There are internal forces battling within me, always! I seem to have a split personality (maybe split more than two ways?). In one corner is the chicken, fearful of new experiences, afraid of driving in new places, heavy traffic, etc. The other “half” is bolder, forcing the “chicken” to get out and do the thing it fears–kicking it’s chicken butt out there. It has taken the bold part of me many years to accomplish this feat.
I also have a very thrifty side (from the Scottish and German side of the family), and a “twin” that absolutely loves to shop. This has gotten more prevalent over the years as my shopping “gene” has developed, which is part of my OCD gene that has turned on.
I am in love with color, love buying clothes , shoes, bath products and jewelry. I have a drop-earring collection that I have put into plastic organizers so I can see what I have.
I have organized my clothes my color. This after a hospital visit some time ago. As a dental hygienist, I had been taught from day one how not to contaminate my hands with bacteria in a public restroom. After using the facilities in the hospital, I stepped out and saw the elevator ahead of me. I just couldn’t press the button with clean hands, so I used my elbow. A doctor saw me do this, and laughing, stepped into the elevator. “You’re OCD”, he chuckled, “I bet you have your closet organized by colors”. “No”, I countered, “but, that’s not a bad idea”. So thus it became so.
But 90% of this purchasing is on sale or from Target, Walmart, T J Max, thrift store, yard-sale, or consignment shops. Very little of what I own have I paid full price for. Therefore, I ease my guilty conscience with the knowledge that I got it on sale!
I usually sneak the bags into the house, so my spouse does not see my ill-gotten gains. My mom tells me that my paternal Grandmother would buy dresses and hide them in the back of her closet. Eventually she would wear one of them, and Grandpa would ask “is that a new dress?”. Grandma would say “Oh no, I’ve had this for a while”, which was true.
I was discussing this kind of purchasing with one of my patients, some time ago. She told me that she kept a red marker in her car and would mark every tag with a slash mark. She wrote 50% off on each tag and her husband was always impressed with her shopping. He never had a clue! What brilliance!
I saw the movie Confessions of a Shop-aholic this week with my friend Dani. This women had run up $16,000.00 buying clothing–not just any clothing either. She was addicted to Gucci, Prada, etc. I felt redeemed. Nothing I buy is in that ballpark. I decided that I am a shop-aholic on a bag lady budget!
Enjoy the day; and if you must shop, don’t be too good for the economy!


  1. Joan Ellen,I really liked the movie, \”Confessions of a Shop-aholic.\” I don't know when I've laughed so much seeing a film. You sure are organized placing your clothes according to color in your closet. My closet looks like a disaster struck. I also enjoy shopping especially when the clothes are on sale. It's also fun to take in yard sales. You never know what bargins you'll get there. Hope you have a great week.


  2. Joan, I love this post. I understand the shopaholic syndrome. I read that with some people shopping gives them a high, like drugs might do. I am one of those people who get high from shopping. I realized it about a year ago. When I am under stress, I like to buy something. It doesn't have to be costly. I can feel good buying from the Dollar Tree. I often over buy groceries, things we don't even eat.I felt this most when my husband was in the hospital so long. When I could leave the room and go downstairs, I'd buy from the only place open – the cafeteria and the bakery next door. After I had lunch, I'd go back and shop for a few extra things to take up to the room. Somehow that made me feel better. Does that make me a shopaholic? Is that a mental illness and can it be cured? If so, I'm not looking for the cure. I enjoy spending a few dollars if it will make me feel better. Cheaper than therapy.


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