This weekend is the long one and I started off uncharacteristically grumpy, and at first I had no idea why. After ruminating over possible scenarios for weekend plans, I realized the problem was my silent and self imposed abstinence from any weekend shopping sprees, spontaneous or otherwise. It all started Friday afternoon when I ran an errand, serendipitously seeing a new Anthropologie store on the way, and instantly I longed to go in. The adorable window displays were like an invitation, a teasing introduction to the wonders to follow, and I pictured the cozy floral interior as a fantastical getaway from the cold harsh snow that lay all around me. The gorgeous displays were beckoning and nearly compelling me to enter, and I had to consciously remind myself of my current month of six items, which was supposed to be a lesson in my spending habits. Wasn’t the fact that I was experiencing guilt for not wearing anything else in my overstuffed closet testament enough to the state of my wardrobe? I do not have the money or the space to spare for new items, and yet just the prospect of not shopping was enough to put me in a bad mood. Confronted with my temptations and successfully resisting was enough to throw my into a gnawing and anxious feeling of withdrawal, or in other words, I was pouting.
Shopping has become a hobby for me, a thing to do, an exciting outing, a reason to get out of the house and “have fun.” How sad am I that even when I have no one to shop with, I am still unable not to shop. I did not give in to my desire that afternoon, but the rest of the day and into the night it became like an itch, a tiny thought in the back of my mind where I was conspiring to make time for a trip there later, or to the mall, or shop online, all under some pretense of going to the gym (oh it’s so close by) or shopping for someone else (so-in-so’s birthday is coming up…). And while I show none of the telltale signs of someone who is a pathological shopaholic, most notably the credit card debt, I think I underestimated how much I rely on shopping as a fun activity, and how much I enjoy buying and wearing clothes. My goal is to get through the whole month without shopping extraneously, sticking to necessities, and paying all the bills, early no less! This six items or less experiment is already having a positive impact on my life, I really hope I can turn this experience into a habit, and control my wardrobe budget for years to come.