top five: things i love to buy

I’ve probably done this one before, but you’ll have to deal. I haven’t posted as much because lately my Number One And Also Only Feeling has been My Thesis, but I also recognize I am the only one who cares about this, and that angst is only interesting to the people experiencing it. SO. ANYWAYS. I will instead talk about what I have been doing to procrastinate when I don’t want to be working on my thesis (which is obvs all the time,) and that is Online Window Shopping. I am broke, and trying to write a thing that is hard to write, and so obviously most of what I do with my time is look at things I want to buy, either on the internet. There’s something weird and complicated going on there – like, trying to make art is hard and makes me uncomfortable, so instead I numb myself with weird consumerist binges – but we’re not going to go there! Because my insurance pays for therapy and I could get that if I want to talk about my feelings quite that much. Anyways, here’s a list.

1. Food I love doing this. I also love cooking food. These things are related. I do not particularly love eating food – I mean, I do, but no more than the next guy – I just like shopping for it and preparing it the way the SATC girls liked buying fancy shoes and vag perfume and then putting them on before dates. (I’ve never seen an episode of SATC.) This kind of came to a head recently where I was literally flat broke for a week, and realized that part of that was because I had spent like $15 just on cheese that week. What can I say? I love fancy fermented dairy products.

2. Cookware This is a corollary, but I’m going to give it its own section. One of my high school friends is getting married (that is a whole OTHER post) and I spent a good hour tonight giving him suggestions for things he could put on his gift registry. (About twenty-five seconds about having it explained to me what a gift registry is.) Ooh, Le Creuset is so nice! Get a dutch oven! Get one of the little ones, they’re so cute! You could name it! I feel so stereotypical when I do this, like is this how men feel when they walk into a Home Depot and say “I need a power drill”? Like they are fulfilling some deep unspoken cultural calling?

3. Office supplies I feel like this is one of those things we all love doing, like it is conditioned into us with the belief that every September if we buy nice enough Lisa Frank folders and cool enough tshirts we can be new people, popular and beloved and shiny forever. Obviously this has not happened to me, as I am wearing a pair of fleece jammies and doing a shitty job on a pretentious undergraduate thesis. But the dream never dies. This is the first year I bought a daily planner for the new year, and while the amount I actually use it is kind of negligible, it still gives me warm little heart flutters to see it on my desk, so crisp and organized-looking and such an efficient shade of robins-egg blue. Like, looking at it makes me feel like I might be the kind of person who uses it, do you know what I mean?

4. Clothes from Forever 21 I am not proud of this. But let me explain: About 50% of what Forever 21 sells is kind of mediocre and not worth the money. Like this tank top. It’s cute or whatever, but not $17.80 worth of cute. 25% of what they sell is absolutely heinous. Like, if Regina George saw you wear this, she would ask “That’s so cute! Where did you get it?” and I would not even blame her, because really, that’s a lace trim leopard-print skirt. The photo has a model wearing it, they couldn’t even pay a model to put it on. But then! Then the other 25%! Is stuff that is really actually something I would like to wear on my body! I get that it is “cheap” and “low quality” and “I will need to buy another one in six months, you should just spend the money on a nice one” but honestly people this is a pair of jeans for $9.50. I get that they is not as nice as what I could buy at J. Crew (or actually I don’t even really know where rich people shop, whatever) but they are not really any worse than what I could find anywhere else? And um, they’re $9.50. And union made. Sooo if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go browse through some glittery five-inch heels now.

5. Cheap beauty products This is maybe the one vestige of hyper-consumerist-appearance-obsessed-seventeen-magazine culture left in me. I don’t wear makeup, I don’t know or care whether my clothes flatter my figure, I do not know whether “nude and understated” or “glitzy and glam” is in style right now. But if I am having a bad day, Revlon ColorShine Glaze and/or Neutrogena Bubbly Mintyface Face Mask become enormously attractive. It doesn’t have to be brandname, but I won’t lie, it helps. Ugh I just want a smooth, soft matte-but-dewy-and-attractive face like everyone on every cover of cosmogirl ever. This is not ulitimately a huge problem, we are talking like $7 a pop, I think I am just more concerned that what it represents is deeply weird and unhealthy? Like, I am disturbed that even though I know better these products still signify to me exactly what they are supposed to, which is apparently validation of myself as a person. The end.

