I am right there with the best of them.
I have a complex relationship with shopping, one which I have written about before. Even as a child I loved it and see now in my children, the love of purchasing; not going home empty-handed. If I had subconsciously tried to dissuade them from having the same shopping impulses as me, I failed.
I look back at my childhood, which was spent shuttling between divorced parents and see that shopping undoubtedly represented a release, a treat, a thing associated with pleasure.
But shopping = spending and so is inextricably linked to how much money you have, or I suppose how much money you want to spend. As time has marched on and my socio-economic status has gone up from that of a beleaguered student to that of a fully fledged member of a wage-earning society, the spend has increased. Although there is still a ceiling, a point at which I think something costs too much for me to afford it. This becomes an increasingly abstract point as the expenditure of a family holiday or school fees or a new car skew the balance.
So how much do you shop? And what for? The essential or the luxury? And how much does your shopping habit get influenced by others? How affected are you by Pinterest or magazine articles?
My wardrobe quakes with replicated contents. I noticed a few years ago that I started buying the same thing over and over again; grey jumpers, the 'perfect' jean, Chelsea boots in varying colours. But ostensibly all the same. I tried to kerb this habit or at least shop much, much less for much, much more desirable items. Cashmere instead of lambswool. Leather instead of plastic etc.
Now I no longer earn money, my habits have changed again. I get the guilts in the knowledge that a pay-check will not come at the end of the month and wipe the slate clean. I return things that are not essential. I constantly monitor whether something has been sufficiently worn. I toy with selling on e-bay. I make platitudes to myself that maybe my daughter will be happy to inherit the more outlandish items that have caught my eye; the dresses that I have no where to wear but with which I can't part.
Shopping, to me, is the pursuit of style. Much is written about style and why we aspire to it. How some just have it, whereas others don't. Shopping is the acquisition of items that enable style to happen. An external human expression. The endless possibilities of a 'good outfit day'. I do watch those who don't partake in this constant pursuit. I have the desire to wear sweatpants every day vs getting properly dressed. I secretly long to do the school run in my pyjamas and Uggs, without being ironic. But I don't. I show up dressed in varying degrees of the formulaic Mummy uniform and I go about my day...wondering what to shop for next. First World problems...
|image via crush cul de sac|