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Like most everyone I know, I love a good bargain. Although sometimes I cannot help myself, when I see something I want, I want it NOW, full price regardless, but you cannot beat the thrill of a good bargain. However, from time to time, one must be able to put themselves in check, and for me that check came a little too hard; I made the colossal mistake of schlepping into Oxford Street a couple days after Christmas, running errands etc. and was met with an onslaught of sale shoppers on the hunt for a bargain, it literally was like being stuck in a sardine tin. It was so bad I had to walk on the streets, even the back roads were a clusterfuck of sale shoppers and bargain hunters. I had no intentions of shopping in the sale, but as I was in the thick of it, I couldn’t resist.
I ventured into Selfridges; big mistake. HUGE. There was no room to move or breathe, in the thick of winter I felt like I was trapped in a sauna, people pushing and pulling and grabbing. The handbag hall was a mess, the shoe salon, even worse, the poor sales girls running ragged and customers trying desperately to fit into shoes two sizes too small; ma’am. There were queues to get into the boutiques within the store. Seriously. When I got the chance to actually see what the fuss was all about it, it wasn’t much. There were the occasional good buys but nothing to warrant the level of madness out there.
I get the allure of online shopping, its comfort from your home, click and deliver. If its wrong most places offer to collect from your home, for free. Its the way to go. I love shopping, loved the experience of going into the shops to see the garments, feel them, have a good knock about in new shoes, the smell of leather goods, I used to live for this, but I think I am of an age where none of that appeals to me anymore; I was the girl who woke up at 5am was in the queue at 5.30 just to get the £5 Anya Hindmarsh I am not a plastic bag for Sainsbury’s. I even slept on a friend’s couch on the other side of London in the name of getting this bag, but I don’t even know where it is now. I’m the girl who has taken a three hour coach trip just to get a pair of shoes, that cost half the price of the ticket. There was no mountain high enough when it came to shopping that could keep me from getting what I wanted. But witnessing the stress levels of sale shopping, it feels so unnecessary. I guess I’m getting old, rather, more mature. It might also be because the tranquil of the town I live in, miles and miles away from London has settled in so that mad, hectic city life is increasingly alien…whatever it is I like it.
More often than not you end up getting things you’ll probably never use, just because its in at 90% off… do I really need another black bag, despite having ten others hardly used? Sometimes I buy stuff because its the last one and I end up never wearing it; hello six inch shoes from Aldo. Shopping online gives me cause to pause and think about needing and wanting stuff, and I guess, prioritising and rationalising these wants and needs. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a bargain, and shopping online is really all about the comfort and delayed gratification, but doing it from the comfort of my bed gives me the ability to look at my closet and see if I really need to click, add to basket and pay.
Its also a mindset thing; I used to be a shopaholic, a terrible one at that; once I took home £50 from a paycheque of £1200 because I’d spent all my wages on shoes when I worked in a shoe store that allowed you put your staff purchase against your salary; have I told you this story before? My shopping game was deep, I adopted that Carrie Bradshaw ethic before Carrie even knew about it; buy a magazine instead of food with my last £5, eat kellogg’s cornflakes and pot noodle for a month because I just had to have that handbag. I could very nearly have been the old lady who lived in her shoe… but thank heavens for adulthood and responsibilities that suck, but come with a side of common sense. Thank heavens.