i can not be trusted.

7 10 2012

remember that time when i told you about how lousy i am at transitions? well, behold! what you are looking at here in this picture is 9 pairs of shoes. 9 pairs of brand new shoes bought over the course of the last 24 hours. 5 were purchased online because they’re my favorite shoe ever, and they were on sale for $22 each at 6pm. 1 was purchased for the upcoming burlesque nutcracker (i might also need to purchase a related naughty santa costume). 1 was a practical office shoe choice. and, 2 were just sky high wedges that will look very pretty collecting dust in my closet but i felt very very compelled to buy- so i did.

9 pairs of shoes, all but 3 of which i don’t actually “need” (and we’re defining “need” here as “would be nice to have but definitely don’t actually need”). 9 pairs of shoes, all of which were purchased because the tectonic plates of my life are shifting yet again, and sparkly new feet somehow seem like the most productive way to deal with that discomfort.

it isn’t.

in fact, i woke up this morning and looked at the shoe pile and instead of my heart being aflutter with shiny newness, i felt guilty. and then i paid my bills, and i felt more guilty. and then i looked at the “i absolutely need to own these in order to survive the date that i’m nervous about” pair, and i started to second guess my decision.

“will i look silly?”

“will i be too tall?”

“will i be overdressed?”

(probably yes to all of the above)

and then i started to have the “day after poor decision making sweats”. i get to this weird place where i’m not going to bring the shoes back (never!), but i’m going to make myself feel really really bad about it for a while. in fact, i will publicly shame myself on the internet for doing it. (isn’t that what blogs are for?)

so here are my questions:

1. do people just need coping mechanisms? should i just be glad that mine isn’t crack or anonymous porn theatre sex? (for the record, i bought the shoes with cash and can still pay my rent this month).

2. if i can feel myself in the throes of poor decision making, why can’t i stop myself? i knew as i loaded up that last pair of black patent wedges that it was probably time to stop, but i brazenly did it anyway. do i need to read some sort of book entitled “you fail because you’re selfish, weak willed, and a stupidly continue to believe that new shoes will make your life better”?

3. if i stop feeling bad about it, will new shoes actually make my life a little better?

but seriously, i’m 35 now and i’m still waiting for my skin to clear up (anyone who tells you that it will by 30 is a goddamn dirty liar), and i’m still waiting for some sort of magic grown-up insight or willpower to descend that will make it possible for me to politely say “no thank you, i’m full” when all i really want to do is buy a bouncy castle and fill it to the roof with 6″ glitter hooker heels.

my closet is just not big enough anymore for another breakup, new job, or first day of school.


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7 responses

7 10 2012
Ev

In my experience, the more you beat yourself up, the less you’re helping yourself. Yes, everyone needs coping strategies. If you can afford it, shoes are GREAT!!! They are sooo much better than heroin, yelling at people in the street, pulling out your eyelashes, binging and purging and so many other activities we indulge in when we need some kind of relief from anxiety.

The key is to recognize when you’re in that “place” where you need the relief (seems like you are very self aware) and to have a strategy ready to deal with it when it happens. You are at a disadvantage if you are not ready to deal with it when it happens. So, maybe you CAN afford the shoes? You paid the rent, so unless you are finding yourself doing this kind of shopping too much – more than what you want to spend – why not accept the purchases as a form of stress-reduction? Or, if you really don’t want to spend that much, maybe you can give a lot of thought to something that would give you equal relief but would not cost so much.

Bottom line: treat it like a situation that needs constructive problem-solving, not like an excuse to beat up on yourself. You know how great you are at figuring out how to get stuff done – for example, moving people from ME to MA and then back to ME with a ton of furniture and having FUN doing it? Or, how to get on stage and perform your heart out? Or, how to get writing out there where complete strangers can appreciate it? Well, just apply your excellent problem-solving skills to this issue and you will have success. I guarantee!

7 10 2012
bessmarvin

thanks ev!you’re way too nice to me, but i need it today, so i’ll take it. i can afford the shoes. i still have cash in my savings account, my bills are paid, and my credit card is still in the freezer. could i have done something more productive with that money? yes, definitely.

i think maybe you’re right. i just need to work on allowing myself the indulgence, but not quite so much. maybe next time i’ll only buy 5 pairs (or 6. 6 is a good number). ;)

7 10 2012
Blackgirlinmaine

I agree with Ev, everyone needs a coping mechanism. Mine used to be shopping until I went broke and had to start all over, now it’s yoga. I don’t know but unless you are doing this on a weekly basis and digging yourself into debt I wouldn’t sweat it.

I am turning 40 in 3 months (ouch) and sad to say there is no magic grown up insight, hell some parts of me feel like I am stuck in my 18yo self. As for zits, that’s something else that seems like it never goes away no matter how old we are.

By the way from what I can see in the picture, those shoes are cute!

7 10 2012
bessmarvin

how did you make the switch from shopping to yoga?! i need to find me a nice healthy outlet like that… maybe your grown-up switch did flip, and you didn’t even realize it.

but yes, the shoes ARE cute, which is why they’re not going back. also, i can afford them without creating any new debt… but i probably should have saved the money or at least used it to pay down my student loans or something.

4 11 2012
Bobbi

I love stripper heels and always want to buy them, but never do. I cut down on my shopping habit over the past four months due to moving three times/living in four places. Do that and you will never want to have an excessive amount of stuff again.

23 11 2012
donating furniture pickup

I’m in love with your shoes. Oh they are gorgeous!

29 12 2012
bessmarvin

thanks! sadly, the weather got shitty really fast, and i didn’t get a chance to wear any of them :( they are happily lined up in my closet waiting for spring.

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