The CSS Awards - Site of the Day

About a Billion Things From J.Crew

Arielle Greenberg Bywater

Arielle Greenberg Bywater endears herself to the veteran shopaholic in this pointed piece.


I want to buy about a billion things from J. Crew. 


What I do is put about a billion things from J. Crew in my online J. Crew shopping cart.  Mostly I put in things from the final sale absolute clearance no refunds no exchanges section of the J. Crew website into my online J. Crew shopping cart. 


I put in a featherweight merino shirred sweater in ivory and a gathered-scoopneck tissue tee in white and a tie-neck blouson sweater in papaya and a pinwale cord Emma dress in chocolate and a cotton poplin pleated short sleeve straight fit crewneck button cuff empire waist partially lined blouse in botanical green and many other things into my online J. Crew shopping cart. 


Then I worry and feel anxious about spending so much money on clothing, especially J. Crew clothing, which is relatively well-made but not great, and is from a big corporation and is probably in no way committed to sustainability, and then I am filled with longing for the items in my online J. Crew shopping cart, especially the featherweight merino shirred sweater, and think about how a certain skirt I already own will be perfect with that sweater, or how it will be a great three-season piece, and how it’s such a good deal, since it’s Italian wool and on final clearance sale, and then I worry some more, and I leave the billion things in my online J. Crew shopping cart for days and go back and look at them occasionally and take some things off and add more things on until at some point my online J. Crew shopping cart empties itself due to my lack of commitment—it says “your shopping cart is empty”—and I am filled with relief that I didn’t buy a billion things from J. Crew and filled with remorse that the blouse in botanical green in size 10 is now unavailable so I start browsing around some more and then the process starts all over again.






Arielle Greenberg is the co-author, with Rachel Zucker, of Home/Birth: A Poemic (1913 Press, 2011), and author of My Kafka Century (Action Books, 2005), Given (Verse, 2002) and the chapbooks Shake Her (Dusie Kollektiv, 2009) and Farther Down: Songs from the Allergy Trials (New Michigan, 2003). She is co-editor of three anthologies: with Rachel Zucker, Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days (Iowa, 2010) and Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections (Iowa, 2008); and with Lara Glenum, Gurlesque (Saturnalia, 2010). Twice featured in Best American Poetry and the recipient of a MacDowell Colony fellowship, she is the founder-moderator of the poet-moms listserv.  In 2011 she left a tenured position in poetry at Columbia College Chicago to move with her family to a small town in rural Maine in pursuit of a different pace of life.  But she still cares a lot about clothing, and her latest fashion obsession is the new Jane Eyre movie; she wants to wear more chemises and petticoats.

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


View Submission Guidelines


Contact Us