Guilty Pleasures: S is for...

S is for…

I define a Guilty Pleasure as an activity you enjoy doing when you know you shouldn’t be doing it.

Mine is probably fairly innocuous, but I do wish I could curb it. I love to shop, BUT, not for myself. I have three daughters, and I love to buy them things. Not necessities, not food or schoolbooks, but clothes and accessories that they do not need.

I say No all the time. No, you cannot stay out past curfew. No, you cannot go on a date with a boy and then spend the night at a friend’s. No, you cannot watch an R movie. I have no problem saying No. I even think it’s an important word when raising children. But, for some reason, I cannot say No when we’re out shopping.

I went on a binge in March at Bloomingdale’s in NYC. In my defense, I didn’t spend very much money (well, considering that we were on vacation). They were practically giving the stuff away. (NYC was in sad shape in March.) But, one of the store managers actually called me at home to check the order before they shipped it. She was sure something was wrong. I was a little miffed. I highly doubt I am the first person in the history of the store to have purchased, ummm, 8 pairs of shoes and 7 handbags in one go. Plus several dresses, etc. In fact, I’m sure I’m not the only one that day, or even in that hour, to have done so. I mean, can you picture J Lo in the store? But I was miffed because I felt guilty. I knew that no one needs all that stuff.

Why do I enjoy this pastime? That’s easy. It's fun. Finding just the right outfit for that special event. Snapping up a bargain. Then, everything looks so cute on a teenaged girl, and they are so happy. Finally, I don’t buy too much for myself, so maybe it’s some kind of transference thing.

So why do I feel guilty? First, because I do wonder what kind of example I’m setting. I never want them to feel that buying things expresses love, can make them feel better about themselves, or can solve problems. It doesn’t do any of those things.

Second, I feel a bit of guilt over the money I spend unnecessarily. My husband is very good about the junk I buy for them, but he will occasionally let a pained expression cross his face as he says, “Does she need another handbag?” Yup, that gives me a twinge. Because he’s right and I’m wrong. (Did I actually say that?) The one good thing I do is I shop sales and discount stores. I do not like to pay full price. Also, I buy lots of books. That's a good example, right?

Still, I can’t hide from the truth. This is one of their closets. Not a good picture, but you get the idea. Excess. (Unless you too have a teenaged girl, in which case it may look perfectly normal.)

So I know you all don’t want me to feel too badly. Tell me what you’ve binged on. Someone should be able to top this tale pretty easily.


Nicole North said...

Fantastic post!! Shopping would be a fun guilty pleasure to have, yet I'm glad I'm not addicted to it. :) I just cleaned out my closet and don't want to pack it again. LOL

Carol Ericson said...

Carly, wow - what a closet! I have boys, so we spend money on different stuff altogether. Actually, I hate to shop. It's too time consuming to look for clothes and try them on. I do love shoes, but buy a lot of those online. Finally, I'm just too cheap - I'd feel sooo guilty spending the money, it would ruin any pleasure I got from the "stuff." My husband is the shopper in our family - LOL.

Carly Carson said...


I'm actually building an addition to get more closet space. (I am by no means a clothes horse.) I refused to hire an architect who told me I could double my space by using 2 rows of hanging rods. I knew he would never "get" it. I need a clean closet where I can see and reach everything.


Carly Carson said...


I don't enjoy shopping for myself at all. In fact, I'm procrastinating from doing that chore right now. But I always seem to need stuff I don't have.


Julie Robinson said...


What a wonderfully neat closet! I can't even open the door to my son's closet. And neither can he!!

I have come to realize, rather recently this year, that when I'm really upset (such as a car almost hit me or something that provokes a similar reaction), I shop for shoes. Impractical high heels that I seldom wear.

And, of course, there are always books, especially reference books. I may never read them, but during my imbalanced state of mind, all sorts of ideas about potential stories were struggling to be free. They'll be there when I need them.