This is the result of the shopping trip.

And this is what I will do to anyone who laughs.

Actually, that was the least painful clothes shopping experience I've ever had. Mom dragged me to Macy's, and by a stroke of fortune we passed by the office for the personal shoppers, where Mom explained my predilection towards t-shirts and jeans to a wonderful lady named Ilana, who proceeded to help me find a suit that was... comfortable. For something that wasn't a t-shirt and jeans, anyway. I could probably play football in it, if I wouldn't be strangled by my mother for doing so. And it looked good enough to satisfy my mom.

I'm going to use a personal shopper whenever I need to get "nice clothes" from now on; my sense of fashion is nonexistent enough that I desperately need the help. Hopefully "from now on" means "maybe in 2 or 3 decades I'll start thinking about clothes shopping again." Mom still wants to sign me up for that fashion consultation thing, though. I'm working on persuading her that a nice set of O'Reilly books would add more long-term functionality to my repertoire, but this is the woman - though I love her dearly - who signed me up for modeling classes once upon a time. And yes, I had to take them. And no, I'm not kidding.

So there was the suit, and then the second pair of pants, and the dress shirts, and the shoes (can't we just make black sneakers acceptable business attire?) and the final price tag which makes me hyperventilate and is probably by far the most that has ever been spent on my clothing. This is not difficult, as I'm used to hand-me-downs, discount stores, and free t-shirts as my main source of garb. Shirts over $5 are expensive, and walking around a "normal mall" leaves me in a continuous daze of sticker shock (will someone explain this "$50 for a logo on your shirt" phenomenon to me?)

We didn't have an awful lot of money when I was small; it carries over into your adult life, and I'm glad for it. It still feels really weird to live in a nice house with a dishwasher and a new oven that works; it feels like we're too rich to be right. I'm not complaining, mind you. I freakin' love that dishwasher. And I know that in the grand scheme of things we're really upper-middle middle class at best. But it makes me feel guilty to see money being spent on stuff I don't need - going to a nice dinner with friends, getting a space heater for my bedroom (the draftiest part of the house) instead of wearing double-pajamas and socks, having a graphics tablet (okay, that really does make me more productive.) And it makes me uncomfortable buying a nice suit.

I need to stop having this vague guilt over spending money when it's spent wisely.