A shopaholic without the shop

By Brittney Foreman

So I heard, admitting it is the first step to recovery. Clich‚d, but here goes.

I have a problem.

I am a recovering shopaholic going through withdrawal and I don’t like it.

I’ve been itching for quite some time to buy just one clothing item. OK, that’s being a tad dishonest, more than one thing – a good four or five outfits, really. Heck, a whole fall wardrobe would be nice.

Really though, I need my fashion fix.

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My withdrawal symptoms include itching to swipe my debit card, and redness and swelling of the eyes from only being able to look at the outfits I can’t afford. And to rid myself of withdrawal’s harmful effects would mean to fall prey to addiction once more.

I can’t fold because I have bills now. And I have a car which unfortunately requires high-priced gas. And let’s not talk about the beginning of the summer which has left a dent in my pocket because of the rent I paid in full along with a security deposit. (Let’s see if I get that back.)

And don’t even get me started on the kitchen grease fire that might empty out my whole bank account when they send that bill. (If I had renter’s insurance, I wouldn’t be this worried, so please get it.)

Sure, I had a couple summer jobs but they weren’t enough. My expensive craving for fashion, if allowed to be quenched, would actually leave me quite satisfied, at the expense of an empty wallet which I’d probably have to end up selling.

Sometimes I ponder, ‘would I rather have a wallet without the cash or cash without the wallet?’ OK not really, but sort of.

Still, the cash-wallet dilemma is why I’m glad I forgot to give Newport-News my summer address. Clothing catalogues equal disaster delivered to my doorstep.

Sure, during one trip a block away from my doorstep last semester, I was able to blow $100 at General Eccentric during my carefree life of free room and board as a resident advisor. As much as I love clothes, I think I would rather have that money back right about now.

If I did have the money, I wonder what I would end up spending it on. If you know me then you know that’s a no-brainer.

Anyway, that’s why I’ve dedicated my whole summer to living the frugal life. This tenet developed only after that first summer spree that made me cringe after I logged onto Chase.com to see what was left of my balance.

After that experience, I knew that if I were to give myself another inch, that outlet mall would take up a whole square block … and I’d be there.

By the way, it’s funny how a passion for low prices can empty your pockets, because get this, by capitalizing on a sale, you’re still spending money.

Anyway, I understand now why critics didn’t want Lindsay Lohan to return to the party scene after rehab. I think they knew she’d probably get arrested again! And she did!

They were smart enough to realize self-induced temptation is dangerous. It’s like trying to get over someone and constantly seeing his face. Like, being on a diet and you’re in a room with friends who are eating french fries. Like, having to go to the bathroom while none are in sight and hearing the sound of water … maybe?

My point is, I don’t window shop anymore. I don’t even look at the mall when I drive past.

No, I don’t even take the exit that would lead me there.

I am officially a shopaholic without the shop. But, while being an -aholic is quite depressing, I know it won’t last.

Shopping is in my blood. Trust me, my mom would buy a Coach purse over paying the phone bill. Hi, Mom!

And because of my mom’s ability to splurge and keep splurging, I probably will slip up sometime soon. In fact, I have never been more ready for my next fashion forward setback.

Never fear, something good will come out of it though. Once I spend those bucks I’ll be forced to face myself in the mirror and admit it: ‘Brittney, you may not have any money, but girl you look good!’