Recently I ordered a few things online from a brand that I like. Nothing I needed, just a few things I wanted. And I was quite pleased with my purchases when they came, until today.
Today I got an email alert letting me know that all sale items were now 25% off in addition to the already reduced prices. So I clicked through and browsed. I didn’t need anything three weeks ago when I bought my few new things and I don’t need anything today but I thought I would look anyway, because you know, there might be something fabulous. There we fabulous things, but not fabulous enough to make me want to buy and there were also some of the things I just bought. Not all, so I guess that is kind of good. But some. Today they were an additional 25% off. So I have been generally annoyed since I saw that. Not with the company, I know things go on sale and that special offers always happen. No, I have been annoyed with myself because almost always I only buy from the sale section when there is a discount offer extra, but this time I didn’t and the very things I am now in possession of are cheaper than they were when I bought them. I hate that.
I hate it for a variety of reasons all that have to do with me and virtues that I would like to cultivate further: patience, simplicity, confidence, frugality. Knowing that if I had waited I would have paid less and having it so very obvious as that the very shoes I am now wearing are on sale today somehow triggers a deep frustration with myself in all these areas. We all have triggers, this is one of mine.
I have a tough relationship with shopping in general, the decision to buy something for myself is often fraught with internal conflict. There is the basic assessment of need versus want and the truth is I don’t need in the true sense of the word anything I buy for myself other than food. I have a lot of stuff, and my needs are met so it is never an issue of need. I am deeply grateful for all I have, and I try hard to be honest about what that big picture looks like . But then there is the issue of deserving and that gets all mixed up with childhood stuff. Also the related feelings about being allowed to be happy which is a mess emotionally and to be frank a daily struggle. So buying things I want requires a lot of emotional work just to get there. The after the fact sale just adds to the stress and I spend a lot of time beating myself up for making a mistake. I don’t need that experience either but I guess I want it because I do it anyway.
What I really want is for someone to tell me that it is okay to make a mistake. That to be a good person you don’t have to know the future and that it is perfectly fine to have something you want even if you spent more than you possibly could have if you had just waited a little longer. It’s okay to give yourself things that you like. It’s okay to be happy, to like yourself, to take pleasure in your life. I want someone to say that to me because shopping reminds me of hearing something else that didn’t sound like that, and I already paid a lot for that lesson.