You may remember these two recent blog posts, an overshopper named Lynn. Believe it or Not, It’s True: Nordstrom and I Are Through (Part I) and Believe it or Not, It’s True: Nordstrom and I Are Through (Part II)
These posts are what she wrote for the dialogue exercise, a part of our program where you construct a dialogue between yourself and something that’s central to your overshopping. In Lynn’s case it was her Nordstrom credit card.
Lynn is back with an additional post, this time something she wrote for a humor writing class, All humor aside, she’s someone who keeps deepening her recovery.
Take a read below:
I am going to tell you a secret. My friends and family don’t have a clue about this. Well, perhaps there has been some gossip about me and perhaps some of that gossip is true. I’ll be straight with you and cut to the chase and get this tiny delicate matter off my chest.
I’m going to wear this confession like a new studded Valentino bag…holding my head high with every four inch, red soled, Christian Louboutin step I take. I am a Compulsive Shopaholic. There I said it. Actually, I’m a very skilled and experienced shopaholic. I know every trick in the book. Yes, serious shopping requires serious trickery. I know precisely where to park my car in the driveway and the exact angle to hold my filled shopping bags so those pesky security cameras can’t catch me transporting the goodies into my house.
It seems odd to me that my husband installed cameras when we live in a secured, gated community. I suppose he is on to me, but no worries, I’m always several paces ahead of him. Once I master my way into the house unseen, it is critical to hide the purchases. Swiftly the goods go into the laundry room (Lord knows my husband never sets foot in there) and then slowly over the course of a week each item will sneak its way out of the bottom of the laundry basket and into my closet. Anything over a week old can now be referred to as “something I bought a while ago”! Developing good relationships with my parcel carriers has been incredibly valuable. In fact, I tip both my postman and my UPS driver $100 each month and in return they place all my delivered packages in the large yellow garbage can at the side of my house. I’ve instructed them to walk down my neighbor’s driveway and turn left after the third tree where they can safely place any packages into the covered bin without being detected on camera. Once I receive a delivery text from my courier, I can unbox the items in the bin, stuff them into ShopRite grocery bags and discretely carry them into the house. Over-Shopping requires an immense amount of time so I strive to use my time wisely. For instance, one day on the way to the mall, I was able to purchase a Moncler ski jacket, Kate Spade rain boots, and a Burberry cashmere scarf right from my smart phone while waiting at a red light. Now that’s efficiency! Then there’s the tricky juggling of credit cards. I simply divide my total purchase amount and distribute it among each credit card thereby avoiding any one whopping credit bill transaction.
The ultimate trick is my secret store cards at both Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Hubby doesn’t even get to see those bills. I just covertly pay them off..well, I pay off whatever I can each month. But no worries, Nordstrom and Neiman are always willing to up my credit limit exactly when I need them to. It’s highly fortunate that I have a mathematical mind since keeping up with all these accounts and payments can be exhausting and stressful. To maintain my tip-top shopping physique I run four times a week on my state-of-the-art treadmill (in my $200 leopard print Brooks sneakers), while I watch the Real Housewives of Somewhere USA. I love those real housewives and all the wardrobe inspiration they provide! I recall the time I absolutely had to have that silk burgundy Dior dress the East Coast skinny blonde housewife wore to her daughter’s first playdate! That was no easy find..It took me three days of persistent, global, internet hunting to finally locate one in my size straight from Europe! I found it (never mind that it was 900 euros)! I was all set to take the dress “out on the town” for my son’s field trip to the Science Museum, but then realized I would look foolish..naturally I first needed to buy a suede open toe Prada pump to go with the dress before I could actually wear it! It’s always something isn’t it? I’ve been shopping my whole life. In truth, I was raised to be a shopaholic. Even as a toddler I was a fashionista. My mother always dressed me in the fanciest dresses, colorful bows, white gloves, shiny patent leather Mary Jane shoes! She bought me one coat tor school, another for playtime and yet another for going to church.
I learned early on that vacations required purchasing new clothes, that if you loved something you bought it in every color, and that Daddy didn’t need to know everything that happened at the mall. Yes, my mother loved to shop and she always took me in tow. In fact, I’m told I took my first steps as a baby in the Macys women’s dressing room. My mother was the master of sneaky acquisitions! One of my earliest shopping memories with mom was her shoplifting. I suppose I was her decoy as she stuffed everything and anything she could into her large black satchel handbag. Don’t worry, I did NOT inherited that pilfering trait. No…I never expect to get anything for free, I don’t even want it on sale. For me a sale is just unwanted stuff the store is desperate to get rid of…why should I settle for leftovers? Nope, I always pay full price for the newest arrivals and actually if I’m using my credit card I’ll pay full price plus 19.3%! I’d love to stay and chat some more, but I just received a text from Mr. UPS so I must go empty the garbage bin. I do hope my Louis Vuitton limited edition sunglasses arrived! Just one more thing…now that you know about this secret little aspect of my life, please don’t tell my husband…or my therapist!
Carrie Rattle is a Principal at BehavioralCents.com, a website for women focused on mind and money behaviors. She has worked in the financial services industry for 20+ years and hopes to inspire women to better prepare themselves for financial independence.