Happy Birthday from Prada

pradaI made a life changing discovery while shopping on my 29th birthday: under certain mysterious conditions, you can buy things (including luxury handbags) in other states without paying any sales tax. I don't totally understand how this sneaky system works, and I don't really care. But from what I know, if a label does not have a free standing store in your area (or at least in your state), you can have goods shipped to you sans sales tax. The good news: this knowledge will surely save me considerable money in my lifetime. The bad news: I learned of this no-sales-tax system while standing in the Prada store in Soho. Additional bad news: I "really needed a new work bag" (Joe's words, not mine - true story).

As you can see, I succumbed to the beauty of this cobalt blue leather dream, and it was just the beginning of HCG's biggest two-day spending binge to date - one I'm hoping to top when we go to Paris in the fall. After swiping the Amex at Prada, we spent the remainder of our time in New York having goods from all types of retailers - the newly opened Frye store, AllSaints, even J.Crew - shipped to us without paying sales tax. I didn't ask questions, I just felt happy (and mildly nauseous at the rate of spending). On our final night in the city, I even suggested to Joe that we just get the hell out of there because that was the only way we could guarantee we'd stop spending money. (Spoiler: we didn't leave early. We spent even more money.) I returned to Philadelphia significantly more poor than I left and with nothing to show for it because, per the secret no-sales-tax rules, everything had to be shipped to me.

Of all the tax-free birthday purchases I made that weekend, my new Prada bag is my clear favorite. I'm still a little hesitant to use is as my daily work bag especially while scooting even though the bag comes with a cross body strap. But from the times I have used it, I can tell you this much: people take the woman who carries this bag seriously, and I'm willing to bet they think she paid sales tax on it. HA!

Many thanks to Prada for this birthday gift! Mark my words: I will never pay sales tax again.*

*Editor's note: I have paid sales tax many times since my purchase of this bag. Many times.