Saturday, April 25, 2015

Shopping Therapy

After lunch at Olive Garden, we drove across town to just past the Market Place Mall to the shopping center where Old Navy and Marshall's share space with World Market and Best Buy. It's my favorite place to go shopping in Flagstaff. I get bargains and variety all in one place. After parking, Niccole and I both got out of her car, and were standing just behind the vehicle getting her stroller out for her baby. Meanwhile, a hulking black truck was pulling out of a spot two parking spaces away from us. As I watched Niccole remove her stroller, I felt myself being gently pushed forward from behind. I turned around to see who had shoved me, only to realize it was the truck!

Outraged I ran down the parking lot after the culprit, shouting obscenities. It's the only thing I could think of doing in the moment. The truck stopped halfway down the parking lot, and I stopped too. (In retrospect, I could have kept running and caught up with the truck, getting close enough to get a license number, or even demand that the driver get out and give me their insurance information. However, I didn't do that. A small, scared voice in the back of my head told me to keep my distance. If the driver was inconsiderate enough to touch me with their vehicle, who's to say they wouldn't just throw the truck in reverse and run me over?) So the truck did stop, just long enough for the driver to throw her hand out the window and flip me off, as well as shout, "You should have got out of the way!"

Indignant at the behavior of this driver, I fumed back to Niccole who was putting her baby in the stroller. An associate from Best Buy came out and told us we should go into the store and call 911. I had no intention of doing that since I wasn't injured and I had no license plate number. The employees let us sit down and gave us water and tissues. As I reported to dispatch, the realization of what happened crashed over me and I was in tears at that point. Half an hour later found us saying goodbye to the police officer and mall security guard who were called to the scene. I was mostly calmed down, but still shaky. I wasn't going to let some idiot driver ruin my Girls' Day Out, or what was left of it.

Niccole asked me if I wanted to head home or keep shopping. Since I had found very few things on my list at Kohl's, I was determined to keep shopping. I have never really used shopping as a release or therapeutic activity; it goes against all my principles, however, I had a pocket full of cash, a list, and a really good reason to use shopping as therapy. Why not?

I am glad I did decided to keep shopping. I crossed a lot of things off my list and rounded out my existing wardrobe quite satisfactorily. My favorite score was a black and white striped maxi dress by Calvin Klein for $30.00! I also decided it was time for me to get some white capri pants. I have avoided white with having a baby around, but now my daughter is two and more tidy of a toddler than I expected. So, I thought the risk would be worth it to buy white capri pants since they would be able to accompany about five different shirts I already owned.

I also found a pair of flip flops for $13.00. They came in gold and silver. I needed some "casual" flip flops for the summer, but I didn't want the $5.00 pairs that I knew I would find at Old Navy. These mid-priced flip flops were just too gorgeous to pass up, but I couldn't decide on a color. In the end, I let my shopping therapy mindset take over, and I bought both;  again thinking, "why not?" I knew that when I returned home, no matter which color I bought, I would still be thinking about the other color. And, most of the time when I buy a pair of shoes I really like, eventually they wear out, right? So why not be proactive and buy not only a back up pair, but a back up in the other color so I am not thinking, "Why didn't I get the other color?" This may seem tedious to some people, but it's a new concept for me. I am so gosh darn practical about shopping that I rarely, if ever, buy the same item in more than one color. I think the exception is tank tops and workout pants.

While I was at Marshall's, I also bought a set of foam rackets and balls for the kids to play with. They love to play games with each other and chase each other around the house. I figured with these toys they can bat at each other and not hurt each other. At $6.00, it seemed like a good idea to buy me some peace of mind knowing they won't hurt each other with these new toys.

Add to my Marshall's tab a pair of lavender dish gloves with zebra stripe cuffs, some makeup and applicators and an impulse buy of a new shopping bag at the register, and I racked up $104.00! I don't think I have ever dropped that kind of cash shopping on one place (for myself). I supposed that is what therapy shopping is all about, right? I wouldn't know because I don't do that....ever. Maybe once, and if I did, I can't remember what it was for.

Moving on to Old Navy, I found a black and white striped tank top on clearance for $2.00. I couldn't pass it up. I also found sparkly grey tights on clearance as well. I planned on cutting off the feet to turn them into leggings and wear under my denim skirts. I also found a pair of charcoal and a pair of black cotton leggings to wear with my longer t-shirts for $8.00 each. And to finish off the day, I also bought a package of six pink sock pairs for Lily. I literally looked at every store we went to for a package of socks that had just pink in them and couldn't find one. (Lily refuses to wear any other color on her feet than pink these days.) Old Navy saw me part with $28.00 of my Fun Dollars.

At the end of the day, I didn't really feel totally "better" after my run-in with the black truck. Shopping therapy took my mind off what happened for a little while, and mostly, I was just "therapy shopping" because I had already planned to go out and go shopping. I guess that's why I don't really do therapy shopping. I know it doesn't work for long-term results. If you have to go out and give companies money to feel better, make it a real therapist instead. Therapy shopping is the shallow, short-term fix to deeper problems.

The next day, a trip to Urgent Care (just to get checked out) yielded no real, or visible harm to my body from the truck, and I took the rest of the day off work. I was overloaded with adrenaline in my system, and that was pretty much the only damage done. I did use therapy shopping once more, though. This time, I did actually start to feel better, well, relieved is probably a better word for it. I had my eye on a small, aqua purse for summer. Every time I would go into Beall's I would try on the purse and admire it; the way the strap hugged my shoulder, the fresh look of aqua, the ease of access to the compartments. I knew that if I waited any longer, the purse I wanted to carry around all summer would be gone. So, I bought it.

I also went home and took a bath with lavender oil and Epsom salts. After that, I slept for an hour and a half before picking up the kids from school. This felt more like real therapy, calming my nervous system. While Carrick was at karate, I took a walk around the neighborhood with Niccole too. We walked with another "karate mom" and we just had some good girl time and got some endorphins going, which helped along the healing process. The day after that, I felt as if the brush with the truck had never happened, and my adrenaline levels were back to normal.

At the end of the day, I am grateful that I was not harmed more than just a surge of adrenaline, and nothing, not even shopping can replace the good vibes of a bath and plenty of sleep when it comes to actual therapy. Spend your money wisely, and not on emotional purchases, and you'll have more Fun with your Fun Dollars.

Marshall's- $104.00
Old Navy- $28.00
Beall's Outlet- $20.00

Balance this pay cycle- $10.00

Happy Spending!

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