2000kch, I was poor. And not a over-romanticized, freewheeling, not-poor-at-all kind of poor: thanks to a series of horrible decisions (and story that defines “it’s a long one”), I’d found myself tens of thousands of dollars in debt and moving back home because I couldn’t afford to pay rent anymore. It was bleak. I’ve never seen Shame, but I’m 99% sure that what it’s about.
My parents are generous but we’ve never had a lot of money, so instead of helping me financially, they gave me my childhood room back rent-free. They asked me to start paying back what I owed the bank, which meant the small amount I was earning was going towards interest payments, and that’s about it. I was Annie in Bridesmaids and this was my bottom. And because mania-fuelled shopping was why I ascended to the True Poor throne in the first place (#glamour), there was no way to justify shopping to make myself feel better this time—unless, I figured, I bought cheap.
Shopping has always been a constant for me. Growing up, I’d hang out with my Lithuanian Nana, and she’d take me to the mall where she’d barter with store clerks for pieces she didn’t need just to see if she’d win. (And she did. Every time. Which is also probably why D’Allaird’s doesn’t exist anymore.) If I saw something I liked, she’d tell me that if I found it cheaper somewhere else, she’d buy it for me, and walking into her rammed closet was a testament to just how much you can get for a bargain. Only idiots paid full price, and I, goddamn it, was not idiot.
So I adopted that mantra. As a teen, I’d come home, proudly showing my mom just how much I got for $10, $20, or $30, and when I worked at the mall in my twenties, I’d do the same, filling my own closet with name brand sweaters I didn’t need, but saw on sale, and claimed as prizes.
Then, in 2009, my life changed. Skipping class one afternoon, my best friend took me to Value Village for the first time. And I, wide-eyed and kind of scared, found my new second home. Four years of retail had made me bored of mass-produced inventory, so after adopting thrift shopping as “my thing,” I’d go to my shift at American Eagle and brag to everyone about what I was wearing that wasn’t from there. I figured that I was special. And though I praised VV for its affordability, I used it to copy other people and to interpret mainstream fashion in a cheaper way.
In April of that year I was living at home, making less money than I did when I worked at McDonalds, and unbeknownst to my then-26-year-old self, I was still another year away from learning my spending was partially in fault of my brain’s wiring. So, with my new lack of income, I returned to Value Village, but with a new mindset: now, I had to shop there. And because I felt so lost in every other aspect of my life, I figured I could at least gain control using the types of clothes I bought.
So that’s when I began using second-hand pieces, sales, and stamp cards to create a wardrobe that, at the time, I felt was me. By autumn, I wanted nothing but to kill the girl who I felt was a failure, so I embraced the super-feminine pieces and vintage dresses that old me would’ve dismissed—and got them for $10 and $15 a pop.
High on these types of clothing finds, I began rejecting new things and chain stores completely. Anything over $20 was too expensive, so I’d create outfits I’d seen on TV (read: Mary Tyler Moore) with discounted pieces. I got creative: $50 for a new dress was obscene (that’s a minimum payment, people), so I’d look for similar styles at not-for-profits until I had a coupon. My shoes, my bags, and even my pajamas (that onetime) were all used. But, unlike my story four years before, instead of lording thrifted goods over people who didn’t shop the way I did, I used them to fill a closet of clothes I felt strong in.
And it worked. Even though I felt like I was falling apart internally, finding and cultivating a style that made me look put together made me feel like I had more of a handle on things. That, and my style was mine. Sure, I’d see other women wear vintage dresses, I never chose to buy dresses because of those women. And when I looked at my closet, I saw pieces I could actually afford and that I felt good in, not pieces I’d bought and couldn’t remember why.
Now, in 2014, things have shifted again. While I still love dressing up and paying homage to nanas-in-their-twenties, I no longer feel like I have to kill a version of myself, because, frankly, she wasn’t so bad. After all, without her, I wouldn’t have been forced to find my own tastes thanks to a lack of bank balance. I also wouldn’t have learned to hunt for clothes as opposed to taking them for granted, and I learned to dress for myself – and only myself – because I didn’t have the money to just buy whatever.
