Friday, March 29, 2013

I don't have a problem!

“I own 81 leather jackets, 75 pairs of boots, 41 pairs of leather pants, 32 pairs of haute couture jeans, 10 evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves.”  

So says Buzz Bissinger.  You know, the guy who wrote “Friday Night Lights.”  He confesses to spending $587,412.97 between 2010 and 2012.  On clothes!  Evidence of his shopping addiction.  No kidding.  He wrote about it in an essay published in GQ magazine this week.  He posed for a few pics as well. 

Bissinger says he keeps scrupulous records of his spending and has every expense category under control.  Except for the one, of course: Threads.  Leather, to be more precise.  Although I guess you can be “haute” without being leather. 

I can almost relate. 

Once, my friend who knows everything about clothing, shopping, dressing and accessorizing told me that I should color coordinate my closet to facilitate mixing and matching.  Hang blues with blues, greens with greens, and so on.   

So I did. 

That’s when I discovered I had 13 cream-colored sweaters!  V-necks, cable knits, turtlenecks, mock turtles, wrap-a-rounds.  Man, are they versatile!  

But honestly, that’s probably more about weak wardrobe awareness than shopping addiction.  Right?  

On the other hand, I do love me my sweaters.  And that ecru!  Oatmeal!  Crème brulee!  Goes with everything.  

Besides, I can stop whenever I want to.  

Anyway, by comparison, it’s mild, my affliction.  I was a classroom teacher in Oklahoma at the time I acquired those monochromatic multipurpose sweaters.  And I couldn’t get in that much trouble.  My 30-year, career financial plan did not enter the universe of $587K.  Those 13 sweaters probably represented a $300 expenditure over five years! 

Still, I have to admit such things can be problematic for a Costco shopper with a bad memory.  When in doubt I’ll just go ahead and pick up the item in question.  With big box packaging, it’s not long at all before one finds herself knee-deep in Q-tips and dental floss.  I keep the extra 3-packs of ketchup and mayo in the garage with the crates of OrvilleRedenbacher popcorn and Quaker oats.  Overflow paper products?  In the toolshed with the lawnmower and the surplus chardonnay. 

That’s different, anyway.  I’m not compulsive.  Like any Dust Bowl Okie, I don’t like to live too close to the bone. 

Nevertheless, I read an article on  “10 ways to escape a shopping addiction,” and found I’d already put one strategy into operation:  #8.  Find healthy alternatives.  

Not sure if the lip balm qualifies as a healthy alternative, though.  It is better than chapped lips, but I just counted 19 tubes of it in my make-up drawer.  I know, little waxy tubes of … wax don’t constitute actual make-up, but where else would I keep them?  Except in my jacket pockets, my desk drawer, the phone table, my purse, the toolbox, the cup holder of my car and of course, the clothes dryer.   

I just love the stuff.  Ever since Carmex added that little taste of what?  Menthol?  Eucalyptus?  Keeps a girl coming back.   

And what’s the harm?  Though the days of 79-cent Chap Stick are behind us.  It’s all flavored, tinted and scented specialty wax now; with added SPF it’s about $2.79 a pop.

My current favorite – Burt’s Bees Rejuvenating.  So smooth.  So worth it. 

And let’s see…19 @ $2.79 = $53.10, just about the price of a lovely, cream-colored cardigan.  

Do I seem defensive? 

When you feel overwhelmed by the urge to stockpile, says, go for a walk or do some other form of exercise.  This can take your mind off the urge until it passes. 

You’ll need a sturdy pair of walking shoes.  A pedometer is nice.  A visor, polarized sunglasses, a lightweight jacket.  And of course, your lip balm. 

So that idea backfired. 

Maybe I’ll try #9.  “Expand your possibilities,” it says.  Instead of using all that time to shop, I could volunteer in my community, spend more time with my family, go back to school, read lots of great books.   

That’s a lot of pressure.  Stressful.  Maybe I’ll start with a magazine.  

Hey, here’s a copy of GQ.  Oh man!  Look at this guy Bissinger!  He blew half a million bucks on leather pants!  Now he has a problem.