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Retail Therapy

weather: mostly sunny
outside: 21°C
mood: confused
music: Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op 64, II Andante
I will never understand this "Retail Therapy" thing.

You waste gas driving.
You deal with stupid drivers on the road.
You deal with stupid people at the mall.
You deal with stupid people's kids at the mall.
You deal moron sales staff.

You have now wasted good money on crap you don't need.

And to top it all off, you have NOT RESOLVED your original problem.

How good can Retail Therapy feel, really?



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2003 08:53 pm (UTC)
Well, that's because gas is so damn expensive in Canada. I'm surprised there aren't gas dealers on dark street corners selling the stuff. That, and there are so many lousy and/or slow drivers up there. It boggles the mind - even on the big streets that have three lanes, you've got your choice between slow (the middle lane), or not moving (the left and right lanes anytime someone wants to turn). People drive under the speed limit up there. And the speed limit is so low! It's really weird.

But no, retail therapy isn't helpful in the long term. It's just a short term fix, getting something you want but don't need - and it does (or at least can) feel good to buy a new toy for yourself, but at least for me once the reality of the hole in my bank account hits me and I realize how little I actually needed the thing, I tend to get a bit horrified/depressed/angry about it. Which is probably why I never really do it, except in small amounts (like splurging and getting myself some cd I've been eyeing, or some computer game, or a short stack of comics, or some other guilty pleasure type of purchase).
Aug. 22nd, 2003 09:04 pm (UTC)
People drive under the speed limit up there. And the speed limit is so low! It's really weird.

And we're still horrible with accidents. =P
Aug. 22nd, 2003 08:57 pm (UTC)
Well.....I did get some cute shoes................ :)
Aug. 22nd, 2003 09:23 pm (UTC)
I've never liked the moniker "Retail Therapy", but under the right circumstances shopping IS fun and relaxing for me. But then those "right circumstances" don't really seem to match what otehr people describe as satisfying to them when they go shopping, so maybe I'm just weird.

What are the right circumstances? (1) No crowds (which means no weekends or holidays) since I'm not an extrovert in any way, shape or form. Crowds give me a headache and make me grumpy. (2) An already specified limit to the amount of money I might spend. That way, I'm never, ever spending more than is already "disposable" and putting myself in a bind. I never feel guilty either. It's fun money whether I spend it or not. (3) Some place I've never been before is best, especially if it's combined with going to a town I've never been before and going to a restaurant I've never been before. The surprises and the unexpected discoveries can make a single afternoon feel like a vacation to an new destination. Since I love travel, this aspect refreshes me the most.

The fourth, and last condition is harder to pin down. Mostly it's an attitude I go with. I never have the urge to spend or actually BUY something (I usually do the hunt-kill-and-quickly-drag-back shopping trips for stuff I need and want) because my "retail therapy" ventures are more like ... spelunking, archeological digs, or flipping through a decorating magazine in person. Generally I get really excited about going into a store NOT because I want to buy something but because I love looking at how they set everything up. The colors, the placement, the design, the overall effect, the textures. I absorb most of my home decorating idea through osmosis while lazily walking through decorating and trinket stores, staring up and down, pasuing and contemplating. I probably look dazed and confused most of the time when I'm shopping like this! I LOVE going into a yarn store to just touch everything and see how they arranged it. :-) "Discovering" something I've never seen before, like an odd musical instrument or unusual box, is a nifty feeling too.

In short, I must have a quiet adventure that doesn't dent my pocketbook and provides me with more than enough inspiration to be creative for a couple of weeks or months.

Aug. 22nd, 2003 09:32 pm (UTC)
Monday and Tuesday mornings at the mall are the absolute BEST times =)


Hee, that's how I buy things. And yeah, I like going into stores to see stuff, not so much to buy things, just to look. I used to do a lot of buying, but in any mood, not just to make myself feel better.

And things always look so much better on display with all the different types, all the different colours put together. You buy one and it doesn't have the same effect.
Aug. 22nd, 2003 11:32 pm (UTC)
"Retail therapy" as such has not worked for me for a long time.

On the times that it did work, I can highlight a few unifying themes. Most importantly, the "problem" as such was not a specific, well-defined, and addressable cause, rather, it was simply a nebulous mess of discrete stress factors for a prolonged period of time that simply overloaded normal coping mechanisms.

Sometimes, the solution had less to do with "buying something" than going around, walking, being around external, natural levels of human noise rather than being alone and letting the internal noise echo and reverberate. Sometimes, just getting out and away and slightly distracted is enough. Other times, it simply increases the stress levels.

Most of the time that "buying something" helped, it was almost always a book, or music, or once in a while, a game. And after I isolated the fact that it was engaging the mental circuits, I found that the library was just as good of a source (and sometimes better, depending on my mood) of media to engage my brain.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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