I never understood the concept of retail therapy until yesterday. I saw it as a thinly veiled excuse to go buy shit you don’t need. Of course, I was also a college student…and then a graduate student, so I held on to my dollars like a sloth clings to the highest branch in a tree that it took 3 days to climb. It took me a whole hour of tutoring to get $11 back in the day ($8 when I first started that job), so why would I spend it on anything I didn’t need? Especially when I was saving up for more important things like road trips to the most beautiful places in the country. I wasn’t even getting haircuts regularly, let alone pining over some designer purse*. My “therapy” in those days consisted of getting deeply involved in a series on Netflix or exercising, both of which I still maintain are a better form of therapy than shopping.
But yesterday, after Whatafries and a coke could not improve my mood (okay so clearly I subscribe to junk food therapy too), I discovered ModCloth….oh goodness.
I spent HOURS perusing the site. They have a ton of stuff on sale through tonight for Black Friday. I haven’t bought anything yet because, after all, I am the retail industry’s frugal nightmare. But why has “retail therapy” suddenly started appealing to me? It might be for a couple of reasons:
- The first is that I’m not a student bumming around campus anymore, and I’d like to look like an adult from time to time, something my wardrobe has not fully been updated to reflect yet. So the whole “buying things I don’t need” thing doesn’t really apply to shopping for nice clothes for me right now. I actually need some clothes, much as I hate to part with my dollars. In general I find some good stuff at resale stores (like Lucky Brand jeans for $30 at Plato’s Closet) or shop 50% off sales at quality places like The Limited and give a hearty middle finger to consumerism.
- The other factor is probably that I have a real job now. I could choose to spend some of my dollars on clothes and it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I could (gag!) prioritize my wardrobe per Stacy and Clinton. As a
cheapfiscally responsible person, the rational side of me would rather use this money for important (to me) things like a more fuel efficient vehicle, buying a house because rent is soooo much more expensive around Austin than buying, and maybe even retiring a little early so I have more time for things that are really important.
When you look at it like that, not spending your money on clothes (especially just to try to make yourself feel better when you’re down) seems really obvious OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THE BUTTONS ON THAT DRESS?!?!?! THAT ONE HAS TINY DINOSAURS ON IT–I MUST HAVE IT!!!!! DINOSAURS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER!!!! ←Actual things said in my head.
And that, dear friends, is how I suddenly came to understand retail therapy, even if I am too cheap to partake in it all the time. And they seem to be out of the dino dress anyway…which is a tragedy if ever there was one.
*I’ve never understood the whole thing with how much women will spend on certain handbags (Coach, Louis Vuitton, etc.). It just has some f*$%ing letters on it! Please worry about me if I ever post anything about buying any purse that costs more than groceries.