On the train back to London last Sunday I read an article in the Observer Magazine (my favourite supplement) by Samantha Weinberg. She had decided to give up shopping for a whole year, purchasing items only when strictly necessary. This got me thinking. You see I had just spent the weekend visiting a good friend in York consisting of shopping, eating out, gossiping and drinking wine. To be honest I was pretty proud of my purchases, I had bought a couple of books I had my eye on for a while at charity shops, a pair of new jeans for more than half the original price, a lovely new turtleneck, that fits me in all the right places and a fantastic leather bracelet (for my inner Goth-side). So why did I care so much about this article? I didn’t feel bad about my purchases. It’s true some people over indulge…but I hadn’t. I rarely spend money on unnecessary things, not so much for the environment (as was the case that sparked Weinberg’s quest) but rather I like saving (I’m a prude like that). Plus the things I do buy I really like and only replace when it’s essential. In fact, with basic things like t-shirts & sneakers I get a little attached to my old ones and it’s hard to let go…worn in shoes are so comfy. So what was it?
I’ve come to the conclusion that the main reason is society’s need to overindulge! That’s right, you heard me correctly. Why we do we need these ‘quests’ in the first place? Like most things in life – food, drinking, exercising, TANNING (!) people over indulge to the point that we need to give ourselves goals in order to refrain from doing something we already know we shouldn’t. We’ve had it easy for a while, the economy has been good. Very good. But now, everything is changing and people are starting to realize that we can’t continue the way we have been in the past. I’m no preacher, god I reward myself when something great happens in my life (or even if something bad happens, to cheer me up) but I’m not greedy. Point: take it easy because not all of us can end up like the Shopaholic.