Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Addicted to shop

A friend of mine buys new shoe cupboards every year. It’s not that the old ones are battered. Just that the shoes don’t fit in anymore—she has bought several new pairs.

Another friend buys books she has no place to keep. A third has been shopping incessantly since she moved to Hong Kong, two months ago. I figured the shopping would have stopped by now, but it continues unabated. The last I heard from her, which was two days ago, she was on another shopping marathon. She had just picked up formal wear from Club Monaco, Zara and Mossino Dutti, summer dresses from Mango and bags from Nine West. And was going back for more.

It’s an affliction. Men watch TV. Women shop. Greater the churn, more the screen time or more the shopping, as the case may be.

I have been there. Sales were an excuse to buy three where you would have bought one. The fact remained that there were serious afterthoughts about two of the three the very next day. Six months down, one is still unworn. Your 50% off is more like 40% gone.

Now, I feel like a bit of a weirdo. Malls make me sick. They have taken away whatever iota of craving I ever had for shopping. Duty-frees make me want to never travel again. Sales give me a rash. I am impervious to all those scrumptious breakfasts thrown in at pre-sale dos of fancy stores. May be I am a corner-shop girl and this retail overdose tires me. Or I am just in a philanthropic mode, having decided not to buy anything for myself for the rest of the year.

On that rare occasion where I actually set out shopping, I play a little game. If I fancy something in a shop, I never buy it at first sight. (It’s like meeting that perfect guy and not kissing him on the first date.) I go home, sleep over it, and if I want it just as bad the next day, I trudge back and buy it. Usually, I never want anything so bad— the game works.

So I get by, while people around me max out their credit cards, and are sucked into the compound interest pool.

For my wedding, the mother told me—buy whatever you want. It’s on me. I chose one saree. She said, “One? What will people say? Buy at least four!” I settled on two. Five more were thrust upon me by others. They are all silently waiting in my trunk.

Meanwhile, friends from Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong beckon, “Come here for a holiday. It’s great for shopping!” My point is, why go on a holiday and then feel sick?

It isn’t ironical that my soon-to-be-adopted cats are called Mango and Zara. I figured, if I have Mango and Zara at home, I will never have the urge to go out and buy them.

It’s twisted, I know, but I have a feeling I may be right.

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