Monday, 21 October 2013
I had this experience just last week. I wanted to go to my local shopping centre and shop, for what I didn't know, nor did I care but I wanted to buy something.
A girlfriend of mine will often say at the end of a day's shopping that she wants to finish the day off by going home, dumping all her purchases out and rolling around on her new stuff. Such is her level of consumer joy and the anonymity of her purchases. It doesn't matter what they are, she reduces their status by dumping them out on the ground and then, diminishes it even further by referring to it as 'stuff'.
Much research has been done about the neurochemical 'high' experienced when shopping, our primal hunter-gatherer instincts are fulfilled and we release chemicals to reward ourselves for providing for our pack back in the cave. Except, I'm not sure too many cave dwellers need Chanel. The fact that I want it seems immaterial at the time and even less so when I get it home. The fact is, shopping fills a hole in our lives. I have worked very hard to get myself out of debt after being given a credit card much too young with a much too large limit. I confided this to a friend once and her reply was simply 'Why were you so unhappy?' The fact that maybe I was unhappy, or that I had filled a hole with 'stuff' rather than dealing with the issue had never even occurred to me.
Most men like to shop alone, while women prefer to do it is groups. I myself, prefer to do it solo. Partly, so I never have to hear the cost said out loud with witnesses present. I do then love to post my shopping on my Instagram feed and have all the lovely feedback role in. There is more positive reinforcement in that which is another layer of reward; getting 'likes' from friends, fellow bloggers and even total strangers is oddly satisfying. It says 'Yes, you should have bought that.' and it feels great.
And then there is online shopping...
Shopping without leaving the house or office, sometimes, without even getting out of my pyjama's. I love Net-a-Porter. Since I first discovered it there has not been a day since that my wish list has not been well stocked. Some days I transfer it all over to my Shopping Bag and then talk myself down off the ledge. Some days just putting in in my Shopping Bag is enough of a shopping rush that I don't even consider buying it.
Similarly, my Amazon lists are off the charts. In terms on online shopping my habits are a little different. when there is something I really want to buy I watch the Australian dollar against the given currency more avidly than a stockbroker and when the time is right I pounce.
The pleasure from the moment of purchase to arrival is untold.
I track my order twice daily.
I let the receptionist know to sign for it and get quizzed about what it is.
I get eh call to come and collect it.
I get to open it with my colleagues, we gush together.
I get to take it home and try it on.
I get to do the 'big reveal' to my partner.
It's magic time for about a week. Just slow unfolding pleasure.
But, that's just it isn't it? It's pleasure. Either immediate, across a week or even longer. Pleasure. Making me feel good and giving me a new something to love.