July 30, 2009

Shopaholic -- Addiction or Harmless Hobby

I have known a few people, most of them women, who admit they are shopaholics. They are driven to shop, not just window shop, but purchase. Some of them have tried to curtail the spending by trying to stay away from the malls and favorite stores. But their monthly credit card statements showed them they weren't making a difference in their spending habits.

There is a story in BBC News about a woman who did not let anyone into her home for sixteen years. When a friend tried to contact her and became concerned about her, the authorities were alerted. Her body was discovered beneath items she had purchased. Floor to ceiling purchases throughout the garage and the house.

"The body of an elderly shopaholic was found underneath a pile of clothing and other items after she died of natural causes, an inquest heard.

Joan Cunnane's bungalow was so crammed with purchases it took five visits to the house before she was found."

"She said it gave her pleasure to buy things, she only bought things she really liked."

Shopping just to be shopping is not interesting to me. In fact, shopping is actually a chore. One I would so like to close my eyes and wish for a magic shopping fairy to do the shopping for me and bring the purchases back already wrapped if they are gifts and already washed and labels off if they are for me. I don't know why I was not born a natural all American girl, but shopping is not something I have ever wanted to spend my time doing unless it was to please one of my daughters by spending some time with them. The shopping gene bypassed me completely and landed on them with the force of fifteen megatons. So in a way I did my part to contribute to the survival of the malls and boutiques in this world.

I have to admit that for a short while I did succumb to a whirlwind romance with online shopping when I found QVC. That didn't last long because there just isn't much in the way of material things that I am drawn to. Just the basics please and I am content. Heck, I move so much, the more stuff just means more to move!

I do feel grief for the woman in the story who lived her last years buying things she didn't need to compensate for the relationships she rejected. We human beings need each other. We are all connected in a way we cannot see with our eyes but we can hear with our hearts.


cinner said...

That is sad about the elderly woman. I have a friend whom is a shopaholic. I am not a shopper. I will go if I need something specifically. In, out and gone that is my motto when it comes to shopping. I really can't stand it.Take care.

Jason, as himself said...

I swear I saw this on CSI.

I love to shop if I have something definite in mind that I need. Otherwise, I lose interest quickly.

Joanna Jenkins said...

That's pretty sad but happens more than we know. We had a woman like this in our neighborhood. She was a garage sale junkie :-(

bermudabluez said...

That is really sad about the elderly woman. I could be a shopping fairy! I love it!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What an excellent post this is!

I'm with you, that rarity among women who only shops, reluctantly, when something is needed. I love pretty things; I just don't usually need to own them, and I feel terribly sad for that mentally ill woman who substituted possessions for relationships.