That Shoppin’ Feeling, Part III.

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.

That Shoppin’ Feeling, Part II.

I listed the positive and practical reasons for why I shop in That Shoppin’ Feelin, Part I. Here, I list the superficial, emotional, and impractical reasons for why I shop.

Fun. Shopping is fun! I enjoy checking out new handbag styles from my favorite designers, new shoe styles with unique touches, new color combinations in a skirt. I often seek out a copycat outfit for something I saw in a magazine or blog. It’s exciting! I love being able to buy what I want — I do not have expensive taste (yet) and can afford everything that I buy. I love window shopping, browsing, trying everything on. Even when nothing fits, I still crave the experience. Even if I leave empty-handed, I still enjoy the hunt.

Euphoria. It physically feels good, plain and simple. When I think about shopping, my heart races and I get a surge of energy. I get annoyed if I can’t go right away. I plan my days around being able to shop and will even pay a babysitter so that I can go spend money on things I don’t need.

Image. I have a penchant for the Elegant Mall, with the Elegant Department Store. I intentionally dress up to go there, trying to look like a put-together modern consumer worthy of envy. Yeah, that’s right, I’m a wife and mom that has it all together! I save the bum look for home.

Perfection. I want to look perfect, so when I get dressed, I think of something that would make my outfit, face, or ear lobes perfect and then seek it out that day or the next. As you can imagine, this goes on indefinitely.

Perfection in General. I also want the perfect: stroller, handbag, wallet, baby carrier, diaper bag, makeup storage, closet organizer. The list goes on. I research everything online, reading reviews, checking prices. For hours, days, weeks, and even months. Then I buy… and promptly return, sell, or donate because it’s not perfect. Repeat this process ad nauseum. I promise I’ll stop once I find The One! I tell myself I’m only spending [x amount] to try since I can sell for almost what I paid. But the reality is that all the time I spent researching, returning, and reselling has a significant cost: time with my family.

Serenity. Or, Escape. Shopping is so peaceful and quiet, unlike my home with two energetic and loud boys. My 3-year-old is the perfect accomplice, because he stays quiet and often falls asleep in the stroller. It’s as though he’s not even there! Lately, he’s been throwing tantrums, so shopping with him is getting tricky. On the weekends, it’s my time to get away from being a mom because I can leave both kids at home. I have a secret desire to be a Trophy Mom: be there for the fun kid stuff, but let someone else handle the nitty-gritty. When I shop, I’m myself again, not just a mom. Even if I’m shopping for the kids.

And these are my Not Good, even Bad, reasons to shop.