Chaos Attraction

Shopping Whores

2007-12-29, 8:14 a.m.

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So, last night Mom clearly had this bug up her ass to go shopping.

We'd gone out to dinner and then over to Deacon Dave's, which we got out of about 8:45. And I was about ready to go home, cop a squat, try to post multiple Holidailies entries up so I can get above the slacker line again, etc. But she wanted to GO somewhere other than home. So she was all, "Let's go to Kohl's!" (Closed.) "Let's go to Lowe's!" (Ditto.)

Finally, she settled on Target, which was open until ten and she could take back um...something or other. I was all like, hey, let's see if I can find a copy of The Sweet Far Thing here for cheaper than Borders, which I did, and picked up a few other books on the wish list while I was at it. Or I should say, Mom got into the book shopping too and got some of her own, and some DVD's, whatever. However, we got out of there around 9:45 and she still wanted to shop. And Wal-Mart closes at eleven, so... I didn't pay for a dang thing tonight. I wanted to get some cheap yarn in a nice color and one paperback book, and got 'em on her bill. She wanted me to get a camera case because I just haul mine around in my purse all the time and it disturbs her, so she got it.

Then she wanted to hit the DVD section...and went nuts. Especially in the really cheap movie bin. She seriously had about 16 different movies she wanted to get in there at one point. She definitely hadn't even seen some of them. She got in the movie habit years ago due to Dad having nothing to do BUT wach movies, and it's really difficult to break her of buying them. It especially worries me when she is buying movies SHE HASN'T EVEN SEEN YET and doesn't even know if she'd like to keep them forever.

I tried, gently, multiple times, to say, "Uh, do you really WANT all of these movies? Are you SURE?" She finally ended up discarding maybe 3 or 4 of them by 11 when the store closed, but she still bought a ton. Even I was a bit taken aback. (Me: "I guess we're doing a 24-hour movie marathon on the 31st...")

Yeah, it's pretty obvious where my shopaholicism comes from...and also why I refuse to get a credit card, because I'd abuse the hell out of it. Her spending in the last year has kind of scared ME, even. I've found various papers relating to her bank accounts in the last year when she made me clean for her, so as far as I can tell she probably isn't going to go broke any time soon. But I seriously wonder. I don't even want to be around whenever she gets a receipt any more so I can not hear the total. Yeah, I buy a lot of books, but at least 95% of them are gonna get read within the month I buy them. Her buying movies? Not so much. I know I was finding movies around her house this last week she hadn't even opened or seen before.

I attempted to have a talking-to with her about this on the way home, when she was saying stuff like, "I am really out of control" and "I have no one to rein me in." To which I was all, well, if you need someone else to take care of you, you end up being screwed when they can't or won't or nobody's around to, so... uh, maybe you should see a shrink so you can figure out how to take care of yourself? (I keep trying, folks.)

Her response was... well, I wasn't expecting this, and she didn't say it in a mean or snotty way either. It was something like, "What would I say? That I know I'm buying stuff because I'm lonely and nobody's around to stop me?"

I related.

"You know what?" I said. "Way back when I was with (college boyfriend) and my birthday came around? I actually didn't have a list of stuff I wanted. At all."

"Weird," she said.

"I know," I said.

"It was because you were happy and satisfied, wasn't it."

"Yeah," I said. "That never happened before and it will probably never happen again."

I don't know how to help her. I run into the same problem myself. If I have a problem and the only way to solve it is to get another person, the problem doesn't get solved. If I can't do it 100% alone, it ain't happening, which is partially why I don't do stuff like uh, driving. If she desperately needs an official boyfriend (not just a psuedoboyfriend who's around half the time and encourages her spending even worse than I do in some ways) so she doesn't feel lonely and has someone to crack the whip on her at home, it's not something she can go buy. Some other poor bastard has to come along, be single, and cooperate, and what are the odds of that?

I genuinely enjoy getting stuff. It's fun to do, then I have new toys to play with when I get home. I am a ginormous fan of distraction and absorbing every book, movie, TV show, web site, etc. that passes in front of my eyes. I'd still be doing that even if I was with someone. But...yeah, if I was REALLY satisfied, I might not be doing what I do so much.

I don't think that's changing any time soon for anybody, though.

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