As a single woman, whose grown children are not holding their breath for an inheritance, I have no one to answer to about my somewhat spontaneous spending habits, but myself, and my online banking institution.
I have mastered the skill of convincing myself that, not only do I deserve the gray patent leather Prada shoes that beckon me in a soft alluring voice, “come on over, sit down, try me on,” a voice, only I can hear, but that the right pair of shoes on any given day, can not only feel as good as sex, but last longer.
I take my newly acquired purchases home where for some reason, they don’t fit as well or look as good as they did in the department store but once again I convince myself that my feet are just a bit swollen and that I’m going to lose that extra twenty pounds … soon, and then poof … just like magic, I will look marvelous. Meanwhile, I am completely satisfied with the fact that my impulsive possessions are safely put away in my overflowing closet.
However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and so it is with much regret that I must admit that I, have been stricken, yes, fallen victim to, the almighty “Shopper’s Remorse” but for all of those shopper enthusiasts, know that I did not go down without a fight.
I decided to treat myself to a getaway weekend. Nothing extravagant, a pleasant room for two nights with the view of a marina and driving distance to Bodega Bay and Napa Valley. The drive along the coastal highway provided me with a chance to stop at some of my favorite antique stores along the way. I spotted several pieces that I wanted, including a Remington Rand vintage typewriter, an intricately carved mirror and a set of iron skeleton keys on a large ring. A gourmet’s feast of lobster ravioli and a treat of dark chocolate cake was the proverbial icing on a very good day.
The following morning began with a luxurious bubble bath in the oversized tub and a scrumptious omelet accompanied with the perfect cappuccino. The sun was shining and I was having an exceptionally good hair day. I was ready for the breathtaking drive to Napa Valley along the winding road and rolling countryside that showcased some of the finest vineyards in the region. I stopped in the town of Napa first where I dropped a small bundle in the Copia gift shop. I could not resist the lotions, candles and bubble bath that boast the scent of butter cream frosting. I gained three pounds just smelling the toiletries.
A stop in St. Helena and Calistoga resulted in added buying pleasures of fine wine, olive oil and burgundy flavored mustards. A light lunch ended another perfect day. I drove back to my hotel and enjoyed the remainder of my evening reading Evanovich’s latest book, a glass of wine and a treat from room service that consisted of molten lava cake and whip cream.
My weekend excursion with accommodations, food, gas and the purchases that filled my trunk cost me a bit more than I had planned to spend. But then, I convinced myself that I did deserve it and drove home without one hint of the looming affliction that would soon attack from all sides.
First the car sputtered, fell into gear and moved along slowly. It felt like it had a large hairball stuck in its motor that needed coughed up. Once again, I shifted and once again, my car refused to move forward at a proper speed. I downshifted to second, my trusted and paid for vehicle, slinked over to the side of the road. A burning smell came from the engine.
After a pricey tow, the service representative from the dealership, where my car was now being held captive, gave me a call and the ungodly estimation, which was more than the low blue book price of my car. After picking myself up from the kitchen floor, I authorized only the work to get the clutch fixed.
I hung up the phone and a sharp pang ripped straight through my gut. The vintage typewriter that looked so smart on my desk seemed to grow in size and the keys began to type out the words in thin air, you shouldn’t have bought me. I shook my head, blinked my eyes and paid no mind to the strange illusion. The ring of keys that looked so stylish on the bathroom doorknob began to rattle like old bones. I stared the keys down, refusing to give in to the onslaught of guilt that was trying to take hold of me. The little soaps and sample lotions that I took from the overpriced hotel mocked me as dollar signs swirled around the bathroom.
I finally succumbed to the dreaded “shopper’s remorse.” I ran my hands over the new antique mirror that hung perfectly over my dresser. I dare not look at my image for fear that I had grown two heads. And for the first time, I admitted, “I shouldn’t have bought this stuff.” The words left a bitter taste in my mouth.
I am lucky that I have the money that I reluctantly will pay, to get my car fixed. I am also lucky that I have several pair of shoes that I have yet to wear, a few pieces with the price tags still on them and the support of my friends, who too, have suffered from “shopper’s remorse.” It’s a dreaded ailment and hopefully with some recovery time, I will never have to see it rear its ugly head at me again. And then I stood up and shook it off. “By God, “I exclaimed. “It’s not shopper’s remorse, it’s just bad timing!” and with that I put on my new pair of walking shoes and headed down to the coffee shop to indulge in a latte and scone, that will bring on an entirely new remorse that I’ll tell you about some other day. And as the saying goes, denial is a river in Egypt.