That is all, someone please share embarrassing things that they spend money on so I don’t feel like a freak



Filed under Rachel

10 responses to “top five: things i love to buy

  1. emma

    girl, i have a shopping problem and it is also correlated to how i’m feeling about my schoolwork–it’s like, this isn’t validating! i need to feel validated! if i buy this, i will feel validated for five minutes!

    i buy:
    clothes on sale: if something is more than fifty percent off and fits me, I MUST BUY IT. i joined these websites where you can get access to final-sale designer stuff and i think i need to quit because i’ve bought three things in the past week, only one of which i even kinda-sorta needed.

    fancy soaps at lush: i’m not even convinced all this organic vegan face shit works all that well, but everytime i walk into lush, i leave spending twice as much as i wanted to. i use a shampoo that’s made with patchouli and beer, okay? it’s a problem.

    coffee: i cannot stop. i go out of my way to buy expensive and delicious grounds, even though, if i’m honest with myself, i’m so bedraggled in the morning that i could be drinking sewer water and i wouldn’t notice.

    moleskine notebooks: give me a boner. have always given me a boner. i bought this ( with my grandma’s birthday money because i was in love with it, and now i rarely use it.

  2. Cheese is one of my favorite things and one of the reasons I could never go vegan.

    I always buy ridiculous things like soap (we have roughly 9 million bars of handmade soap and i still want more).

    We also have roughly 90 cubits of jam, but this is not just my problem, it is a family issue. We love bizarre flavors and buy them whenever we see them.

  3. Peter

    “cheapo chinese slave-labor logs.” If I had a dollar for every time I looked up specs for a guitar I don’t need, I would have already spent that money on guitars.

    I buy miscellaneous electronic bobs and ends, even if I don’t really need them. Forty feet of telephone wiring pulled out from a burning building? It may come in handy some day!

    I buy books just to make me feel smart. I never have time to read them. I have read only a handful of pages out of the ten (I just counted) books on music/signal processing. I like to think I am the kind of person who can make new and exciting sounds because he has a lot of books on the topic.

  4. Cheese! I also buy cheese all the time, despite the fact that I’m the only one in the house who really likes fancy cheeses.

    I will also buy books forever and ever. Sure, I already have this, but this is a FIRST EDITION SIGNED HARDCOVER. Obviously this one is better! But this one is too good to read, so we have to keep the old one, too. Thankfully, my husband shares this affliction, so it causes less trouble than the cheese does.

    • Heather

      I used to have this plan in which I’d buy all new editions of the Harry Potter books, so that the new ones would be the copies to look nice on the bookshelf while the old ones would be the copies actually read. Though in all honesty, some of my HP books have split their binding straight down the seam, so I guess it’s not a totally illogical idea.

  5. Heather

    Emma: what is the URL for the discounted designer stuff?!

    I buy discounted books under the assumption that I will read them, but then I don’t get to it after reading everything assigned for classes. And free books that libraries give away, I go nuts. I have a volume of Wordsworth lying around that I’ve never read because when I first went to open it up, several months after obtaining it, I discovered it was an 1854 first edition. Ever since I’ve been afraid to read it because it’s so old and fragile and possibly valuable, and I feel like I should sell it for money since I will never open it again, but the English major in me feels guilty about selling a first edition, even if it’s from a library and was obviously rebound using packing tape.

    I collect purses and hats like no one’s business. For someone who keeps 3-4 purses and hats in rotation, I have at least 12 more sitting in my closet at home. And 83% of the apparel in my closet is rarely, if ever, worn.

    I guess I have a packrat problem more than a shopping problem.

  6. Batia

    Things I buy:
    Groceries and cookware are the big ones. I go on ebay and track vintage Le Creuset in hopes of finding some magically pristine and inexpensive dutch ovens to not buy. Then I go to Marshall’s and buy spatulas or whatever instead.

    With groceries, my problem is that I have compartmentalized my shopping such that for every item I ever want, I have a preferred place to buy it. And there are like 10 different places on this list, easy. This is super inefficient, and is indicative of the extent to which I spend way too much time thinking about groceries.

    Expensive lipstick. I don’t even wear makeup very often, and if I do, I am usually too sheepish to wear something that anyone would even, but somehow spending $18 on a tube of lipstick seems like a great idea.

    Things that keep me warm. I’m looking at you, fleece-lined tights.

    Things I look into, briefly consider, and then ultimately decide against buying:
    Craft supplies for hobbies I will likely never take up. I don’t think I will ever be a millineress, and as fascinating as Van Dykes taxidermy supply website is, that just isn’t happening.

  7. for some reason buying school supplies has always been fun, yet i can’t stand school lol

    and i sooo agree with you about forever 21 lol

  8. i can’t see too well on my screen my laptops acting up but anyway check out my personal blog

    also i want you to check it out because of the post by you and/or heather about “is there such thing as too fat”, read the post on model cocoa

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