I Need Shoppers Anonymous, So Do my Kids Have a Chance?

I basically divide people into two categories – spenders and savers. Oh sure you could throw in a few more categories such as the hoarders or the frugal, but I think most people are inclined to be either a spender or saver.

I am a spender. And that is putting it mildly. Money burns a HOLE in my pocket – that’s a more accurate description.

I have a long history of a problem with shopping as I wrote about in this blog, and this one. Impulse buys, made for TV products, clothing, accessories, and shoes, shoes and more shoes are part of my spending ways. It’s just lucky I keep so busy with writing, otherwise I would have more time on my hands and might be labeled a shopaholic. (Love those books by the way – I can certainly relate to the main character!)

Just recently, for no reason at all, I bought a motorized potato peeler and an automatic egg cracker. Not to mention my 50th pair of black pants. (It’s winter you know – you can never have too many!) And a bunch of other ridiculous things.

Of course having a background in psychology, I understand my compulsion to buy is a stress reducer, and also a product of my deprived childhood. And I am smart enough not to get to the level of hoarder – buying unnecessary stuff that piles up and never gets opened or used.  No I use EVERYTHING I buy, except I do admit to being surprised every once in awhile in my closet where I find some something new with tags still on it that I hadn’t gotten around to wearing.

I also donate tons of stuff – clothing in, clothing out. I have a compulsion to clear out items I don’t use much to make room for new stuff though my closet is cavernous. (I am sure subconsciously this is to make my closet seem emptier so I can justify buying more)

Is there a Shoppers Anonymous? Because I am this.close.

My ex-husband was also a spender. He married his own mother when he married me because my late former mother-in-law Dori was a total clothes-horse, and spent most of her life selling clothing and buying huge quantities for herself. She passed on this tendency to her son, my ex, who loved fine clothes and had major quantities of them. In fact, one of the main selling features of the home we originally purchased together and the one in which I currently reside, was the amount of closets and the space in those closets. The home was built by a man who owned a chain of clothing stores who was also clothes-obsessed. In other words, a house like this was just waiting for people like us.

So with two parents like this, and one grandparent, did my own kids have a chance of NOT becoming spenders and shopaholics? The answer would be Not A Snowball’s Chance In Hell. Because both have way more things than they need, and they also continue to shop.

My daughter rented an apartment in Dallas that is modest sized but literally one quarter of the size of the place is devoted to her walk-in-closet space. That’s one of the reasons she fell in love with the apartment. When I moved her in several years ago, she left behind an almost filled closet at her room at my home and still filled this new closet to the brim. And she continues to add new items to her filled cavernous closet.

My son is currently taking up at least two rooms of space while he temporarily lives with me. He is also crazy about clothes. He loves to spend his days off at the Galleria hunting for new, fine-quality stuff. Before he started working after getting a law degree, he was broke. After his first paycheck he went on a major shopping spree. He later explained, “I hadn’t bought myself anything in MONTHS.” And I knew exactly the feeling of deprivation he was talking about. Like mother, like child. (He is totally the best dressed young lawyer at his firm though)

I spent a very happy and satisfying day with both of my adult children shopping on Black Friday. No, we didn’t do the middle of the night or early morning thing trying to vie for an appliance, but we did go to the Galleria mall and took advantage of huge discounts in every store. Brett received his birthday and holiday gifts, and Elissa received her holiday gifts as well. No wrapping required.

The original Spenders out on the spending-est day of the year. I have no one to blame but myself, and of course my ex-husband and his mother too.

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  • I grew up without much also, and I now suffer with depression mentality. I truly despise shopping and when I do have to go, it is never to a mall! I go to a place like TJ Maxx or Marshalls, go in, get what I need and get out quickly. My husband will bug me to buy new clothes. Thankfully, I have a sister who always gives me clothing for birthdays, Christmas, etc., so my husband doesn’t have to see me in the same old things!

  • A motorized potato peeler? This I gotta see…!

    And wow, you are the opposite of me. I had a deprived childhood, but it resulted in an absolute revulsion toward shopping! I can’t be in a store for more than five minutes before becomg physically ill. My life is populated with shopaholics, thankfully, so I rely on many savvy people to help me muddle through the malls. And I appreciate cast offs from smartly dressed people very much!

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