This morning I met a friend for coffee.
I wore this adorable J.Crew shirt-jacket:
I received many compliments on this little J.Crew gem. My girlfriend even asked where I'd gotten it and how much it was, and I had the excitement of explaining to her (she's Italian) that J.Crew is forever running sales and then special discount codes so that a once $98 shirt-jacket can actually be purchased for around $25.
It was pretty thrilling imparting this sort of knowledge.
I stopped for gas on the way home and a man came out of the shop mart and smiled at me in a way that made me look behind me to see if he was actually smiling at the woman behind me in line. But then he said hello to me and gave me a wink, and the only plausible explanation was the buffalo check.
When I got home, on FaceTime with my sister, she also commented on the shirt.
I mean....I'm getting a lot of mileage out of this $25 buy.
So, feeling pretty good about the attention this shirt is garnering, I hop online and go directly to the J.Crew website to see if there are any more shirts on sale I might need to snatch up.
Friends - this is one week after cleaning out my closet (again) and piling clothing onto the sofa that I regularly do not wear and cannot fit into. Roughly 50% of these clothes are J.Crew and several of the shirts are plaid.
I did not think about this as I navigated the website, and in less than ten minutes, I've filled up a cart of clothing.
Two flannel shirts.
One cape. (really?)
Two pair of capri workout pants.
Three pair of socks.
The total, with said discount codes, is a measly $128.
As I walk into the other room to get my credit card, I pass the sofa with the stack of clothing, piled neatly, unworn, unused and discarded as either irrelevant, too small or simply not befitting of my daily life at the moment.
I stop. I stand there, my purse a few feet from me on the counter, and shake my head.
I go back to my computer, look at the clothes and feel a serious pang at the thought of not buying them. It's such a good deal. A plaid cape for under $20? How can I pass that up?
But then I reminded myself of two important points:
1. I have three shawls/capes in my closet that I haven't worn since that dreary winter in Pennsylvania two years ago.
2. There will always be a plaid shirt on sale at J.Crew. There will always be yoga pants and ballet flats and socks and any other assortment of adorable items itching to take up residence in my closet.
I click out of the tab on my browser, shut my laptop and step away from the computer.
This is a habit, a pattern. There are, at this very moment, unopened Jcrew bags in my closet, with clothes I've never even tried on, with tags still attached.
That's compulsive shopping. That's emotional shopping.
Is it wrong?
I don't know the answer for anyone else, but I've concluded it's wrong for me.
I want 2018 to be a year of intention, thoughtfulness and positive values. I want to be able to appreciate the one shirt-jacket I have without feeling this compulsion to buy more, just in case, for another compliment, to sooth my fear of one day being without buffalo check on a cloudy January day.
In the end, more is just....more.
So, as 2018 opens with a gas station wink, I'm going to report the score:
Mindless Consumption - 0
Amy - 1
I hope everyone got a wink and a smile today.