‘Radiating pain shoots through her neck, into the shoulder blades and completes the voyage by resting in the small of her back. She raises her hand to hold the nap of her neck, eyes closed….deep breath. With every second that passes, she realizes that although she shouldn’t, she really could. Could means should, right? She looks around. A lady in her mid-twenties, well-kept in eggplant corduroy leggings, onyx chiffon tunic , & whimsical ostrich fur vest, who looks to be about her size has eyed it twice, but walked away. Suddenly, it appears as though she’s changed course, her Louboutin boots marching straight for it! A voice whispers “Grab it! Now! You can always return it. Buy now, think later.” The voice keeps coaching, confidently, but with a sense of urgency, “Buy it. Buy it now. Apologize for what? Need? Do you really need anything besides food? By-the-way, you could spare to skip a few meals and this would be WORTH it. Listen to the voice of reason. Everyone will want this and there’s only one in your size C’mon.” She “Shhhs” the voice out loud, realizing that the cashier is on to them. Great. She wears the anguish of one in retail purgatory quite obviously, not to mention this devil on her shoulder. The clock says 8:45. It’s Last Call. No, no, not closing time. It’s the semi-annual sale at Neiman’s & the object of obsession is a jacket. Ahhh. If it were just a jacket there’d be no need for her to review her Art of War strategies prior to entering the establishment; No, it is a ponte knit military jacket. Elizabeth & James. exquisitely tailored, steel buttons, fits her like a dream. The Sartorialist couldn’t have married an article of clothing to a person more perfectly. It was heaven. Retail $495. Last call price $149. In the height of deliberation, Mrs. Ostrich slid in and with a pursed lip and dagger eyes, snatched it off the rack. Olivia sighed a breath of relief. Her mother was disgusted.’
My fear? I will fast forward 15 years, and without an intervention, the previously mentioned scenario is very well what Olivia could experience in her life. Kids learn from us. They observe and collect not only our deliberate teachings, but more so perhaps, the way we live; the behaviors we demonstrate without saying a word. It is easy for them to make assumptions about our beliefs & expectations simply by connecting the dots of the actions they’ve seen. Today, I actually twitched a little. It is Day 6, after all. Truth is, I’ve not made a purchase since December 22: Hattie’s Branches: Greyline Black Chiffon Tunic with silver bead embellishment. yummy. Anyway, point is: it bothered me. Bothered me that I’ve been so extraordinarily obsessed with shopping…..with looking cute. I was painstakingly humiliated internally, that on day 6 I could possibly be experiencing some mild physiological symptoms of withdrawl. I remembered a proverbial truth that pierced my soul years ago:
“Many things that are permissible are not always profitable.”
It echoed in my thoughts again, as I picked the children up from school. So truth be told, I skipped the weekly Thursday trip to Target…altogether skipped it. I played fire engines with Owen. I watched Shrek 3. I organized pony playhouse. We had a cheeze-it picnic on the back porch dressed in our snuggies.
I played with my children.
For once, it wasn’t about the outfit. It wasn’t about cleaning. It wasn’t about striving for perfection. It was ALL about understanding the process of lining up 36 stuffed animals in a specific order for the Shrek premiere in our make-shift living room theatre. It was everything about engaging when Owen had “A REALLY GOOD IDEA. DAT BE SOOOOO FUN.”
This evening, Olivia & I were reading Cinderella. The subject of nasty sisters and no ball invite for Cinderella came up. I asked Olivia “Why couldn’t Cinderella go to the ball?” Her response,
“Her not go to ball because she doesn’t have great shoes”
Wow. Sort of, but not really. I could see right away that we’ve made much ado about shoes. With that, I realized that ShopFast is not merely a fun project, but it may actually save my life.