Monday, October 13, 2008

Shopaholic


(Picture from the soon to be released movie Confessions of a Shopaholic )
Last week, on my day off, I was watching the Tyra Banks Show. The topic of the day was Shopaholics. Tyra had three women as guests talked about what made them shopaholic. Most of them wanted to shop all the times, to buy nice things ( particularly clothes) for themselves. It made them feel better but scared at the same time. They were scared because they were spending so much money all the while hiding it to their husbands.
The show made me think about my relationship with shopping. I love to shop. What woman does not? When I was a kid, I was never given the opportunity to go shop by myself. My parents always bought things for me. And I could indulge myself only if I save enough of my allowance.
However, things changed when I went to college. I had this extravagant scholarship that was more than enough for college dorm, books, and living expanses. Therefore, it became a habit for me to spend some of that money buying myself stuff that I wanted and rarely needed. It was such a guilty pleasure to be able to blow away some cash with my best friend, specially after a long week of exams. We used to call shopping our stress reliever. It was such fun to go out window shopping, trying on outrageous outfits, and having a big burger at the end of an exhausted yet satisfying day with my best friend. As the college years went by, the habit of shopping did not fade. I would do it even by myself, just enjoying some alone time. I would not necessarily buy anything, but just window shopping made me feel good (or bad depending on the days).
When I got married, my guilty pleasure became an obsession. I was not copying very well to the living together part. And moving to a new city and into a new creme de la creme university became a huge stresser. Every day after school, I would spend hours walking by shopping hot spots, trying to find unique fashion items at a very affordable price. Buying new things make me feel better about myself. The fact that I had to hide it from my husband made me feel bad. But not as bad as to stop it. After a while, I kept piling clothes and shoes that I never wore. As a result, I would send cases of basically new clothes to my cousins back home who were more than happy to receive them. This made me feel good. It gave me another reason/excuse to shop. I told myself: even if I do not wear it, I could always give it away.
I know I am a shopaholic because even now with this crazy recession, I cannot wait to get a day off to hit discount stores and other favorite places. I still have bags of clothes that I never wear. And only last week, I donated 2 bags full of clothes to a donation center (and after that I shopped in the donation center. Thank GOD my husband indulged me this time). My husband was criticizing me for buying things that I ended up giving away with this bad economy. I felt bad but he was right.
Nevertheless, I know the difference between those women featured in the Tyra Banks show and me. At least I do not blow 500 to 2000 dollars a day on a shopping spree. No sir! I limit my craziness to less than a 50 dollars a week.
Look what I just did: I am trying to make myself feeling less guilty by thinking that if it is just 50 dollars a week, it must be OK. The eternal Shopaholic excuse.
I need help. But before I do get one, I need to go shopping again....

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