Being a ‘shopaholic’ is one of those terms that are often thrown about, mainly directed at women or teenage girls who perhaps like to spend three out of every four Saturdays a month in their local shopping centre. But is shopping actually an addiction?
The phrase ‘retail therapy’ has been proven to be true time and time again, but is it just another marketing con from media establishments who ultimately make most of their money through fashion advertising?
I have been called a ‘shopaholic’ many, many times, but it wasn’t until last week when I realised that I actually might have some degree of a problem. Myself and my boyfriend had decided to tackle our ever-increasing laundry pile once and for all, and over three days we washed and dried all of our laundry… All six bags of it. It wasn’t until I had the fun task of putting all the lovely clean and tumble-dried clothes away that it hit me… where did all these clothes come from? And more importantly, where the hell am I going to put them all?! The overwhelming sight of all these clothes gave me cause for concern, but it wasn’t until I was at work yesterday when the full scale of my ‘addiction’ really hit home to me.
I was unpacking the delivery of clothes for the store where I work, and one box of clothes (about 20 items or so) were older sale items. I had to price check each one before putting it out onto the shop floor, and as I scanned more and more items and surprised myself at how cheap they were, I got this feeling that ‘No-one else can have this bargain. It is mine. I must have it so no-one else can say that they got a pair of £46 trousers for £7.’ I hid the trousers to try on later, and began planning all my outfit potentials and how good I would look in Facebook photos in them and then I realised… I had six other items stashed away to ‘try on later’. And I didn’t really like any of them. I liked the price.
The voice in my head said that to me that it didn’t matter how cheap the trousers were, they were still going to have to find a home in my overcrowded, bargain-filled excuse for a wardrobe.
I took all 6 items out from my stash and put them out on the shop floor. About an hour later, a lady came to my till clutching the £7 trousers. “Can you believe it!” she squealed to me. “What a bargain!” I almost had to refrain myself from leaping over the cash desk, grabbing the trousers from her and running off with them, but I just smiled, and told her “I know, I’m jealous!”
I know that there are many people out there who have genuine problems with spending addictions. People who owe masses on store cards and credit cards; people who live in houses where you can’t move for new purchases (watch a show like Hoarders, and you’ll get my drift); people who buy clothes they can’t afford because they’re trying to emulate a lifestyle that they currently don’t have… But I am not one of those people. And that’s not me making excuses. I don’t need a 12-step programme just yet.
But I do get a thrill out of shopping. I do get that ‘rush’ when you see a beautiful bag hanging off an arm of a mannequin. I love coming home and doing mini ‘fashion shows’ to my boyfriend (admit it, you guys do it too), showing him all my fab purchases for the day. Shopping is a stress relief for me, and yes, it does wind me up when I can’t buy anything, and it does make me feel better about myself, and of course I sometimes feel buyer’s remorse. But who doesn’t?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on shopping… do you think you have a ‘problem’? Do you think that having an addiction to shopping is a real thing? Why do you love to shop? Let me know! XX