street and, well, hot from having an untamed mane in 100-ish degree heat.

Into the salon I marched, and sat down in the chair before I could run home to my apartment to pick my split ends with one hand and loving stroke my cash with the other.

Worth it? I came out with bangs! Bangs that I didn’t ask for, but bangs that looked pretty nice. Bangs aside (even though they can’t be, those bitches go nowhere but straight down across my forehead), what I really got out of this purchases was a sense of trust in a hairdresser that I haven’t had since my mom’s favorite salon guy bullied me with a can of hairspray when I was 10.

At the most recent place I went, everyone who worked there made really sly mean comments, like saying that an angled bob — my cut of choice — was for “really thin fashion girls” (they wrote that off as “a Korean joke”). So this was a relief. If you’re too old to sit in a plastic car with The Wiggles playing four inches from your face so you’ll sit still, you’re too old for haircuts to be scary anymore.

Patriotic manicure, $25.50 ($8 metallic blue essie polish, $8 white crackle polish, $9.50 Sephora by OPI red glitter polish, gifted silver glitter polish)

I’m not so bougie that I go and get my nails did — living room is just fine for me — but I do love painting my nails (if I had a nail blog, it would be called “Nailed It”). I also I love the Olympics. I love the Olympics so much that I cried a little when Nastia Liukin fell flat on her face in the trials. I love the Olympics so much that I started obsessing over a good patriotic manicure weeks in advance and bought a bunch of colors for it, including a white crackle polish that I will probably never wear (again).

Worth it? The seemingly high cost of this probably-single-use color combo, however, is offset by the fact that I nearly bought an online-only patriotic glitter topcoat from Sephora, and was only stopped by the fact that I refused to pay shipping on the single ($9.50) item and Eventually Felt Wrong about spending an extra $50 on nonsense to get free shipping. USA! USA!

Gym membership, $40 for 30 day membership plus two personal training sessions (thanks, LivingSocial!)

I’m told that regular exercise is part of a “healthy lifestyle,” and I can’t bring myself to wheeze my way around Prospect Park in the billion degree heat as often as Jillian Michaels says I should. I’m also tired of Jillian Michaels yelling at me from my TV, so when a deal came along for a fancy schmancy gym, with classes and everything, with extra sprinkles and a cherry and personal training sessions on top, I pounced.

I’ve taken full advantage in the week since I joined, to mixed results. Saturday morning Zumba: dumb, and how does she do that with her butt. Wednesday night spin: I’ve been violated by a bike seat. Personal training session numero uno: The one compliment he gave me was that I had good lower body strength, but that was “probably from carrying all that weight around” (pardon me?). According to Trainer Phil, I need five to six months of weekly training sessions, to the tune of a thousand dollars a month, to not be a lardo. Buddy, I came here on an EMAIL COUPON. What do you think my answer is?

Worth it? Unclear! I saved a jumbo-ton of money on the deal ($250 initiation fee, training sessions run about $70 per and a month’s membership is around $80), BUT I feel like I’ve paid hundreds of bucks’ worth of mental bummer through the gym’s introduction process: Everyone is constantly trying to sell me things, the membership lady’s response to my (within official medical “normal” range!) BMI was that I wasn’t “really really overweight” and nothing can ever make me forget that she tried to convince me that strip-dancing cardio class was a great idea for me. But! Fitness is forever? Or something?

New Shoes, $35.69 (40% off clearance price, plus 15% student discount)

So I had blisters the next day, but now I have stylin’ feet until I get tired of my new kickds/wear a hole in them. I haven’t been a student for two years, but I look plausibly young, my ID doesn’t have a date on it, and I like seeing people’s faces when they try and decide if the pasty blue-haired girl in the picture is actually me. The guilt is a small price to pay for the awesome discount.

Worth it? Absolutely. I don’t care if they’re suede, I don’t care that I’ve gotten them dirty in one wearing. If you find a pair of flats at J. Crew for $35, if you’re me, you buy them.

Kase Wickman has bangs now.