Shopping, and my relation with it

Source: Mike Petrucci

Have you ever bought something that you like so much, that you end up using less of it, so you can preserve its quality for longer — and end up buying more of the same item but of average quality to make do for regular use?

Lost you there? Allow me.

I shop in phases. I’ll go months without buying a thing, and then one week something will happen to me, and I’ll shop enough to cover what I saved in those previous months. And more.

But this post isn’t about exploring why this happens.

This is about figuring out why I buy something of awesome quality and then don’t use it as much because I worry it’ll get spoilt, and so I buy the same item for cheaper, and use that instead.

I’ll buy a $20 legging that I’m in love with, and then use it on rare occasions, just in case the seams get off, and then I’ll buy six $4 leggings and wear and tear the beejeesus out of them.

Towels. I’ll buy amazing towels with good use, but then buy cheaper quality towels and wear and tear with them.

So yes, whether it’s stationery, shoes, handbags, clothes of any kind, gym wear, sports bras, lingerie — you name it. The act and the sentiment is the same.

This is a problem, because I end up with high quality unused products that I really love, AND a lot of reasonably priced products of the same item, also that I really love.

This got me thinking hard. Why does that happen?

The only thing I could come up with, was that I’m married to my purchases. I have been involved in emotional shopping.

I read up more, and this turns out to be true. When a person is feeling emotional (any kind of emotion), and they seek retail therapy, the act of buying something gets attached to the sense of happiness that you feel after you’ve completed the purchase. You get attached to the object.

The mind then starts to recognize that, “if I let go of this item, I will be unhappy. If I use it a lot, and it gets spoilt, I won’t be able to find a replacement, and I will be unhappy.

And that makes it hard to let go.

Emotional shopping makes it hard to declutter. No amount of Mary Kondo concepts can help, because each of those items does give you joy. And so, you end up with a lot of items that give you joy.

It’s been a few weeks, and I’ve stayed away from emotional shopping. I’ve tried to be very objective, buying things that I need, and trying my best to have no strong emotions attached to it.

So if it does get spoilt, it’s okay, we will move on and get something else.

So far it’s been alright.

As a way for the universe to test my will, the laundry team ripped my favorite gym jacket and bra off. Admittedly, I did sit back and whine a little, but then braced up, broke up with the outfit, and moved on.

(Not going to use that laundry team anymore; I mean how could they.)

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Talkative. Creative. Quiet. Blank. Repeat. UX designer by day, Netflix and doodles by midnight. Formerly an event producer. Join the writing journey with me.

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Deepti Mansukhani

Deepti Mansukhani

Talkative. Creative. Quiet. Blank. Repeat. UX designer by day, Netflix and doodles by midnight. Formerly an event producer. Join the writing journey with me.

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