Some people are addicted to video games. Others find Internet porn enticing. Yet others spend a great part of their day on Facebook. I don’t do any of those things. Don’t stop reading yet, though, because I’m just getting to the good part.
My name is Kathy and I am an incurable online shopper. Give me a credit card and a computer, and I am ready to singlehandedly stimulate the American economy and support several small countries. Two of these have statues of me in their capital cities and another one has declared the song “Hail, Kathy” to be their new national anthem.
I probably look something like this when I discover a cool shopping website:
Suze Orman recommends keeping within your budget, and your means, when shopping online. I never pay attention to her. Why should I, when OneStopPlus has these really cool Capri pants on sale? I already have three pairs of Capris, but I don’t have any in watermelon red, key lime green, blueberry blue or lemonade yellow, and I really need those to go with the four new tunics I ordered from Avenue last week.
My closets are already overflowing, but some of the other clothes will just have to scoot over and make room for the newcomers.
I quickly add the watermelon red, key lime green and lemonade yellow Capris to my “shopping cart,” but when I go to order the ones in blueberry blue, I find that they don’t have any in my size. At that point, I start to look like this:
Desperate to find just the right shade of blue, I spend the next half-hour scouring the website for Capris in that color. I finally settle for some that are twice as expensive as the ones I was originally looking at. The color sucks, but they will match the tunic, which is what counts, anyway. I add them to the shopping cart.
What’s that over on the right side of the screen? The website seems to think I might like a few more items of clothing, including a really super looking denim tunic with big red roses embroidered on it!
To make a long story short, the denim tunic leads to jeans, which lead to denim jackets, which lead to outerwear. By the time I’m finished, my shopping cart includes four pairs of Capris, two denim tunics, three pairs of jeans, one pair of denim leggings, one denim jacket, one linen jacket and a fake rabbit fur coat. Total cost: I’ll think about it when I get my credit card bill.
The next stop in my virtual shopping mall is Overstock.com. This is like browsing through an Odd Lot store, except you are sitting at a computer, and Overstock.com has much better stuff than the usual neighborhood version. I spot a great looking TV entertainment center: the kind that is made of oak wood, with a lot of shelves and spaces and drawers. My eyes glaze over and my body goes right into super-charged covetousness mode, bypassing mild interest and desire. Most of the reviews are 5-star and the price is irresistible. I only stop short and deflate when I read the ominous words “assembly required.” I imagine sitting in my living room with boxes and packing material all over everything, trying to match the right screws to the right holes, spending all afternoon trying to get everything to fit together while deciphering bad instructions written in Chinese English, and ending up with three screws left over, wondering which holes I missed and how long it will take the whole thing to come crashing down in a crumpled heap of slivered wood, bringing my TV set and my whole collection of videos with it. I bookmark the page for later, when I can come back to it with a sadder but wiser head.
After a couple of stops at Target and some site that sells African wood carvings, and buying more stuff from each of them, I am finished with my Internet mall shopping for the time being, and I look like this:
Ah, but tomorrow is another day.
*Just so nobody will think I’m plagiarizing, I got the idea for this title from Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series of novels, including Confessions of a Shopaholic. They are drop dead funny, and you can find them on Amazon.com or in your favorite bookstore.