Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Confession of a Shopaholic

My name is Carrie Blogshaw, and I’m a shopaholic. I’ve been a shopaholic for many years and like any behavioural issue, it’s hard to stop doing something when you’re so damn good at it! After seeing the film version of the famous book, Confessions of a Shopaholic, I’m inspired to tell you about my issue with shopping. I prefer to refer to it as an ‘issue’ and not a ‘problem’, as I don’t carry any consumer debt (compared to the $17,000 that Becky Bloomwood owed to her creditors), and I therefore acknowledge that things could be worse. I would also like to point out that I’m a Taurus, and am therefore prone to materialism. According to the stars, I was born to be both stubborn and a super-consumer – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

The film, though predictable, was a lot of fun to watch - mostly for the love stories (the love story between Becky and Luke, the love story between Becky and Henri Bendel, the love story between Becky and cashmere, the love story between Becky and silk scarves, the love story between Becky and high heeled platform pumps….). The scene where she went through her closet was, frankly, orgasmic. Her collections of dresses and shoes brought tears to my eyes. For that scene alone, this is sure to become a classic chick flick and was almost as visually stimulating as the SATC movie (in a more eclectic, kitsch-y style).

The shopping scenes in New York were all too familiar to me. I travel there on business every couple of months and do the majority of my tertiary shopping there. Yes, I always give myself a budget and yes, I rarely stick to it. There is truth to how intoxicating the windows and displays can be. I, too, have hallucinated that mannequins (or stiff sales associates) were persuading me to purchase the most unnecessary items. I am enthralled by vibrancy and I’m a sucker for sparkle, which usually ends up with my credit cards begging for mercy and explains why my flat looks like 3 drag queens live there.

I like to look good most of the time (this excludes weekends – for some reason I find it totally acceptable to wear comfy athleticwear all of the time), but this comes at a cost. Like many people with ‘issues’, I shop not only for necessity, but also for fun. Some people try to solve problems by drinking (well, I do that, too…), smoking (I quit), mainlining heroin or punching (I have so far managed to suppress those urges entirely). I understand this - sometimes I shop to make myself feel better. Come on, girls - we all know how good it feels to buy something beautiful – something we feel we REALLY deserve. The exuberant feeling of purchasing something of peacock-quality (I mean that figuratively and literally – I started wearing peacock feathers on my head this fall…) is hard to beat. Perhaps it’s not all bad – although Becky paid the price for her luxurious lifestyle, her shopaholic tendency did help her to land a good job, a television appearance, a better job, a shopping day with an ultra-glam fashion magazine editor and then a great guy!

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