If Shopping Is Wrong, We Don’t Wanna Be Right
Laurie: Why oh why can’t I turn down a bargain? My mentality is exactly what advertisers speak to, and it works every time. My closets are full of enough “only-$10!” items to pay my full rent for a month. And in New York City, that is no small feat. Speaks well to the size of my closets though. Do I wear these practically-free pieces of clothing? Some times, but most likely not. I have the phone number for Dress for Success committed to memory, and once every three months or so I drag over a big bag of never-before-worn clothes. Jackets are another thing that can’t be resisted. I’ve got them in every color and style.
The opportunity to wear jackets in my area of the United States, where spring and autumn are almost mere memories, is about five days tops. So right now I have a jacket supply that would enable me to change every eight hours and still not duplicate. Shoes I’m much smarter on. Don’t get me wrong. I still buy them, but I get rid of them at the first sign of toe crunch, blister building, and arch pain. My sister hasn’t bought a pair of sneakers in decades.
elizabeth: I have fallen in love with shoes and felt heart-pounding palpitations that were stronger than what I have felt for men that I was dating or even sleeping with. And if I found them on sale (the shoes not the men), I would let them move in with me and I would not forsaken them until the next pair seduced with me with a simple, “I do come in 9 ½.” I was such a shoe whore. And clothes on sale. I think I took care of every “emotional band-aid” in my life with shopping bags that were filled with designer threads that I got for a steal. Moving from a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan to a three-bedroom house was an opportunity to take home even more orphans that needed a good closet.
Laurie: It’s not like the salesperson takes me into a secret room and says “Here are the specials we’re offering today just for you.” These delectable bargains are right out there in the middle of the floor under screaming banners beckoning to all shoppers who pass by. Why do I feel the need to answer the call? I think it may be a superiority thing. Suddenly I have a chance to trick the retail system. You were selling that jacket for $75, and now I can get it for $10? Obvious, it’s so obvious. It’s my duty to universal justice to buy it at a $65 savings. President Bush and I didn’t agree on much, but when he said it was our patriotic duty to shop, me and the Pres became kindred souls. It was a brief liaison, but it was rewarding. At least to Dress for Success.
elizabeth: I do feel good when I can donate clothing and (insert loud gasp here) shoes to an organization that will help empower women. I feel like I was just babysitting for them until the time was right for each woman to go out and strike it on her own. Can I make a little confession? And promise you won’t deem me shallow? The shoes and clothes that I have had a long and deep relationship with will not be leaving me unless you pull them out of my cold dead hands. Sometimes Dress for Success will just have to wait. I didn’t say I was a saint. Just a well dressed woman who loves her shoes.