found! not lost blog

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

Are you a shopaholic?

Visited the Early Access Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last weekend at the infamous Mall of America here in Minnesota (Anniversary Sale starts in earnest tomorrow nationwide and online!).  It was actually at my husband’s request as he needed some new dress shoes and casual shorts. I needed nothing, but wanted several things I’d spied in the Early Access catalog they had sent out to Nordstrom cardholders for previews.  Nordstrom membership has its benefits (or pitfalls, depending from whose vantage point you’re assessing).

Regardless, those in the know will shop the catalog first to prep for maximum speed and efficiency at the store.  In that vein, DH and I agreed the best plan of attack would be to split up, each take a kid, and meet up with the goods in about 90 minutes. This is the longest we could subject our  a three- and five-year-old kids to the mall, even when plied with an iPhone for entertainment. In the end I came away with a couple of pumps, two shirts, a watch, and a necklace.

Up ’til our move in April I’d been really great about limiting my shopping. Mainly because I didn’t want to acquire anymore STUFF to pack and move. Also, I knew I should redirect dollars to the “kitchen remodel” fund (I’ve recently resisted some handbags which are comparable to the cost of a farmhouse sink!) Unfortunately, that pragmatism is hard to hold on to and the sale reminded me once again of the natural “high” that comes with acquiring such beautiful things from a place where you’ll be waited on in the best, least solicitous way.

I’ve often joked that I’m a shopaholic, so I was curious, what constitutes one? When you Google the term, several sites come up, one of which has this questionnaire. If you enjoy shopping as I do, you ought to take it and give your own honest answers. My responses are in italics after each question:

Compulsive Shopping Checklist**

  • Do you “take off for the stores” when you’ve experienced a setback or a disappointment, or when you feel angry or scared? Sometimes, not necessarily to buy, but it can be a soothing and peaceful place!
  • Do your shopping habits create conflicts between you and someone close to you (spouse, lover, parents, children)? Thankfully, no. If we had completely joint accounts I think this would be different, because knowing vs. paying the bills are two different things.
  • Do you buy items with your credit cards that you wouldn’t buy if you had to pay cash? Probably, because who carries that much cash around??
  • When you shop, do you feel a rush of euphoria mixed with feelings of anxiety? Just the euphoria. 🙂
  • When you return home after shopping, do you feel guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or confused? No, though I admit guilt or embarrassment can set in later depending on other people’s reactions.
  • Are many of your purchases seldom or never worn or used? No, I try to buy what I really love. Quality over quantity.
  • Do you lie to your family or friends about what you buy and how much you spend? No. But, don’t believe in full disclosure either, it’s no one’s beeswax.
  • Do you think about money excessively – how much you have, how much you owe, how much you wish you had – and then go out and shop again? No, but I never owe, and related to that I am lucky that I feel very satisfied with what I have. I don’t find myself wishing for more (though sometimes wish I were wiser with what I have).
  • Do you spend a lot of time juggling accounts and bills to accommodate your shopping debts? No. Shocking to some, but I do believe in saving…I just haven’t always been good at it.

So, it is as I expected, I’m just an avid hobbyist as far as shopping goes. So While I’m not “compulsive” I do have some tendencies… this is pretty much true of my personality overall I’d guess.  My main concern is our impressionable young girls and trying to balance the need to be a role model to them while recognizing that we do not live an austere life. It will be an ongoing battle to see things through their eyes and make sure we don’t unwittingly instill overly consumerist behaviors in them.

**Excerpted from the Shulman Center

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This entry was posted on July 14, 2011 by in shopping and tagged , , , , .
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