I used to be, until recently, one of those people who believed in quick and painless shopping. For example, if I need shoes, I go buy about 3 of them that lasts a year or so and wouldn’t bother till the heel starting cracking or they fell apart at the seams. Or with clothes for that matter. I try and spend minimal time and fuss because I’d rather be doing other things. I rarely spend more than half an hour picking up what I need in a store.
I’m super quick (if only I could say that about everything). After more than 2 years in Bangalore, I’ve yet to go to Safina Plaza, the hub of all commercial activity and womanly indulgence. I avoid big malls most of the time, since they look so crazy crowded.
Lately however, I’ve started to enjoy the activity a little more (you can’t not if you have some of the friends I do!) and I’ve even picked up a few pointers as to where to go to shop for a particular item. I’ve learnt to enjoy the art of browsing around. Of taking a couple of hours and just walking around gazing at windows and staring at displays : window shopping as it is called in common parlance. I gape, I inspect, I go round and round. In short, I’m trying to develop an art here.
Retail therapy is defined here as: â€œshopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer’s mood or disposition. Often seen in people during periods of depression or transition, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as “comfort buys.”â€
So whenever I’ve needed to take my mind of something or feel better, I try and indulge in a little bit of RT. It works wonders. I inevitably step out of a store feeling much better than when I entered it, I also emerge much lighter. But this lightness of the pocket is a small price to pay, for the uplifting of my spirits, I justify.
RT can also apparently get dangerous and addictive. It can lead to compulsive shopping habits, wreck your marriage (especially if your hubby is paying the credit card bills) and even get from uplifting to depressing.
I’ve therefore decided to indulge in moderate or calculated RT. This means I calculate well in advance and spend within that budget. For example, I knew I was getting a bonus, so I spent all of it before I even got it. This is called anticipatory spending. Of course, it doesn’t always work that way, and at most times you’ll overshoot your limits by a wild margin. My burgeoning credit card bills are only proof of the fact that the term moderate can mean many things.
So, I’m off now. No, not for another shopping spree. But to add up my credit card bills and calculate how many lifetimes I will need to clear all of it. I can just picture my dad (who is strictly anti-credit) shaking his head and telling me for the nth time to live within my means!