It was October 2005. I wont get into all the reasons here, but rest assured it had been an interesting year thus far. The good times… were… good. The bad times—-oh they were so BAD! I mean, I guess that’s life… but this year, just kinda took the cake for me.
Either way, here I was in graduate school, trying to get things back in order, put things back into focus. Priorities: God, family and friends, school, pitching articles and freelancing, work on books, men. That’s the order it was supposed to go in… but we all know, that order sometimes gets out of wack.
And mine certainly had. With Katrina having happened just months before, the first two priorities remained intact and where they needed to be. It was those other ones. School was okay, though I had formed a little bitter crew by this time: we were the cynical ones (shout out to Mike) in our program. Pitching was a nightmare and freelancing was even worse. I was writing, but not getting paid… how does that sound to you? Book work was non-existent… and the men… oh the men. I had one guy who I thought was cool enough. He was from back home, but was staying here. He was cute, athletic, sexy as hell… (he turned out to be real jack-ass by the end of October, but this is the beginning we’re talking about here… so no more about him). I had another guy, who… eh, how do I put this? We were friends, close friends, probably a whole lot closer than we should have been. No, actually we were much closer than we should have been… cuz you know, he had a girlfriend and all, who wasn’t me. (I’m not proud of it, just being honest.) We’ll call him “Jake.”
So things were interesting to say the least. I really wasn’t what you would call happy. Not depressed or anything, but definitely not happy. And if anyone has ever been in a situation where they wanted someone more than that person obviously wanted them (whether it was like my situation or not), then you know that can mess up how you feel about almost everything.
One night, Jake and I got into a huge argument about us… of course. I didn’t like feeling like a dirty mistress and wanted to walk away from him, our friendship, and everything. He didn’t understand how I could be so selfish and give up our friendship. The “discussion” went on far longer than it should have and we said some things we shouldn’t have… something no matter how mad we got, we had never done before.
I needed something to get my mind off of it all. Anything. Alcohol? No, cuz the side effects the next morning would not be a good look! Crying? I wasn’t going to give him the pleasure. Talking it out with my friends? I wasn’t really one of those girls who needed to do that…. Shopping? Yes, shopping!
That next day, I called one of my shopping aficionados, Pimp C. We strapped on our shopping gear: cute but comfy jeans, tank top, and strappy sandals (we’re in DC, it was still warm, even in October) and overly large bag (purse). We jumped in her ride (lol), made our way to the incomparable Pentagon City Centre in VA, walked in, took a deep breath and smiled. We were there for a therapy and shopping was what we were going to do. Store by store, we racked up.
Banana Republic: check
Forever 21: check
Store by store, we spent our hard earned money… and stacked up the bags. Smiling all the way. Egging each other on. Finding some sense of relief.
By the end of the day, I’d purchased 9 pairs of shoes (along with other items) and she’d purchased 10 (along with other items). And this time, we were actually drained. We dragged ourselves back to the car, loaded all of our merchandize, drove back to my place, and I lugged everything I had into my apartment. The therapy had done well for about 6 hours, but now I was home by myself with all these… things… and none of them meant anything without him.
It was then that I realized the biggest con of all when using shopping as therapy. You can have all the things in the world and not have the one thing you want, and I promise you won’t be happy.
Now, don’t get me wrong… I still love to shop. I just went shopping the other day in Philly and had a BLAST! But word to the wise, don’t break your bank account to try to fix a breaking heart. It won’t help. If you’re going to use the popular shopping technique, focus on one splurge item (cuz I still think every girl should get one every 4 or 5 months at least). After all Rita Rudner (the lady who said the quote in the last post) said she buys A really great outfit to make her feel better. 100 juuuuust might make you feel worse. lol