Friday, October 15, 2010

Confessions of a shopaholic

Wow, for a start here, I’m surprised that the word shopaholic is not posing any problems for Word – no squiggly red line – and we all know how Word loves its squiggly red lines.

Anyway, I’m very glad that summer is slowing reaching our shores. Not just for the stocking-free legs and leaving-behind of coats, but for the safety of my money.

I’m extremely averse to spending my lunchbreaks in the staffroom at my work. It’s an awfully small room with acoustics like an empty tin can (for really small people) – and then there’s the people. I have nothing against my colleagues, it’s the closeness of them in such rooms that I cannot stand. Well that, and there’s just some people that don’t understand “don’t talk to me” body language. Quiet lunch is not in this room’s vocabulary.

So what do I do? For a while there I took lunch at my desk – though this poses problems of its own. Not only does it mean another hour of sitting on your ass, it also seems to be an invitation for every moron that chooses to ignore the sandwich in your hand and come and give you work to do. So I like to go walking at lunch.
I generally buy my lunch anyway so I have to go out and find something to eat. This disposes of about 15 minutes including eating time (I’m a very fast walker and eater – perhaps slowing down would solve some of my problems). Wanting to take the full hour that I am entitled to I find myself wandering Lambton Quay. Not only is it under cover – vital on a wintery Wellington day – but there are things to occupy my time. Namely shops.

Herein lies the problem. I am a notorious compulsive shopper. I walk into a store thinking “I’ll just kill 5 minutes looking around”, but these darn stores! Stocking items I like and want! Being relatively affordable so I think, “owell, I can just get this and it will be no problem...”. $40 here, $60 there, what’s the difference right? I have disposable income.

I also have a wardrobe brimming with clothes and shoes. I can barely move the hangers anymore. There are dresses in there I forget about because they’re so closely hung, if there’s not an inch of material poking out the front it gets lost in the depths. We’ve discussed this before. But it’s so hard to see something totally cute and walk away from it!

Often I pick it up, totally kidding myself, thinking “if I just try it on it will kill another few minutes”. “Just try it on” is not in my vocabulary. Trying on generally means swiping card in my world. Only if it turns out that this item looks completely hideous on me does the effort of trying on go without clutching for wallet.

Wait! I suddenly think, maybe that is the answer – don’t take my wallet with me! Unfortunately I know myself too well – that will only result in a painfully drawn out purchasing process, where I anguish over the garment, the wanting increases, and I return the next day to retrieve the left-behind soldier. God forbid if it should be gone! What a fool I was, thinking I could leave a size 10 on the rack when there was only one left!

And so on. You know how the story goes. So summer! My dear friend! In summer I will happily take my lunch down to the waterfront or to some grassy green and sit there in the sun until it’s time to return to work. I can take a book or listen to my ipod and be quite content in a break well spent. As opposed to a break over-spent.

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