I was reading a post on Mamamia that I completely identified with. It was about shopping hangovers. Lana, Mia Freedman’s assistant, wrote:
The shops like individual gambling tables or slot machines, each one offering the promise of a big win, something new and exciting. Something that will improve my life and make me look and feel better.
I walk into the shops and I just know that I am going to win….
I replied to the post:
Agreed! I often shop to a) reward myself after an achievement and b) to make myself feel better.
Sometimes I dream over the clothes I see in shops, and need to go back to buy them, thinking they’ll complete me somehow. They don’t. The jeans don’t enhance that great piece of writing I am rewarding myself for. And that pretty dress does not compensate for the boy that I long for.
Recently I have shopped because I’ve been sad, and bought SO many things. When I bring the haul home, I realise, I have heaps of clothes, on my spare bed, my floordrobe, on the clothes horse and in my two wardrobes. And I consider whether I even needed the clothes I just bought.
There is a sense of security in a shopping mall and also a sense of guilt like with gambling or drinking. It feels good at the time, but when you realise you should have saved that money for something more important then the regret sets in.
To clarify: I am no longer a shopper where my spending compromised payment of more important things. I’ve learnt that lesson. I have had a good savings plan for a couple of years now, and I can (sometimes) see progress. I only use my credit card to pay for concert tickets and occasional travel (and pay it back by the next pay day). I have Visa/Mastercard debit cards for online shopping.
Shopping makes me feel good. I list it as a hobby, along with writing, cooking, seeing live bands and eating cheese. I love shopping centres. I love a suburban shopping strip. I love a cute boutique store. I love a (tasteful) craft market. I love browsing online stores. I love reading magazines. I love fashion blogs. And the Vogue Forum. Hell, I even love doing groceries. The only thing I really resent with shopping is when I have to spend around $100 on a chemist visit. Oh, and I don’t really like buying shoes.
Considering my sprawling love for all things retail, I manage to control myself quite well. I don’t buy everything I see (and I see A LOT in my retail browsing!). I am not influenced by friends’ shopping habits. I buy many sale items. I am not a designer label lover. I use layby. But still, I find myself shopping. And buying more stuff. If there was a shopping Olympics, I’d win Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Shopping makes me happy. I don’t know how long the post shopping happiness continues. There is probably a mathematical equation to measure this. The clothes I buy make me happy.
I don’t drown my sorrows with booze. Actually, when this happens, it’s generally booze under $10 (I had $6 wine the other week – UNDRINKABLE!) because I’ve already spent my pennies drowning my sorrows shopping.
The giant pile of clothes on my spare room bed because they won’t fit in my wardrobe, and my floordrobe just looks messy, does not make me happy. (I was going to take a photo and post it here, but I feared Faux Fuschia with her impeccable wardrobe organisation skills may disown me as a friend!)
I need to stop shopping.
I don’t need more stuff.
Except for a new bra and possibly new shoes for the ball next week.
I have bought more things in addition to the beautiful things I bought on the beautiful day with Sydney Shop Girl last week, and lots more in the weeks before our morning out.
These are some of the things I’ve bought recently (in the last six weeks). Pay attention to my justifications for purchase:
♥ Cupcakes for colleagues and I. (I did receive payment for two cupcakes, though). They were delicious. I had the croquembouche one – on the right. I accidentally left one in the fridge at work. Colleagues reading this, please don’t eat my cupcake!
♥ Magazines. Did I really need four of them? I only bought Grazia because it had a Mimco voucher. I bought Instyle to read on the plane almost two weeks ago, but only got around to reading half of it in the hospital waiting room last Wednesday. The other two haven’t yet been read.
Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown CD. It’s growing on me.
♥ Mimco hair accessories. A clip and a headband. I’ve worn the clip and the headband is for the ball next week. That Mimco voucher made me spend a lot more than the voucher was worth. Clever marketing.
♥ Floral dress. From Harris Scarfe. A very unexpected place for me to buy clothes from. The dress had me at hello.
♥ Hot pink dress from Sportsgirl. Because I have a skirt in the same material and I love it and have worn it about four times in the six weeks I’ve had it. And the dress was $23.95 from $129. Practically free. And I plan to wear it under the cropped silver and white tee shirt that I have had, unworn, for six months.
♥ Pyjama shorts from Sussan. Because they were hanging near to the pyjamas above. And they were also on sale.
♥ Pyjamas from Temt. Who knew Temt sold pyjamas? These were pretty. And a bit sexy. I rarely wear pyjamas at home, and (without being the bearer of too much information) found I didn’t need pyjamas for my trip away.
♥ My giant bag. I loved the colour. I loved the style. I had to have it.
Unfortunately I did not check its size to my height ratio before I bought it. My bag means I get an influx of boys offering to carry it. (There’s been two boys offer, and I’ve taken two offers for carrying my bag.) And I can never find anything in it. So it’s beautiful but a little annoying.
I have also bought two presents – three Sia CDs and a Ben Cousins DVD.
Ok, so I feel a little sick, and guilty for showcasing my recent purchases. My justifications for purchase seem so silly. Just like Lana in the Mamamia blog post, it’s a shopping hangover.
There always seems to be an excuse for shopping:
‘An event to attend.’
Rewarding myself for NOT shopping!’
‘I just might need that item one day.’
‘It was cheap.’
‘It was onsale, 75% off.’
‘It looked great in the magazine/in store.’
‘If I don’t like it, you can give it away as a present.’
‘It IS a present.’
And the old ‘there’s always someone I know who shops more than me, so my shopping is just a blip on the retail radar.’
It’s time I stopped these excuses. I don’t need more stuff. I should be content with the stuff I have. I have great clothes. It’ll be fun to mix and match my existing wardrobe/floordrobe/bedrobe. I should save for a rainy day. Because hell, my hot pink silk Sportsgirl dress isn’t going to keep me dry.
Hello, my name is Carly and I’m a shopaholic. And it’s time I reduce my intake. Not cold turkey, just buy less stuff.
Tell me your shopping confessions. So I don’t feel so bad about mine.
(PS: this is my 300th blog entry! This blog has come a long way, baby.)