· My dog
· My weight
· My Budget - or lack there of
· My patience - or lack there of
· My hair
· The mice that will. Not. Leave. My. House.
This post is about none of the above.
This post is about addiction and therapy.
There are many drugs out there - and I admit, (hey, I went to college) I have tried a lot of them from time to time, but there is one addiction that I just cannot seem to kick. And, it's one that I just get such a high from:
Of course, it leads to immediate regret and ultimately guilt because I've got so many credit cards with HUGE balances and a credit score so low that's it's also my goal weight. It's crazy, I don't even keep half the stuff I buy, I just buy it for the high of having something new, oh, and the bag – I just lurve shopping bags, especially the glossy ones, but let's get back to my post. Then, a couple
And, no, I'm not a "renter" of new things. I worked in retail for a very long time and we had renters all the time - you know who
What I am, I've decided is a bulimic shopper. I binge (shop til I drop) and then I purge (regret, return and credit back to my card.) When I shop, sometimes it IS fun, but mostly, it’s all about chasing that “feel good high” of buying new shoes, clothes or both with one exception – it ALL has to be on sale. I get an even BIGGER rush when I’ve gotten something at an incredibly low price because
a: it justifies me buying 2 or 3 of them and
Instead of one sweater, on sale from $79 marked down to $19.99 (.99 gets me every time) I have to
It’s my moms fault. No, really. It is. My parents are much older than most of my friends (and probably yours) parents. They are 79 (my mom had me in her 40’s – yes, I’m still young-ish) and they grew up during the depression. And let me tell you, I have heard about the depression for like My. Entire. Life. I have been called spoiled since I don’t even know when. You know the story you hear from your grandparents (or in my case, my parents) about walking to school, uphill, both ways, in their bare feet? Yeah, well I heard that about everything.
“You want a new sweater, Shopgirl? When I was your age, I only had two sweaters and I had to I hand wash them every other night so I had something to wear to school.” Ewww. I would wrinkle my nose, make a face and just storm off when my mother would make that noise. My grandma lived three hours away, and since I grew up in the house of miser, I couldn’t call long distance to confirm or deny the tale of the two sweaters. Instead, I would re-treat to my bedroom and peruse through Newport and Speigel catalogs and Seventeen magazine and daydream about the day when I would be old enough to have my very own credit card and then be able to buy that sweater (or two or three) on my own.
So I think that’s why I am the way I am today. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to have many new things, and money was always talked about like it was evil. (Don't get me wrong - I had what I needed - but just not what I wanted and never, ever designer goods.) It seemed like we never had enough, so spending it on anything we wanted as opposed to needed, well it just didn’t happen in my family. I remember one time when I needed new basketball shoes and this displeased my mom to no end. (What? Bench warmer is an IMPORTANT position – what if someone gets hurt? I was there to get in the game if needed)
Anyway, tennis shoes have ALWAYS been expensive and it seems like they’re even MORE expensive when you HAVE to have them. My mom took me shopping and of course she went straight to the sale rack and found a pair of
“Oh, I don’t know mom, maybe because a 5’1” girl doesn’t normally have size 9 feet, but hey, I’m sure no one will notice and I won’t be made fun of. No. Not in middle school. The kids are swell and so considerate of everyone’s feelings and fragile egos.” I’m pretty sure this is when all of my self esteem issues started too. But I'll save that tasty treat for another post.
Tonight, however, I made progress. I went to the store to return the sexiest, but I-really-don't-need-another pair of $100 leather high heeled boots that I got on sale for $59 before Christmas, thank you very much. Going in I kept thinking to myself, I can return these way to expensive boots and buy something else because everything is marked down right now. Well, that’s exactly what the old Shopgirl did. (be patient, the progress report is coming)
I picked up four shirts that I thought were cute, but mainly because they were 50% off the original price and then an extra 40% off of that. That’s like almost FREE – right? I didn’t even try them on, I just put them on my credit card. I figured I’d try ‘em on at home, and if they didn’t fit I’d bring them back (and start the whole cycle all over again).
But. Therapy Shopgirl stayed in the store and looked around and thought about what I had just done. (I also found a couple of other things I wanted to try on – but I was thinking about my purchases) So I went to the dressing room with said purchased merchandise and the other items I picked up and began trying everything on. I ended up NOT LIKING ANYTHING and returned my previous purchase and left the store!
Well . . . . I did buy a coat. But listen, it was originally $60 – marked down to $29 and then another 40% off of that brought it to just $17. (you guessed it…99).
Baby steps. It’s all about baby steps.