Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When OCD and Shopping Collide

Ah, shopping. A fun activity to help take your mind off of situations that got you down, hence the term, "Retail Therapy.”  Shopping can make you feel as if you are building a better you; one slight addition to your wardrobe and you can completely change your look and bring some good ol' confidence back into your life. Yet for some, like those with the indecisive mind much like myself, a typical day of shopping can go like a little like this:

"Oh whoa, this top’s cute, I need it."
"Wait, no I don't."
"Do I?"
"What if I don’t buy it?"
"Shit, someone else might get it if I don’t."
"Then it’ll be gone. Forever."
"Okay fine, I'll just buy it."

The Following Day:
"Wait, why did I buy this dumb ugly thing?  I’m never going to wear it."

Ah, yes. Shopping.

With impulsive shopping comes the inevitable:
The Return.

The Return is a hobby. And my logic is- it’s a job. I make an effort, I am present, and in the end, I receive money.

Okay, clearly I'm aware that I am being refunded money. Yet the fact of the matter is, there is more money in my Chase account after the return than there was this morning. Therefore, I am earning money. This also eases the guilt that comes along with spending and purchasing overpriced material items. As a result, I am working on my days off and being frugal. Honestly, this isn't exactly fun. If I don’t put the effort into bringing back whatever useless thing I bought, the receipt will go missing and the 14-day return policy will expire, leaving me with more junk. Junk which will soon multiply and become clutter. Clutter that will make you feel inclined to start an eBay account or have a yard sale. All things that require so much effort. So for those intense moments of do or die purchasing, I’ve come up with strategies in order to avoid working a second “job” and having to deal with a lump of rejected clothes. Here’s some tactics I try to utilize whenever I enter the depths of the Shopper Center:

-Take Photos and Torment Your Friends with Your Meaningless Dilemmas:
If time permits, I will take photos of the items in question and send each of them to my very close, non-judgmental pals asking for extremely urgent, emergency level advice. One of my good friends does this as well. Here’s his, “Which Shoe Should I Mail Back to Amazon?" pic that came into my phone in a time of serious and dire straits:


I was very empathetic of his plight, for I had found myself in a similar predicament only a few days earlier when I thought I could make room in my life for a yellow plaid skirt. He quickly reminded me that I should probably never make room for that, and he was indeed correct. Therefore, I owed him. His intention initially was to keep one pair, yet in the end, he kept both. Why? Because he asked indecisive me, that’s why.

Shop Safe:
That’s why I now shop safe. When I say safe, I mean I buy clothes in the way I would buy water bottles in bulk from a Costco prior to a major weather epidemic. I will buy the same tank top, in the same color, 4 more times. Why? God forbid it gets lost, wrinkled, or it’s in the laundry bin when I really want to wear it. I now have several back-up versions of the one thing I actually like. If I am fond of something I also make it a thing to purchase it in every color available.
Case in point, same skirt, two colors:
I liked this skirt so much so that I wanted to wear it everyday. Which was pretty inconvenient being that it meant I couldn’t go to the same place two days in a row.  Not good, since I clearly despise change. Then I came up with the master plan of buying it in more than one color. Bam, problem solved.

Put Item in Question On Hold:
Put it on hold and slowly walk away from it. See if you miss it when you’re gone. If you forget about it, it wasn’t worth it and now you can move on. Treat it in a similar fashion to the way you would with some iffy dude on a first date. Are you going to go home with a guy who has a sort of cute face but you’re not entirely sure because he has a 90’s goatee in the way? Probably not, right? You see, you don’t necessarily need to go home with it and wake up the next day confused as shit because it’s not your type. And the cool thing is, you can put it aside and it won’t leave with someone else because it is stuck behind the counter with your name on it.

With all that being said, now you know how to shop safely and with less fear of loss. Truth of the matter is, buying stuff you don't need is one giant hassle. You should never be so overwhelmed that the act of ridding these things from your possession is more grueling of a task then accumulating them. Here's the thing: If you’re not going to love it and feel great with it in your life, why bother? You should be proud of everything you’ve earned that way in the end, you will be content with the life you created for yourself. I got real deep there over clothes, but if I didn't you might've been stuck being "That Chick Who Keeps Having All the Yard Sales."