I’m still far from financial bliss. But now I at least know now the money I do earn will go towards pieces that work with me.
He described the death on Saturday of Michael Brown as heartbreaking and added: "Remember this young man through reflection and understanding."
In two nights of unrest in the St Louis suburb, dozens were arrested, shops looted and tear gas fired by police.
On Tuesday night, anger had turned to reflection at a community forum.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon told a packed crowd at Christ the King United Church of Christ that the shooting felt "like an old wound torn fresh".
Ferguson's mayor and police chief also attended the meeting and were greeted with applause.
Earlier, the Reverend Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist, appealed for peace.
"To become violent in Michael Brown's name is to betray the gentle giant he was," he said, flanked by Mr Brown's parents.
He said no-one had the right to take Michael Brown's name and "drag it through the mud".
Police say Brown was shot several times after a struggle in a police car, but witnesses have said the unarmed Brown was shot when he had his arms raised.
Her Hollywood career spanned seven decades, with a memorable debut aged 19 opposite her future husband, Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not.
More than 50 years later, The Mirror Has Two Faces earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1924, she went on to become one of cinema's biggest stars, best known for her husky voice and smouldering looks.
A Twitter account of the Bogart estate, run by Bacall's son: "With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall."
She reportedly died after suffering a major stroke at home in New York.
Bacall collected an honorary Oscar in 2009 in recognition of "her central place in the golden age of motion pictures".
Born Betty Joan Perske, Bacall took a variation of her mother's last name after her parents divorced.
Her first film performance, as the tough and tender dame in To Have and Have Not, became one of the most powerful debuts in film history.
The film featured her legendary lines: "You don't have to act with me, Steve. You don't have to say anything and you don't have to do anything. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow.
She continued her on-screen partnership with Bogart in Key Largo, The Big Sleep and Dark Passage after the couple were married in 1945.
They had two children and were married until his death in 1957. She had another child with her second husband, Jason Robards.
It can seem like the longest two minutes of your life. You get to a road junction just as the red man appears.
If it's a busy junction, anywhere in the UK, you might see people who don't bother pressing. Ask them and they'll tell you it doesn't do anything.
It's not just in the capital. The UK uses a traffic system called Scoot (Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique) so the same overall principles apply whatever town or city you live in.
But in the UK does pushing the button make any difference?
The short answer is - it depends. At a standalone pedestrian crossing, unconnected to a junction, the button will turn a traffic light red.
At a junction it is more complicated.
Take one very busy crossing - at the intersection between Regent Street and Cavendish Place, near the BBC's HQ in London - and you immediately start to doubt the button's efficacy.
Sometimes people press it, sometimes they don't. In both cases there is a 105-second interval between the red man coming on and the green man appearing.
This is mid-afternoon. In the morning it is slightly longer
At night, the button does act to stop the traffic, says Transport for London. But this is only between the hours of midnight and 07:00. In the daytime, the button has no effect.
Edinburgh has roughly 300 traffic junctions of which about 50 are junctions where the green man comes on automatically. In the jargon this is known as "walk with". It is usually where a one-way street connects with another road. The green man comes on whenever the red traffic light shows. At night this might change but during busy times the system is automated.
In Manchester, around 40% of the push buttons don't need to be pressed during busy pedestrian times. "This is made up of those pedestrian green men that are 'walk-with-traffic', and those set remotely on a timer from our central computer," a Transport for Greater Manchester spokeswoman says. "The times vary depending on the junction but the maximum wait time is 60 seconds."
Traffic junctions can be divided into two main types. Those where all vehicle traffic is stopped at once for the pedestrians. And those where part of the junction is stopped for pedestrians while on the other half, motorised traffic gets a green light.
At the first type, such as the busy Oxford Circus junction in central London where two main roads intersect, it is always necessary for a pedestrian to press the button in order to get a green man. If they do not, the traffic lights will miss out the pedestrian phase of the cycle and simply google