Do you go shopping every day? I do.
I begin the day by opening my e-mail, café au lait at hand. Before 9 am., I have virtual-window shopped, if not purchased. My in-box delivers sale offers and announcements of new arrivals; blogs increasingly link to vendors.
(Why have so many blogs become Trojan horses for retailers? Maybe because earning commissions beats writing for free. )
By 9 am., I am pondering things I had not even thought of the day before: a seersucker skirt! That opal pendant! All pretty things, some even bargains, but usually unnecessary, even as the sites cry, Treat Yourself! Up to 70% Off!
The ready excuse: I need to see what's out there, for the Passage. But numbed by a glut of commerce, I've said goodbye to "by invitation" shopping sites and unsubscribed from most retailers. I'll keep reading a handful of style-oriented bloggers who provide thoughtful commentary, and who seek that rare intersection of beauty and value.
Barb, a friend of forty years, and I recently reminisced about the days when going shopping was a focused, time-bound activity. We carved out at least a half-day, which always included lunch. And we did not go that often; first, we couldn't afford it, and second, once you saw the season's sportswear at, say, Hudson's, nothing else would come in for at least two and a half months.
Shopping was paradoxically more fun and more serious, more significant. When you counted out cash, you were truly parting with your money. We learned about debt and the folly of "paying for it next month".
Then came the online world, with its constantly-updated stock, daily flash sales, and seductive one-click "payment systems". Women, including me, suddenly found their discipline eroding if, fanning a hot flash and feeling blue, they discovered a deliciously discounted bag on eBay, never mind all those in the closet.
The blog world jumped in, gasoline on the flame of desire. Somebody shows her new Stella McCartney
Elyse shoes (well over $1,000) so why not buy the $60
Vans I'm liking? I'm somehow saving money, and therefore have more to spend, an effect known as Princess Dollars.
The flood of consumption promoted online is not doing me any good—even though I seldom buy—nor are the hours spent inert at a computer. If you live on a flood plain, it seems the wise strategy is to clear off.
As I prepare to head off-line for the Passage's usual July-August break, I'm considering what I will write, should I return in September. Perhaps you'll have requests; I'd appreciate that.
Not sure what to do, but to paraphrase Robert Evans, the pearls stay in the picture.