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Saturday, March 7, 2015

My Shopping Problem

I admit it. I have a shopping problem. It's so cliche for a woman to have a problem with shopping.  This is a secret not many people know about me. I'm ready to share.

I have a problem. However, my problem isn't the typical variety. Mine is much different. I dislike spending money. I always have. Something about shopping makes me cringe. I feel anxious, I get sweaty, I become irritable, and my mind races. When I swipe my debit card, I can literally hear the sound of coins cascading down a dark, bottomless shaft.  I don't understand this quirk, but it is just part of who I am.

My distaste for shopping also includes a compulsion to find the best deal. Whether it be a beach condo, pair of boots, or a new rug for the sunroom, I must be absolutely sure that the purchase is a wise one and there is no better bargain available. It isn't just about price. It's about quality versus cost. It's a delicate balance.

This shopping obsession has likely saved me money many times over the years, but it has also caused me countless hours spent on fruitless shopping expeditions, hundreds of gallons of wasted gas, and too many regrets to count.

The most recent example of my problem revolves around my desire to find the perfect rugs for my sunroom. We have an attached, unheated sunroom on the back of the house. We decided to make some improvements to the room over the next year so that the space is more usable. These updates will include new siding, insulation, replacement of some windows, removal of old carpet, staining of concrete floors, and all new furniture and decor. We've decided upon a nautical theme because the colors are perfect for relaxation and the decor reminds us of our summer beach memories. The nautical decor will be subtle, and the colors will be white, navy, true turquoise, and the color of rope. It's going to be amazing. We've been gathering decorations since last summer, and my husband painted me the most amazing turquoise octopus on an antique barn door. We picked up a rattan couch, I've ordered Italian linen to sew covers for cushions, and I have various fabrics for throw pillows. It's coming together nicely.

You might be thinking that more than a year is an awfully long time to work on redecorating one room. You're right about that. It's mostly due to my inability to commit to most purchases. I have the same problem with paint colors. Luckily we are sticking with pure white for the room. Right now the project has stalled because I can't find the perfect rugs. I found one at Target last weekend, and it was marked down $30 because it was on clearance, but I didn't buy it because I wasn't 100% sure. I went back to Target today because I had finally realized it was exactly what we need for the main gathering space. Of course, it was gone because someone more wise than I saw the clearance tag and didn't hesitate. I was so disappointed. My husband reminded me that we've been through this exact scenario hundreds of times over the years. I know we have. I realize it's annoying, but it's something I truly struggle to control. We decide to drive to Springfield Target to pick up two of the rugs. When we got there, I discovered they did have some in stock, but they were full price at that location. This development threw me into complete disarray because I had decided the rug was perfect for the main space and the dining space based upon its 30% mark-down. Now that it was full price I wasn't sure and found myself right back where I started.

My irritated but patient husband took me to another Springfield store, At Home, where they sell at least 100 rugs. I found a similar rug at a great price, but I just wasn't sure and couldn't make a commitment. I mulled over the decision until we finally just left.  We went to a late dinner and I found it quite hard to partake in conversation because I was thinking about the rugs. Should I pay the full price at Target?  Get the other rugs from At Home?  Go home and think it over?  We decided upon the latter. Now I'm writing this blog from the front passenger seat of the car, halfway back to home, and wishing I had just gotten two of the rugs. It looks like I'll have to either find an alternative in Joplin or spend another tank of gas driving to some other town in search of the perfect rugs for my space. We can't move forward with table construction and chair purchase until we've chosen a rug. What a mess. After I hit publish, I'm going to check the store hours and rug inventory for the Target in Rogers, Arkansas. Maybe I'll luck out and find the rug on clearance. If not, hopefully I'll enjoy the Sunday drive.  After all, I do have a shopping problem.

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