“Don’t be duped by sales; they are like mermaids who seduce and drag you to the bottom of the sea.” Anna Dello Russo
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I’m speaking, of course, about that iconic moment in any fashionista’s life, that ritual that is more holy and more sweet than dipping burned and blistered feet in pools of blessed water…I’m speaking of SHOPPING!
Like a moth to the flame, I have been drawn to shopping centers since the tender age of ‘Mommy can I PLEASE come with you to get the groceries, I will sit in the trolley and not touch anything I promise!’ Of course that was never the case. If I was taken with, I would spot any and every possible little twinkling trinket like a magpie with x-ray vision! My mother banned me from grocery shopping at age 5. Poor me, poor me, till the day I started to make my own money.
I grew up in a very poor family and my parents didn’t have the money to buy us toys or new clothes or sweets on a weekly basis like so many other children I knew. I lived in hand-me-downs (often from my brothers as I was taller than my big sister) and played in the garden with nature as my playthings. But once a month, my Dad would take one of us kids for a special ‘outing’ of quality time with him. There were 6 of us, so I got to go on my outing with Dad twice a year. This outing included a trip to Wimpey where I was allowed a Banana Boat, and then a trip to the shops with MONEY to spend! First it was R1 and I could buy any toy I wanted with it. It became R5 and then R10 by the time I turned 13 and the outings stopped, but I remember being so excited all those years, clutching my money in one hand, Dad’s hand in the other, and scouting for the very best ‘buy’ I could find. It was sheer joy.
And SALES! Wow. Well that’s just one notch up! Finding that pair of dove grey knee high rounded toe pearl skin boots at Nine West ON SALE in my size brings all those childhood memories rushing back of Daddy taking me on a sugar high to buy a toy just for me! I mean, I like mermaids too, so if I’m going to be dragged to the bottom of the ocean, what a way to go right?!
To this day I get a sense of euphoria every time I walk into a shop. I find it so much fun just to be there. With or without money, I love looking and seeing and (yes, also) touching everything. It’s no wonder I became a sales rep and spent 6 years of my adult life working in those shopping centers, rushing from one to the next to the next, day in day out, building displays and setting up my products in places where they were in most danger of being purchased. I know the inside of a shopping center like the back of my hand – they just make sense to me. Put me on the street and I loose my direction all the time, but if you drop me in the middle of a brand new shopping center, no matter where, I will be able to find my way around instantly. (Husband gets horribly lost even in the same centers we go to all the time!)
So I know this is a problem for me, or so my maxed out credit card keeps telling me, but still, I love it. I just love shopping. No matter what for. Even a trip to the grocery store fills me with irrational glee. We need light-bulbs and garden hose? No problem! I’ll go SHOPPING! We need sugar and toilet paper? No worries – I’ll go SHOPPING! What’s that, Husband? You need shaving cream and socks? Allow me. I’ll go SHOPPING! Cat food? I’ll go…
Love, lust and fairy-star-dust