Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Retail therapy or obsession?

…Let’s face it, the gatherer urge has not left us.

…As we wander through a store, even a thrift shop, eyes go right, left, scanning, scanning.

…Writing in the New York Daily News, Phyllis Furman says 2% to 8% of Americans are compulsive shoppers.

…Bummed? How would another pair of black pants make you feel? Better, bunky?

…A&E has another reality show—this one called Big Spender. The CS (compulsive shopper) is merrily tooling along in the shoe department or someplace and is pounced on by a financial planner.

…Not a jury in the world would convict! HA says. (She apparently missed the memo asking her opinion, she so often misses those.)

…If you shop a lot, find it a huge rush, and then feel guilty afterward…you might fit the description.

…Spending more than 5%-10% of your income on clothes is another sign.

…Some tips for avoiding the poor house…Shop only with cash, keep a record of what you spend, make a list, and if you think this is getting out of control, you are probably right.

…Amanda Ford wrote a cute book on “Retail Therapy: Life Lessons Learned While Shopping,” in case you feel like justifying your binges instead. (HA is all about free will.)

…In her book, Ford suggests the buddy system. Never shop alone. Why? A friend can share the excitement of the words “50% off.” A friend can tell you if a hat looks hideous. It’s fun to chat, eat, and get a friend to hint to the cute sales guy that he ought to ask for your number.

…And a friend can keep you on mission. You have a list, remember?

…HA’s system. Never buy on the first pass. If the item itches at you for a week, go back.

…If you are lucky, someone else snapped it up.

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