Today marks the start of the Amazon pre-Black Friday deals week. Thus, I find it appropriate to address a topic of much relevance to this odd, commercialized, “Hallmark Holiday:” retail therapy. Don’t ask me why, but the human race (or at least 21st Century Americans) get an odd sense of satisfaction from buying things. Stuff. Material items. In fact, it’s quite ironic that we spend Thanksgiving Thursday being grateful for the intangible things in life (the love from family, friends, our pets), and not even 6 hours later, we are stampeding the nearest strip malls in a cutthroat Hunger-games-esque fight for the newest limited edition door-busters and package deals. It’s honestly laughable. Yet at the same time, it’s strangely addicting and pleasurable to buy material items, swipe credit cards, and treat ourselves or others with gifts. Sometimes, it can be a twisted form of medicine.
My dad likes to call this “Retail Therapy.” And I must admit, it’s pretty effective. When I am down in the dumps or in a negative mood, buying myself something little (or big) and pretty can be exactly what I need to put a smile on my face and make it through the day.
In the same way wearing your favorite sweater gives you a confidence boost, buying yourself a little something can raise your esteem. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, and certainly fulfills the time you need for self-care. It’s TLC for all of our inner commercialized, shallow selves, just like the trash reality TV shows we all pretend we don’t like but are equally guilty of binge-watching for hours on end every once and a while when we can’t muster up the energy to even change the channel.
So I’ll condone Black Friday, and I’ll definitely condone retail therapy. As a person who hates cutting myself any slack whatsoever and am by far my own worst critic, retail therapy is my way of easing up slightly and letting loose of all of the pent up anxiety I can tend to collect and internalize. Guaranteed this week, I’ll be binge-watching a show, but instead of “Dance Moms,” “America’s Next Top Model,” or “Cutthroat Kitchen,” it will be the Amazon.com “Black Friday Deals” webpage, along with the webpages of all of my favorite stores. Hey, I deserve it. You deserve it too. We all deserve it.
Of course, as with everything, retail therapy comes with its own set of cautions and concerns. I’ll call it the “fine print.” It is only beneficial in moderation—as the saying goes, “too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” Every once in a while, retail therapy is just what the doctor ordered. It’s just not a daily prescription.
Unfortunately, it does also come with a price tag attached. Besides my favorite reason to continue making purchases (COUPONS), I caution you to budget the credit card use, especially online shopping. I’ll tell you from personal experience, don’t ever develop a habit of opening up Amazon on the daily—you will fall into the “deal trap.” Watch out for those “lightning deals;” they’re too tempting. I know, it can be so hard to pass up an impulse buy that only sits in your cart for 15 minutes before disappearing (and the clock in the upper right hand corner of the screen ticking away the seconds one by anxiety-producing one sure doesn’t help), but self-control is key, my children. Control is key. It’s like those signs on the side of the road: CAUTION; SLIPPERY ROAD AHEAD. Please wear your seatbelts. Click it or ticket.
That being said, I’ll allow you to drive that road, just drive slowly. Take a few breaks; maybe stop at a rest stop for a nice hot coffee before kicking it into high gear again. Treat yourself to some retail therapy, because chances are you need it (even if you think you don’t). Don’t worry: no one will judge. They’ll just want to shop with you.
Enjoy the biggest American shopping day of the year, my colorful friends! Go out and buy yourselves something nice (or I’ll do it for you…I’m a fabulous shopper, after all).