Friday, 16 January 2015

Shopping insanity

Shopping Insanity

It is truth universally acknowledged that during the post-Christmas sales girls contract an infection called shopping insanity. And, as with any infection, it usually clears itself after a couple of weeks. Or once you’ve reached the limit on your credit card.

It was a rainy January morning when I arrived in the office and realised my tights were broken. On no, it wasn’t just a little ladder; it was a massive hole just above my where the boot hugged my calf. As I stared at it in horror, I vaguely remembered ‘catching’ something with my tights on the train as I was getting off.

Mortified that people might’ve seen my the-lady-is-a-tramp look, I threw my coat on and rushed to the place where I could fix my delicate situation – the changing rooms at House of Fraser.

Having spent many lunch hours browsing the store, I could navigate it with the same speed as I do my one bedroom flat, even when with a heavy hungover. As I was going up the escalators to grab some tights, I suddenly stopped. The skirt that I tried on two months ago but could not bring myself to buy had a ‘Sale’ tag on.

The tights and the rest of the world were immediately forgotten and everything was happening in slow motion. I went to the rail, picked up the skirt, found the tag and a huge grin broke onto my face – 80% off and my size.

Clutching it close to my heart, I suddenly remembered the real reason I was in House of Fraser at 9:20 on a Thursday morning. I darted for hosiery section, picked up a pair of tights and made my way to the changing rooms. On the way there I spotted the boots I’d been admiring for a few weeks. As I was walking away I spotted a sticker on their soles – 60% off…

Half an hour later I left the store with a pair of tights, a skirt, a pair of boots and a jacket for a good measure. My inner shopper was ecstatic, my inner banker was fuming. We had a deal a week before that wouldn’t shop anymore, I guess I might’ve broken my promise.

As I was walking back to the office with my hands full of signature pink bags, I was trying to convince myself that those purchases weren’t a spur of a moment splurge – they were necessary additions to my bulging wardrobe. But even in the moment of my infectious shopping insanity I knew that there was a thin line between a fashion splurge and a closet investment. I couldn’t help but wonder, how do you know when you cross that line?  

Later that day I was invited by a friend to the London Classic Car Show as his plus one. I hesitated for just a second (after all, I knew nothing about cars) but agreed to come. It was very last minute and very exciting.

As we walked around the show, admiring beautiful cars, sipping champagne and listening to various exhibitors raving about engines, mileage and something called ‘creeper gear’, I realised that coming to the car show was definitely a smart investment. I invested my time into a friendship and we had a great night together. I also broadened my horizons and even through the haze of champagne I learnt that a 1937 Bentley is a gorgeous car.

On the way home I was flicking through the pictures I took at the show, while clutching the precious purchase to my heart. I figured even if I had an infectious splurge in the morning, I most definitely compensated it with a smart investment in the evening. And with that eyewash of a reasoning I silenced my inner banker.