Confessions of Yet Another Shopaholic

LaTonya - Shreveport, Louisiana
Entered on March 2, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
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Confessions of Yet Another Shopaholic

Back in late September I received an email from Dillard’s, my favorite department store, informing me that they were having their semi-annual clearance sale, with up to seventy-five percent off the original prices. I immediately began trying to formulate a scheme by which I could hit the sale and rack up a few (well, more than a few) steals and still be able to pay the household bills. I figured, if I only spent “x” amount of dollars at the sale, I could forfeit my bi-weekly trip to the hairdresser. After all, I figured, I have water, shampoo, and a flatiron at home. That was an expense I could easily forego. There was no way on earth I was going to miss a clearance sale at the nicest department store in town. Who would? Come hell or high water, I planned to be there bright and early the next morning.

I confess – I am a recovering shopaholic.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to come by stylish clothes for petites unless you’re shelling out a pretty penny, so when they do go on sale you must act fast! Well, at least that was the excuse I clung to as I traveled up the escalator to the petites section and greedily snatched up every size eight I could get my hands on. The feeling was mildly euphoric, almost as if I’d gotten away with something I wasn’t supposed to. The problem I always seemed to run into, however, unless I found a bona fide steal on something I absolutely could not live without, is that the excitement is usually very short-lived. The head-in-the-clouds rush I felt while traveling back down the escalator with my new purchases had all but fizzled out by the time I had them securely hidden (yes, I said hidden) away in the far reaches of my cluttered walk-in closet. The clutter was what forced me to realize that what I thought was a harmless, pleasurable pasttime was really a problem that had grown out of hand. After all, how many black pairs of shoes does one woman need anyway? It had to stop, because when I forced myself to think about it, I realized that the shopping was just an attempt to appease a deeper need (namely a need to feel worthy of acceptance, to feel as though, after all these years, I’ve finally ‘made it’). The sharpest outfit in the world could never make up for low self-esteem. I have since learned that you don’t wear self-esteem – self-esteem wears you. Peace can only come from within.

It is an ongoing process, and it pleases me to say that I have been in recovery (meaning I have made hardly any frivolous purchases) in well over six months. That’s not to say that I don’t get tempted from time to time but these days I choose the smarter – and cheaper- indulgence.

I go to the hairdresser.