I’ve never been one for shopping. It takes too long, and you have to try stuff on, which makes it really tedious, and frankly, it just feels like a chore. Up til recently I only shopped when I had to, as in–it’s my wife’s birthday the next day and I run to the mall and look for something–anything–that won’t offend her in some way (a pretty low bar I admit…).
My wife, however, and my mother and sister as well, they find shopping to be an excellent way to wile away the hours. My wife says that shopping, especially shopping for clothes, makes her feel good. As in, if something is bothering her, she goes shopping and spends some cash, and comes back with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. Retail therapy, that’s what she calls it.
Well, after scoffing at her for ten years or so, I gave it a try. I’d had a particularily awful day. The kind of day that began with a flat tire, ended with a bill from the I.R.S., with a dressing-down from my boss in the middle…
So I got some cash and went shopping. I took $200. I went downtown and roamed around. Not really sure what to do. Should I buy myself a pair of pants? A wallet? Hell no–I can get my sister to buy me a wallet on my next birthday. I had to shop for something special. After a while, I ended up in front of a music store. It’s one of those places that sells guitars and drums and instruments for the school band, like trombones and cornets and such.
I went in. One hour later I walked out with a banjo and a case for the banjo. Do I play a banjo? No. Can I learn to play a banjo? I guess I’ll try.
I went home with a grin on my face. I showed the banjo to my wife and she snorted, then left it alone…
Buy yourself something. Something for yourself. Something you want. Something not necessarily practical. Something that makes you feel good.
But there are rules:
Rule 1. You can’t shop online or use a catalog or shop at HSN or QVC. You have to go somewhere. A store. A mall, whatever.
Rule 2. Set a dollar limit. You ain’t getting a Ferrari no matter how much you want it. You can’t spend more than you can afford because you’ll feel bad after you buy whatever you’re going to buy and the point here isn’t to feel bad. Measuring stick: the amount you should spend should be the same as you bring to Vegas to lose.
Rule 3. Don’t run out and buy the first thing that you see. Shop a little. Slow down. Rule of thumb–don’t buy anything that you could convince your sister to get you on your next birthday.
Rule 4. Pay with cash.
Rule 5. Go shopping by yourself.
What’s your take? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
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