I’ve been trying to analyze my internet addiction and I have come to realize that I am always shopping. What’s wrong with that, you may ask. Nothing, if you a) need stuff or b) have extra money to burn. Neither of these are true for me. I am not shopping for clothes or shoes because I NEED THEM. I do not need them. I rarely get dressed up and I wear similar variations on a theme (comfort!) every day. Why, then, do I feel compelled to do this? Here is my analysis:
1. Something is on sale and will never be at this low of a price again. You’d think I would know by now that the 30% off sale this week will quickly be followed by a 40% off sale next week. But what if the item I like is sold out by then? Which leads me to….
2. It’s now or never. It’s hard for me to find the kind of clothes I require — all cotton, interesting colors, comfortable — in my bizarre sizes. If I find something that meets all those criteria, I MUST SNATCH IT RIGHT UP because it will be gone in seconds. Have you ever put something in your virtual shopping bag and continued to shop, only to find that some of your chosen items, sitting safely in the virtual bag (or so you thought) sold out WHILE you were looking at the other items? Not fair! I’m still on the same shopping venture! It’s as though someone else snatched it out of my hand. That really hurts.
3. It’s on sale because it’s being discontinued, so buy all you can. A few years ago, I found these great summer clogs at LLBean. They were super comfortable sun-washed cotton and they came in interesting colors. I bought three pairs. Later that summer, it became clear they were going to Shoe Purgatory, never to be seen again. Well, the three I had already would NEVER last me a lifetime, so I had to buy up multiples of all the same shoes I already owned. So I now have 10 pairs of these wonderful shoes, taking up a lot of space in my closet. But they were SUCH a great price, and sure enough, they are no longer available. Every winter, when I move my huge supply of summer shoes into the back of the closet to make way for the winter shoes, I tell myself how brilliant I was to corner the market on these cotton clogs. I’ll be wearing them in the nursing home for sure.
[No picture because they are waaay in the back of my closet, under numerous pairs of other shoes]
4. Something is limited edition. I joined a website that had daily sales on unique items. BIG MISTAKE. I valiantly searched the internet to see if I could find these items anywhere else, thus removing the urgency, and 9 times out of ten, I couldn’t find them. I had to quit this website permanently, but not before I bought 6 tote bags with prints licensed by Keith Haring, one of my favorite artists. Now everyone can use a nice tote bag, but it’s not as though I didn’t own any already! And, another problem: I feel they are too “special” to use on a daily basis. So they are in my closet with the 10 pairs of cotton clogs, innumerable sandals, and an obscene quantity of scarves.
5. I have important things in one briefcase, so I need another one for the next set of important things. This has resulted in my owning too many work bags (not really official briefcases) to mention. Who wants to unpack a big accordion file right after the hearing is over? Not I! So it’s on to the next bag for the next hearing.
6. The brand is so comfortable, I must have every color. See LLBean clogs above. I have been a fan of Merrells shoes for years. Any time a new style or color came along, I had to have it. And if it’s on sale? OMG! That is the best thrill of all – something for which I would pay full price but I don’t have to! Who can resist that? I moved on to Skechers GoWalk shoes last summer, and have a whole lot of those…even two pairs of the same shoe, because what if one wears out?
Look at those unique soles — of course I needed two pairs of the same Skechers shoes! Plus the same shoe in 5 other colors….
7. There is only one of these items in existence. This is why I have to avoid eBay. I go on serious eBay binges, deciding I want to collect a certain kind of tile, or wall pockets for flowers, or enamel brooches, and away I go. Remember the Spike Lee movie, “She’s Gotta Have It”? I don’t think Spike was referring to eBay, but that could easily be the title of a movie about my adventures on that website.
8. A handmade item that is so gloriously underpriced that I must get it before the artisan realizes what an amazing thing she has created. Etsy is my new eBay. I have to ban myself from that site as well. What a motherlode of beautiful things exists on Etsy!
Part of the problem is that I get daily emails from many shopping sites, plus Ebates, plus free shipping sites, all telling me about the next incredible sale that ends tonight. So I feel compelled to at least check them out. Bergdorf Goodman? I will never ever buy anything from that store. Why must I look through their website? Yet I must. I bought two nightgowns from Land’s End, and I love them. There are no more in my size, yet I must check several times a week because what if someone returned one in my size and now it’s available?
And then there is Amazon. I worship Amazon. My goal is to buy everything there so I need never go into a physical store again. But buying on Amazon is complicated, if you want to find the best price. There is much hunting to be done amongst the many offerings Amazon features. You can’t just buy the first one that pops up. Hours of internet time must be invested.
I had hoped writing this would force me to admit that this is a problem I must try to overcome. Unfortunately, I have succeeded only in convincing myself that the above reasons are truly valid and that I need to stop writing this and get back to more important things: virtual hunting and gathering.