[October 14th, 2015]
I returned it; all of it—
If you ask any of our closest friends—if you ask Aviv—they will all attest to the fact that I have rarely ever purchased something only to return it later. Take clothing, for example—the thing I buy most. Even if I brought the item home to find that it didn't fit exactly as I thought it would, the old me reluctantly said, well, maybe that could still come in handy one day... you know, if we ever decide to go ice skating in Bryant Park this winter (for the first time ever)...or if we make it up to Woodstock again to go camping (more like glamping) like we did a few years back..?. It's always been quite easy to find an excuse to keep the thing in my possession. I could always use another [insert item name here], couldn't I? Even if that thing I bought sits in my closet collecting little friends of dust for months before I remember that it's there. Why not just keep it??
But it feels like there's a new me hanging around here lately, and for some reason, I didn't think twice last week after I made a typical pleasure-purchase. I walked straight back into the store only a few short days later and I returned it all:
- two long sleeve t-shirts
- a sweater
- a dress
- a new pair of black leather pointy-toe boots
Pleasure-purchase evidence—all returned back to the store. Not only was this money saved, but it's resulted in space saved too. Quite an important concept for us right now when we talk about a single suitcase!
So this term "pleasure-purchase". Perhaps we'll stop here for a moment and define the turn of phrase. A pleasure-purchase; or maybe you've heard it as "purchase pleasure" is what Urban Dictionary defines as:
The unexplained feeling of bliss, joy and satisfaction one gets following a purchase. It can last anything from a few hours to a few weeks depending on the size, worth or usefulness of the item acquired. Buyer's remorse can sometimes follow or replace purchase pleasure. It is often a reason for shopping addiction.
Oh dear...that goes down a dark and scary road doesn't it? But what if, to a certain level, this is the real reason behind most of our purchases?? Speaking on my personal behalf, I am not ashamed to admit that this wonderful feeling that comes with buying or acquiring something new is often the real reason behind many of my shopping endeavors. At least it used to be, though I'm not saying that I'm completely cured by any means!
Having now gone through each and every item in our loft, I can humbly say that SO many things we owned were pleasure purchases. And yes, while I don't regret a single thing—the problem, I would argue, is the fact that through a purchase, I was really just looking for that feeling of "newness". I didn't actually need the thing. I just needed to feel some sense of novelty—and like most people out there, I turned to shopping. Why not? It's FUN!
But somehow, a light bulb went off last week. After I returned my shopping spree, I came straight home and I decided to re-organize what was left of my closet. I organized each thing, and spontaneously, I found myself sitting with the item in my hands for a moment. My imagination took me to a place where I looked down at it, and I pictured that the item was brand new. I imagined it in my life as if I had yet to wear it out into the world; as if each piece of clothing was like new clothing and was totally willing and able to give the "purchase pleasure" effect all over again.
It was then and there I realized why these pleasure purchases happen. Sometimes, it's not that we need anything at all, it's simply that we're craving newness, and perhaps we're too lazy to do the work to change our perspective and give back a little appreciation to the things we already have.
Blame it on human nature! We take most things in our lives for granted. But why? From here on out I am going to stop making excuses. I'm going to do the mental work to take a moment to appreciate the things I already have, before frolicking off to buy something new.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of these musings tomorrow!