Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I’m a shopaholic no more!
Well, I wasn’t speaking Prada, Gucci, Armani, Fendi or other high-end designers because during the time, when I was still in college and within the first two years of working, those brands were simply beyond reach. However, I was speaking of brands like Lee, Adidas, Levi's and some top local brands such as Sara lee, Avon, Natasha and others.
That line of Rebecca Bloomwood “underwears are human rights” was very true to me. I collected not just a few but quite a number of fancy and expensive underwears – panties and bras, and they were an obsession. Every morning, after I do my bed, I would sit in front of my closet looking at my expensive clothes hanging neatly in my closet and all my underwears piled neatly in a drawer, admiring them.
When I was in the university, I was survived by a scholarship. I was lucky to receive quite an amount of stipend allowance every semester and to have my tuitions free. However, there were several times when the stipend came delayed. During those times, things were very tight. I would need to stretch the money dad sent me to finance for food, fare, some computer printings and researches.
Yet, when I and my best friend would walk passed a boutique, my eyes would swiftly scan the inside through the glasses, then would gasp in awe, then would hurriedly go inside tagging my best friend behind. It could be a dress on a mannequin, a sporty t-shirt, or the latest trend of jeans that caught my interest but all the same, my heart would pump hard, my eyes would grow wide, my hands sweating and my head just spinning. A voice in my head would keep saying “I need to get this! I need to get this!” And no matter what, I would go home with that item in a fancy paper bag. The consequence? A week of only one meal a day.
When I was working, money was plenty at the end of the month. It gave me even more power to shop. I was able to acquire more of fancy things. But still, every time I brought home new items, the craving for more turned bigger. I lived like one day millionaire. Twenty seven days of meager food on the table in exchanged to three days shopping.
There was this very strong power inside that controlled me. The urged to shop and to get what my eyes wanted defeated my will to do what was right – to prioritize what was important.
But just like Rebecca Bloomwood from the movie, it was my childhood cravings that caused my being shopaholic. When I was younger, especially in my teenage life, things went bad for my dad’s business. He started losing money when I entered high school. And shortly, there was nothing left. During my transition period from late childhood to teenage life, I needed things that would help me define my personality. But such things were not my mom’s priority.
She had to prioritize her house and her obsessions with appliances. There weren’t much money so in order to acquire stuff to beautify the house meant to ignore her teenage daughter’s desire to wear some good clothes. While I walked in the corridors of the academy, my new school for my second year high school, the boys were shouting at me “The Sabbath is still far!” because while everyone was sporting some cool jeans and t-shirt, I was wearing my mom’s blouse and skirt from the 80’s.
So how did I become a reformed shopaholic? I went abroad exactly when I turned twenty-two. I went to a place where I did not know anyone. I wanted to explore and to get a job at the same time. But after a month of living abroad, my appendix erupted that I needed an emergency surgery [Read the story Living abroad with God]. Then shortly after five months, I had to have a dangerous cyst removed. I was completely indebted to my new employer. Thus, I was forced to be tight with money.
While working to pay all my debts for several months, I came across the book “Rich dad: poor dad” [Read the story The book that made me rich]. The timing was dramatically perfect. I realized that I sank in debt just for a couple of surgeries because I did not have a reliable health insurance and no savings. I was like hit my head hard on the wall.
Right now, I am a certified reformed shopaholic.