Wave Goodbye to Shopping

With the economy the way it is, retail therapy is a thing of the past.

In Her Words

Say Sayonara to Shopping

Retail therapy is a dying art form

-Myrna Blyth, Blyth times

shoesI am not a particularly acquisitive person but I used to go shopping a lot. Didn’t you? I live near a Filene’s Basement, a bargain store, so I thought there was nothing wrong with checking it out a couple of times a week. Just in case they had reduced the Tahari jacket even more. And, maybe, I needed a cut-rate cashmere in yet another color.

I used to go window shopping, too. Walking up Madison Avenue I would check out the jewelry stores and the shoe stores. I might even go in and try something on. Maybe even buy something. (I am talking about the shoe stores not the jewelry stores). No, I never shopped till I dropped or longed for bags with four-figure price tags. But like everyone in America I did indulge in bouts of retail therapy.

The pollster Madelyn Hochstein once told me a couple of years ago that what made rich people feel rich was not watching their mutual funds grow but going to the mall on Saturday and spending a few hundred dollars on something they didn’t really need, like an espresso machine or a cashmere sweater that wasn’t cut rate. But that has all changed. They are looking at their diminishing mutual funds and have stopped shopping. So have I.

Last night a friend told me that three boutiques where she had always shopped had called her and offered her 50 percent off on ANYTHING she wanted. She said thanks, but no, thanks. Another told me she always bought nice clothes for her daughter. Now her daughter is wearing Old Navy for the foreseeable future. Another confessed she went to the mall last weekend. She came home with two T-shirts, five dollars each. Hardly worth the trip.

The other night I pulled out of the back of the closet a dress I hadn’t worn in years. It was so old that it didn’t have shoulder-pads because it was probably made before we started wearing shoulder pads. Yes, that old, and it looked fine. I am pulling more things out of the back of the closet. We all have a lot and need very little. So what we will miss will not be the things we won’t buy. But, maybe only the careless, carefree experience of shopping that we all indulged in for so long.

Tell us: Have you said sayonara to shopping?

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