30 November 2012

Reader, I Shopped

Yes, I went into an actual temple of commerce on Black Friday.  Two, in fact.

I've chronicled my relationship with stuff and shopping for stuff: I feel as though I have too much of it, yet I'm reluctant to get rid of things because I might need them some day.

Some months ago, I decided to try not to shop any more.  I didn't last long: I'm addicted to books, and even I need a new garment now and then.  Or I want a new garment now and then.

But the attempt to stop buying things did reshape how I shop.  I had been shopping on-line sales to buy stuff I might need some day, rather than things I actually needed at that moment, and often things I didn't necessarily want: colors that were on sale rather than colors I wanted to wear, for instance.  This was a contributor to the excess.

I'm still on the email lists for some stores, because if I'm going to buy something, it might as well be at a discount.  But most of the time I delete the sale announcements unread, and don't waste all that time scrolling through sales listings to see if there's anything I might want some day.

Instead, I buy what I actually want, or see an actual, immediate need for.

I try to buy only items that replace other things: a threadbare blazer, a pair of pants that's gotten too short in the wash.  I also have gotten better at giving away (not throwing away) things that I can no longer use, but that others can, in one way or another. And sometimes I even get rid of something and don't replace it.

The closets and cabinets are far less stuffed than they were a year ago, and I've been saving time and money by not shopping.

Oh, and my purchases this Black Friday?  A pair of mid-weight lined hiking pants, and for The Offspring, a book and a book light for reading in the car in the winter. I went into the stores with the specific intention of buying those items, and that's what I came out with.  No extras, no impulse purchases, nothing I thought I might want on some future occasion.