I had a hard time deciding how to spend the money the NPS gave me to buy uniform replacement parts. I decided it was time to replace the shirts and pants I had that were starting to get a little bit nasty. Plus, I splurged on a fleece NPS hat that I will never get to wear since it's not on the list of approved items. I got within $2 of using up my entire allowance, which isn't that bad; last year I was within $1. They owe me, since I spent $100 of my own money that first summer.
Just to give you a sample of what it's like to figure out what uniform components to buy, let me describe the schematic they use. Since my occupation is Interpretation, I am supposed to follow the guidelines for "Service" uniform components. However, I am allowed to wear "Field" category components under certain circumstances. Some shirts and pants are allowed for both, but mostly one or the other. I'm not going to wear my nice, expensive, dress pants hiking, but I don't mind wearing them in the visitor center. I'm not going to switch pants in the middle of the day, so I have to wear the "Field" pants even though for at least half of the day I might be doing "Service" activities. So the whole complicated system breaks down out of practicality and I wind up wearing what I want anyway.
I realize it's trivial to even point all this out, but this is just one of the many exercises in frustration and futility that we get to navigate as public servants. So I guess there is a little bit of pride in being one of the select few who gets to try and not screw this up.