I’m a little anxious about my upcoming vacation, which usually means lots of shopping and eating out. I never think about budget or limits or anything practical like that when we’re on vacation. It’s like the Magic Shopping Cart all over again. I’m one of many children, and we always had two full grocery carts every week at the supermarket. Once in a while, I could add something to the cart and it wouldn’t be questioned…or even noticed. And it would come home with me. Magic!
Vacation is much the same in my mind. Pinch pennies when planning, but once there? Anything goes! Magic.
My husband asked me if I plan to go shopping in Uber-Quaint Shopping Village while we’re away. The answer is absolutely yes, I plan to visit the shops because they are unusual and interesting. But what he really meant to ask was, Do you plan to buy anything? And I had a revelation: my answer to that is not the usual No, I don’t plan to buy anything. I mean, I never plan to buy anything. That’s my whole problem: it’s all impulse! Unplanned and unnecessary.
Though it felt like we discussed this for ages, it was really only a few seconds. And I realized my true answer. Do I plan to buy anything? No.
I plan to buy nothing.
No clothing, no shoes, no scarves. Nothing for me.
However, it is a vacation that warrants ice cream and other family-sharing-type things, so I restocked my wallet with small bills so that I can stick to my weekly budget for the two weeks I’ll be away.
I covered the practical and emotional reasons for why I shop in That Shoppin’ Feelin, Part I and Part II. When I was writing down my reasons for shopping, I had to face the aspects that make me feel yucky. I feel these daily.
Embarrassment. Years ago I lived in an apartment next door to my landlord. I came home from K-Mart with several large bags, since I was still furnishing my new place. I remember feeling embarrassed because that was the fourth weekend in a row that I had spent shopping (both Saturday and Sunday), and I knew my landlord had seen me exit my car each time with all my purchases. By the time I moved out, I realized I’d gone shopping at least once every weekend. The frequency didn’t stop, but I never really had an audience after that. When I became a stay-at-home mom six years ago, I made sure to shop when my husband won’t see all the bags. Going green has helped, too! Using re-usable bags keeps all the shopping a mystery. No more giant bags with store names on them. You can’t tell if my bags contain junk from my car that I’m cleaning out or new purchases.
Regret. Ugh. So many times I’ve gotten home from a shopping trip only to feel deep regret and doubt. Thankfully, I have no problems returning items. When I make a purchase, one of my first thoughts is that I can always return it. Not terribly practical!
Dishonesty. Ah, the sin of omission. I don’t lie about purchases or prices, but I’m not always completely truthful. What, this? I’ve had it for a while! (A while can mean a few hours, you know. Even my 6-year-old says so.)
Shame. Every once in a while, it’s almost as if I want to get in trouble with my husband. Sometimes I want to go buy some $200+ item and wait for my husband to find out. I haven’t been brave enough to do it. I’m pretty sure I’ve been trying to create a call for help. HELP!
Hence the Unraveling. I have to get raw in order to really conquer this shopping addiction. This is The Ugly.