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My dirty little shopping secret

How I feed my shopping compulsion without spending money

by Kami Lewis Levin  |  4608 views  |  0 comments  |       Rate this now! 

I really like shopping. Not so much for clothes for myself, because, who really wants to be reminded of how fat they are? And, I'm not one of those gals who try on bathing suits for thinspiration. More than likely, that experience would thinspire me to eat the closest hot brownie sundae.

No, I like very particular shopping. Namely drugstores. And Target. And places like Loehman's and Filene's Basement. And Marshalls. And DSW. Oh, and BJs. You know, places where you can get a deal on stuff you don't need. Or stuff you need a lot of. Or stuff that you give as presents. Or on stupid shit that you never have enough of, like wrapping paper or writing utensils. (I call them writing utensils when I'm desperately searching for a pen to use to write the cleaning lady a check and can only come up with a burnt sienna crayon.)

Lately though, I've revisited this habit - it's almost compulsive, come to think of it - where, when I have some spare time by myself, and don't have any absolutely necessary oh-my-God-the-world-will-come-to-an-end-if-I-don't-pick-up-X errands to run, I'll miraculously find myself at a store, such as one of those mentioned above, and shop. For this or that. Cool toys for my boys, jeans for my husband, colorful spatulas, what have you. I'll go in, grab a cart, and dive in. Whole-heartedly. And without much thought to cost.

Man, I uncover treasures.

Back when I was pregnant with kid 2, I did this more frequently. Once a week, kid 1 had a later daycare pick up time, so between working and mommying I'd slip in some shopping time. Because sometimes I like the feeling of spending money on stuff. Okay. You got me. I am a consumer culture capitalist. Market it to me, people.

But, the bizarre twist on this whole thing is that, after my cart is full and my treasures are many, I'll get to the check out line, dump the loot, and head back to my car empty-handed. Yup. I'm the woman who creates more work for the store employees. I'm the woman who deliberates and deliberates forever over which thing to get in which size and then ultimately gets nothing. I'm the woman who fosters a false sense of security in the stuff industry. I shop up and than I ship out. Without. the. shit. It's like the most incongruous habit for a person who is crazy about being as time efficient as possible.

It's really sick.

So, here it is. Recently, I hit my rock bottom. In the middle of my workday, driving across town from one meeting to another, I saw something. A Dollar Store. Don't judge me! So, I pulled over and parked at a meter. I told myself I was just gonna run in for a second. I grabbed a basket. I filled it with gift wrap, bouncy balls, Halloween candy, razors, and crackers. I browsed quickly, and with great focus, making my way through all the aisles like I was Speed Racer. Then I suddenly found myself at the register. No one was there to scan my crap. I looked around the store. I looked at my basket of crap. I gingerly placed it on the floor and took off.

About the Author

I'm a mom of two, wife of one, writer, blogger, educator and ice cream lover, desperately trying to keep my head above water. Please check out more of my writing at The Fence.

Read more by Kami Lewis Levin

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