Shopping for useless things isn’t the meaning of life?

I beg to differ. I shop ’til I drop…or at least until my dad yells at me. That used to be my motto throughout highschool and college. Now I shop ’til my Visa is maxed out.

I know I have a *slight* problem, but as far as problems go, I think it’s a pretty tame one. It’s a safe, wholesome activity that encourages exploration and exercise (trying on, lugging bags around and racing other women to the sale racks – let’s be honest, it’s not easy). Shopping has never hurt anyone either, as long as you stay away from those cattle call day-after-Christmas Walmart door busters, which, thank god I’ve never had to witness or be a part of. The only reason I could even consider my love for shopping to be problematic is that I find it absolutely irresistible and highly addicting. And when I go shopping, Mike says I go into “the zone;” a retail-colored abyss that I only reemerge from when I’ve found at least two new items I don’t need and/or can’t afford.

Now, “the zone” isn’t just a cute name for my all-too-common shopping sprees. It’s an actual altered state of mind that I only experience when I walk into a retail store. If you’ve never experienced “the zone” yourself, it goes a little something like this: I enter Saks. All of a sudden, my eyesight becomes hypersensitized, my other senses fade into the periphery, and my eyes begin moving over the merchandise with laser-like focus. I move calmly but briskly through the aisles and displays, taking it all in through a tunnel-vision lens, zeroing in on possible purchases until I locate something that speaks to me. I hurriedly flip through the hangers until I find the item in my size, throw it over my arm, and return my attention to spotting the next possible purchase. Once finished I unload my overburdened arms into the dressing room and strip and redress until, giddy with excitement, I find a few beautiful pieces that fit like a glove.

Then it’s off to the register, shiny new things in hand, where I hand over my credit card as my heart beat quickens, producing a euphoric high. As my loot is wrapped carefully in delicate tissue and placed in a sturdy shopping bag, my brain is drowning in delirium as I imagine myself wearing the pretty piece to a new party or place. The magical, endless possibilities of outfits I can create and wear play through my head like a slideshow. Finally, once I’ve exited the building I come down off my high; and as reality sinks in I resign myself to being in debt for just one more month. It’s all so worth it…. isn’t it? 😉

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