I've just arrived home from a solo shopping trip, laden with four bags chock-a-block full of purchases. At the time of shopping I felt euphoric, I was satisfying my desires.
I've just arrived home from a solo shopping trip, laden with four bags and sudden guilt.
For the Summer I'm a working girl (admittedly, college is my main priority for the rest of the year). I've paid my rent on time, all my other bills are paid. I have no credit cards or overdrafts, no external expenses to pay. So I shop. I work hard while I'm at work, and I'll continue working after work. If work want me to come in earlier, I'm happy to do so, if they want me to stay later, I'll gladly do that too. If a situation arises that is outside of my job description I'll do it to the best of my capabilities. I woke up early this morning to go to the store to feed my sleeping housemates, I got burger and fries for a homeless woman, I tipped at Starbucks, I bought my friend an Alex and Ani bracelet simply because it reminded me of her.
So why, when this is my money, do I feel guilty for buying things which I was previously elated for not 40 minutes ago? Why am I no longer brimming with pride looking at the new handbag I bought, or swooning over the new top that I'll probably be wearing on Saturday? I've earned the means to fund all of these things I've picked up, why do feel so ashamed of myself? These four bags are sitting on my bed, taunting me.
I've got a case of what I like to call "Untitlement". With all that happens in the world, when society puts pressure on us to wear a certain brand, to drink a specific drink, to adore a particular person, we seem to forget ourselves as the individual. You feel compelled to disallow yourself anything beyond excess. Of course what is defined as excess varies from person to person, but we all feel it at some point. What was ecstatic a few hours ago has transformed and manifested itself to a blackened core of self disgust. And you sit at the kitchen table, shying away from your shiny-new shame, denying yourself the cup of tea you longed for on the journey home.
I say bollocks to it!
I've earned this money. I love my new shoes. I'm a single, 20 year old girl with no baggage or serious commitments. If I want to spend $150 on a new bag, and if I have the money, then I should buy the friggin' bag. When I'm not in debt and I'm not borrowing money from someone else I don't need to justify how I spend.
Go forth, fellow shoppers. Longchamp is waiting for you!