Friday, April 30, 2010

Retail Therapy

I was taught at an early age that any time your life is disrupted, you go shopping. Not just shopping, but SHOPPING, all caps, all the time. Shopping for shoes, clothes, sales, junk, whatever. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.

This I learned from my grandmother, who was a huge influence on my life. Probably the greatest influence on my life. Her best friend's name was Mall. Mall was short for Lillian. Well, maybe not short for Lillian, but instead of Lillian. You see, Mall and my Nana were shopping buddies. They had their routine down pat. Off to Hagerstown, Maryland to while away time and the Montgomery Wards and Sears and I think there was a JC Penney there too, but that was a long time ago and my memories aren't what they used to be. Then they would get pizza, again in the mall.

Anyway, enough background information. To make a long story short, I learned at the feet of the master shopper. How to find deals. How to love shoes, especially high heels. How to use shopping to forget about your troubles for a while.

Today, I have learned that while a fun past time, shopping should not be a form of therapy. For many reasons. One, it can get you into debt. Two, the problems don't go away, they just hide for a while. Three, once the problems you were running away from come back, you just go shopping again which leads us right back to reason #1.

I love to shop. I love to bargain hunt. I love good clothes and even better shoes. But for myself, I am on a shopping moratorium.

At the beginning of the year, I created a self-imposed shopping hiatus that is to last until 2011. At first it was just shoes. Now I have added all non-necessity items to that list. I have had a serious decrease in cash flow lately and I really do own all of the shoes that I need at the moment. In fact, I am going to clean out my garage shoe storage area and give away anything that I have not worn in the last two years. Same thing goes for my clothing.

I am doing too fucking well at this asstarded shopping abstinence. I have NOT bought a single pair of shoes this entire year and it's almost May. How can that be? I NEVER stick with anything and yet this one thing that brings me so much joy, I have cut out of my life completely. Go figure. And I can't really just try shoes on because that is like putting a fat person in a candy shop just to smell the chocolate, or taking an alcoholic on a tour of the Jack Daniels plant. Nooooooooooooo!!!!! I went cold turkey. Just like that. And now, all of the beautiful, shiny, sequined, strappy, stiletto, platform, wedged, glorious sexual objects for the feet are out of my grasp.

I know that I can do this damn thing. I just have to stay out of every single store that I love so much. Like Macy's and Dillard's and BCBG and BeBe and.... well you get the point. And I am doing well with the clothing too. For one, I am not working, so the costume du jour is almost always drawstring sweats and a T-shirt and maybe a hoodie on cold days. The few times I have to get dressed in something that I shouldn't be cleaning in, I wear jeans. That's not to say that I haven't bought clothing or shoes. Or maybe I should say one pair of shoes. I had to, as a necessity, purchase a new pair of tennis shoes. And I have picked up a couple of pairs of yoga pants and t-shirts since March when I added clothing to the mix. But all of those items were needed and I don't count socks and underwear and bras in any category as I don't need my undergarments to look like mice have been chewing on them

Other than that, I have stuck to my plan.

Hopefully I can buckle down and apply this attitude to other areas of my life.

Cheers to not falling off of the wagon. Because we all know that if I do, it will be the shopping spree heard 'round the world. The stock market will go up, there will be small, overworked children in third world countries with bleeding fingers and department stores in my town will weep at the extravaganza.

Hopefully, I can just dream about it at night at let the memories get me through the day. Until then, I can just picture my Nana and Mall, in heaven, weeping with the angels over my strict self-control. Not understanding how I can resist the might siren's call of that phenomenon we call Retail Therapy.

Love, Peace and Chicken Grease.

1 comment:

sybil law said...

Then, for the love of God, stay out of J.Crew!
That effing store is my shopping downfall - ESPECIALLY with shoes. And shirts. And dresses. Oh and everything else.
But good for you! I usually end up buying stuff for my kid, lately, instead of me, which is good, but kind of annoying, too.