Lifestyle:Shop to Live
will admit that at least a quarter of the purchases I make arent
needed. I buy them because it makes me happy.'
of stiletto heels on a tiled floor reverberates around the quiet shoe
shop. She pauses before a full-length mirror and gazes at the reflection,
turning her feet to get the full effect of the thin, leather straps
curving around her foot, the three inch heel enhancing her petite size.
At the foot of a stool, the floor is littered with tissue paper, boxes
and similar shoes. For many women this scene may not be uncommon and
it may not necessarily be a shoe shop, it could be the lure of the ever
shrinking mini or the gorgeous packaging of a new perfume.
Comfort shopping or retail therapy, this is where many women take refuge.
Boyfriend dumped you? Treat yourself to some new, expensive make-up.
Youve lost some weight? Buy a new pair of trousers. Going on a
date, got a new job, brothers getting married, youve got
a headache; whatever the reason, women can almost always find one to
go shopping and I am one of them.
Before I came to University, if I went into shopping at home I would
usually be able to look at items and say, If I dont need
it, dont buy it, but now the temptation of the city centre
is becoming more and more enticing. Pop out for a pint of milk and I
could end up coming back with five vest tops from TopShop. Ok, that
might be a slight exaggeration on my part but believe me there are some
women who would.
It doesnt stop at just going shopping either theres the
internet as well. There are several occasions when Ive bought
items over the internet if I havent been able to go out shopping
through lack of time or there isnt that specific store in town.
I find it quite relaxing to sit at the computer, browsing the pages
as I pick out items for my wardrobe, then clicking on the Send
button, knowing that in a few days time therell be a delivery
I will admit that at least a quarter of the purchases I make arent
needed. I buy them because it makes me happy when I get home, knowing
Ive got a new top, trousers or shoes to show off. I get a buzz
from being able to walk around the shops, trying on countless items
of clothing, shoes and make-up, taking items up to the counter and then
handing over the credit card. The bills dont come through for
four weeks and then theres another four weeks before they start
Unfortunately, whilst I might find shopping therapeutic, a sanctuary
to retreat into whenever I feel the need, it does have a downside. Since
Ive been in Portsmouth, Ive probably spent more on clothes,
shoes and make-up than I have on five weeks worth of food shopping but
if its where I find my comfort why cant I splash out a little?
© Natalie White November 2003
Natalie is a first year student at Portsmouth University
all rights reserved