Hey, wait a minute. What ever happened to a leisurely stroll through the shops?
Because I swear, I haven't been in a brick-and-mortar store to buy myself anything since I was buying stuff for myself when I should have been Christmas shopping for other people. So that's what--over six months? This sounds wrong, but I can't remember purchasing even a pair of flip flops or a lipgloss since then.
OK, on second thought I have bought a few things on my way home from getting my hair done; there just happen to be a couple of great stores on the same street. And of course, I bought some stuff during our spring break trip to Walt Disney World with the Jokes. Oh, and OK, yeah, at my college reunion last weekend I bought a pair of earrings at the college art museum. And heh heh heh the graduation ring I was too cheap and alienated to buy when I actually graduated.
But really, that's pretty minimal, considering that I consider myself to be someone who sort of likes to shop. Also, you'll notice that this brick-and-mortar shopping only happens when I'm traveling--even if it's only to the next town to get my hair done.
What is not happening is what you might call "destination shopping," where you head out with the express purpose of actually buying yourself something. Mostly I do what everyone else does who is frantically busy--I shop on the web. Which means I end up with stuff that doesn't fit, so I have to make a post office run to return it, thus adding to my overall busyness. The other thing I do is grab extra crappe as I dash through the store getting the thing I'm officially there to buy--the birthday gift or the lightbulbs or whatever.
Take Friday. I had to run into Walgreen's to buy some stationery supplies so I could finish up a mailing I needed to get done--oh--two weeks ago? And I had 10 minutes to find everything I need, buy it, and get back to school to pick my kids up. In that ten minutes I managed to find and buy $55 worth of crappe:
the necessary office supplies: padded envelopes, Sharpees, labels, and Pilot pens
a bottle of shampoo, six packs of sugarless gum, two lip glosses, a powder foundation, an InStyle magazine, and a bottle of The Bath Lounge Classic Margarita body wash.
Talk about stress shopping. It was like binge eating, except I was buying stuff. It was all dash/grab/throw in the basket/pay. I mean, no price checking, cursory color and scent checking--JUST FUCKING BUY IT, WOMAN was the subtext at work because WHO KNOWS WHEN YOU'LL BE IN A WALGREEN'S AGAIN. And I was actually proud of myself because I made it to pick up my kids in plenty of time. Mission accomplished! Yay me!
But I'm surprised I didn't pop open the Margarita body wash and guzzle some down right there in Walgreen's. If they had packaged it in a brown paper bag, I swear I'd have been helping myself in front of the school while I waited for my kids to emerge.
< Homer Simpson > "Mmmmmmmmm ... sodium laurel sulfate." < /Homer Simpson >
Wouldn't that have given the local housewives some interesting gossip material? ("Don't look now, Kristen, but I think the fat one over there is drinking body wash.")
So I think the thing to do is give myself permission to go shopping. You know, carve out a chunk of time. Say, three hours. And then figure out what I actually need. And then [gasp!] go out and buy it.
Before I end up in a 12-step program for bodywash addicts.