I’m a recovering shopaholic, and if we attended meetings (which we might) and earned chips (again, it could happen) like you do in AA, I would have earned my first real chip today.
I tend to spend money I don’t have, on things I can’t afford, namely designer handbags (see: Kate Spade, my one true vice). It started in college as an insatiable need to keep up with my rich peers. Having attended a private (and by private I mean expensive and snobby) university, I was probably one of maybe twenty people in my graduating class who didn’t come from wealth. After leaving my small, sheltered hometown (where I don’t think I even knew household names like Chanel & Dior let alone Michael Kors or Tori Burch), I entered Satan’s playground, otherwise known as Tampa, Florida. Surrounded by snooty classmates and their material things, I felt like I had to have expensive brands to fit in, so I started buying shit I couldn’t really afford but didn’t really feel badly about buying because what the hell else was I supposed to spend my money on as a college kid with no bills to speak of? After a year or so, I finally realized how dumb and “fiscally irresponsible” I was being, so I toned it back a bit. My spending didn’t really stop, it just sort of shrank in dollar amount. In reality, though, I was probably still spending almost the exact same amount, but because I wasn’t just spending it all on one high ticket item, and instead on several cheaper things, somehow I justified it.
Over the years, I tried to be better with my money, but more than ever I was bored and unsatisfied with my life, so to fill the void, I bought crap I didn’t need. I guess I figured if I surrounded myself with enough material things, I wouldn’t crave things that actually matter in life. Which I’ve finally figured out doesn’t actually work, and instead just stressed me out more because, oh hey, I can’t afford the shit I’m surrounding myself with in first place. Amateur move.
Finally, at 25, I think I’ve finally gotten to a place where I can distinguish between want and need, and I can make the adult choice about what I’m going to spend my money on and what I’m not, and how to tell myself no sometimes. Like when the PERFECT $200 Kate Spade handbag jumps out at me from the shelf at TJMaxx and I put it back, instead opting for the $40 Steve Madden to replace my current tote that sadly, is falling apart. Now I know some of you may argue that the win would have been if I had purchased NO handbags, and instead had saved my money and not bought useless crap, but you would be wrong and I would punch you in the face, so you should just shut your mouth. Baby steps, here, people.
In all seriousness though, especially in this season of giving, it’s important to remember that what matters most in life are not things at all, but people and the memories you create with them. I’m about to go create some awesome memories in a place I’ve never been with the man I love more than even Felix the cat (and that’s saying a lot, because I love that stupid fur ball, even if she does shit on my floors). I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow- lucky me, I get my turkey dinner a day early! Nom nom.
Ok, for real, bye.
Maybe I’ll actually do some real-time writing and report live from New Orleans as cool shit happens? To be continued…