I love to shop. Actually, “love” doesn’t even begin to say it.
I shop when I’m happy, sad, bored, celebrating, ruminating or just plain escaping. I’ll shop alone, with a friend or with a busload of like-minded women. Across the street, across town or across the border, I’m there. My triathlon is window shopping, online shopping and store hopping. And in any given month I rack up two or three pages of purchases on the joint Visa bill for every one of Luc’s.
Now, keep in mind I do most of the grocery shopping, the Costco trips and the pharmacy runs. If we need anything for the house, I’m the one who runs out to buy it. Entertainment? I’m the one who books it. Kids’ activities? Me. Birthday gifts? Me again. Christmas spending? I’ve got a budget spreadsheet for that holiday alone.
Oh yeah, and there’s the small matter of keeping our children clothed and their feet clad through every possible weather variation through every season (we do have eight here, right?) when they refuse to stop growing for more than fifteen minutes at a time. (I think Luc might have bought the boy one cute little Harley Davidson t-shirt when he was about three months old. But that was ten years ago. And then again, that might have been me.)
I’m really good with everyday purchases. I read the flyers, I shop the sales, I always check if I’ve got a coupon or a Groupon I can use. I can drop $300 at the grocery store and not think twice about it (after all, it’s food we’re going to eat) or $200 on clothes for the kids and I’m OK with it (because chances are I got $400 worth from the 50% off rack).
But here’s where I freeze up: big-ticket items. And when I say “freeze up” I mean “break into a cold sweat and have heart palpitations at the very thought of spending an inordinate amount of our hard-earned cash on a single item that I don’t know the first thing about purchasing and I’m not even convinced we really need.”
New computer? Definitely in that category. Big-screen TV? That too. Surround sound system with five speakers and accompanying sub-woofers, super-tweeters and I don’t know what-all else? Check. Our first car? I’m having chest pains just remembering that process. Our second car? The house? Dear god, someone call an ambulance!
Right now we’re considering getting a laptop. Do I know anything about them? No. Am I convinced we need one? Not yet. And the rational part of my brain knows that in the past week, I’ve likely spent more on Rubbermaid storage bins, feminine hygiene products and topping up my Starbucks card than we will on this one item. But I still find it stressful and I don’t want to do it.
My only comfort is that when we do finally buy one (cuz I know we will), it’ll show up on Luc’s half of the Visa bill!
Check out Luc’s thoughts on big-ticket items.