On Shopping

Right now I have a beast on my desk that I need to send out, like, yesterday, so I issue myself a bum-in-seat rule until I reach mini-goals I set for my writing (I am my own wriggly toddler). I can’t get up to warm my tea, straighten the fringe on the rug, alphabetize my spices, shine the leaves of the rubber tree plant with a soft cloth and a bit of mayonnaise, or any other inane task that is not the exercise of self-examination that is writing up my research. The thing about the bum-in-seat rule is that it does not seem to exclude reading blogs, writing blog posts (sans the picture-taking), or on-line shopping. I take full advantage of this loophole.

Here is what I’m stalking on eBay right now: a plain, pale pink tunic from somewhere in France; a “vintage” (read: used) Il Bisonte handbag (it’s already moved beyond what I’m willing to pay); the Alessi Tigrito cat dish (still a ridiculous price even on eBay); a Saul Bass movie poster.

This is phantom shopping. I set myself unrealistically low limits for coveted items and then follow the bidding and congratulate myself on saving all that money I wasn’t going to spend in the first place when I don’t win. It is almost as inane a task as polishing leaves with mayonnaise. I have bought great stuff on eBay for reals (including a coffee table) but I phantom buy way more stuff.

Sometimes I think the fantasy of owning something gorgeous is almost as great as actually owning and wearing it. Maybe even greater because in my fantasy I never spill coffee on silk jersey. Here are some fantasy purchases from two of my favourite internet window shopping sites:

Paul Smith “Claudette” lace-up pumps at Gravity Pope.

Celia Birtwell Print Ossie Clark halter dress at Shrimpton Couture.

Neither Gravity Pope nor Shrimpton Couture even knows this blog exists so are not compensating us in any way.

Shopping for me can be like visiting a museum, except you are allowed to touch stuff with your grubby fingers and even try it on. A-Dubs and I both recognized this on our trip to Vegas last year while window shopping at Alexander McQueen. We can’t afford those iconic duds but we can see them up close and personal and admire their artistry and construction and whimsy in the same way we might examine a painting. But we can touch them with our grubby fingers and even try them on.

I love the knuckle duster clutch so much:

In fact, fantasy shopping is much more successful for me than real shopping, which I find more than a little stressful and around which I have developed what A-Dubs has dubbed “shopping bulimia”.

But that’s a post for another day.

For now I would like to recognize two bloggy buddies whose mad shopping skillz I greatly admire:

  • Baxter at The Bright Shillings of March who finds treasures like authentic Chanel purses and Hermes belts for under $50 at flea markets, and
  • Rad at The Cohabitating Closet who has an excellent eye for thrifted duds and who just scored an enviable collection of vintage scarves on eBay.

You win the The Eye of the Day, an award I just made up and for which you receive nothing. I’m sure it will become a coveted prize.

7 thoughts on “On Shopping

  1. Oh Dorky! Thank you! You are a scholar and a gentlewoman and a darling, and a very stylish one at that. I am accepting this award with the grace and hysteria we've come to love in the best actresses at the Oscars except of course this is a much more important accolade. Sing out if you ever come to Sydney – I know a great place for a celebratory drink and even better places to shop. Thanks for the support – much appreciated!

  2. Oh Dorky! Thank you! You are a scholar and a gentlewoman and a darling, and a very stylish one at that. I am accepting this award with the grace and hysteria we've come to love in the best actresses at the Oscars except of course this is a much more important accolade. Sing out if you ever come to Sydney – I know a great place for a celebratory drink and even better places to shop. Thanks for the support – much appreciated!

  3. Okay, those Paul Smith "Claudette" lace-up pumps are too awesome to be true. And can't you just feel that gorgeous halter dress airily drifting around your bum in its seat? A little cross-breeze, a little bidding, and no rules are broken. . .

  4. Ebay is dangerous…so is thrifting. My biggest problem with ebay is that I am really specific with my "window shopping" so if I actually find what I am looking for I feel like I am obligated to buy it at all costs…like it was sent to the ebay gods just for me. I coveted a pair of prada pumps two years ago and had been lurking on ebay since then to find them. When they finally showed up I bid- during the last 15 seconds and BINGO. Needless to say, as amazing as they are, I have yet to wear them. LOL.Thrifting is just too much fun and everything is so much cuter when it is $5. But that adds up quick.

  5. Aw, shucks. Thanks. I think I have a shopping problem, actually, and shifting it to second hand goods has only made it worse. But the butt in chair thing. When I get back from the park today (colleague birthday thing, must go) then I am disconnecting the internet. Because this pile on my desk was also meant to go out last month. Good luck with the writing!

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