Recently I read a front-page article on the Washington Post that had the following gems:
- She [Aba Kwawu] unearthed clothes in her own closet that she had never worn, some with the tags still on. … “I had not shopped in so long I was going through withdrawal,” said Kwawu, 34. “I thought, ‘I have to get something now. I’ve been good long enough.’ “
- She [Gillian Joseph, 42, of McLean] finally broke her fast, walking into Nordstrom after a long absence and buying a pair of 4 1/2 -inch heels in bright floral colors. The experience was cathartic, she said…. “It was like spring — rebirth, reawakening.”
- “However, I work all the time….And if you work hard, you like to reward yourself in some capacity.”
- “It’s almost like I’ve come out of the recession before the market,” he [Paul Wharton] said proudly. “I made a choice! I just refused to be in the recession any longer!”
I don’t get it. Spending even a penny in a store makes my stomach hurt. It takes me months of budgeting and cashflow analysis before I decide to buy laptops, etc. This summer while in the States I spent thousands of dollars on shoes, clothes and a netbook after not having shopped for clothes or shoes for two and a half years, and even then I felt sick to my stomach. I think I returned about half the stuff before leaving the States because I just couldn’t tolerate the idea of spending that much money. (The only thing I don’t mind buying is books – paperbacks, mind you – because they’re like decadent indulgences to me.)
So…how does shopping make someone feel better? What value do people get out of spending thousands of dollars regularly on items they don’t even need or use? Am I missing something?