Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm a far cry from a shopaholic. I frequent the mall maybe 5 times a year and usually it's with a specific purchase in mind. Either that or I'll be going there to see a movie and have some time to kill so I pop into some stores. But shopping just to browse, see what catches my eye and spend freely? Almost never. For one, I'm a guilty purchaser. If I spend too much money I immediately feel guilty. This is why I almost always have a planned purchase in mind before going to stores. I feel as though planning out the spending of my money dissimulates my guilt a bit. (No idea if I used "dissimulates" correctly, but it's the word that came to mind so I'm sticking to my instinct). All of this "non shopaholic" jazz doesn't mean, however, that I do not occasionally like to splurge. I'm just a very methodical splurger.

Yes, every so often I will become mildly... obsessed with something, for lack of a better word. Mostly, it's just a couple of obsessions that get recycled over time. They go from something I need to have, to something I kind of forget about once I have it, and then a few months/years down the road I'll need to have more again. My favorites tend to be book, dvd or beauty product related. But if I'm craving new books to read I will not just run out to Borders, browse for a few minutes and pick something up. As I said before, I'm a guilty spender. I need to draw out the process as long as possible in order to dissimulate my guilt (there's that word again) and get the most satisfaction out of my purchase. Even if it is only $6 on a new book.

Let's explain my typical process. I will usually go to and begin browsing (or or or even haha...depending on what particular product it is that I'm craving). This browsing becomes addictive and quite time consuming. I read reviews for multiple items of whatever it is I'm craving and form a wish list. I allow myself to compile said wish list over several weeks of browsing. By the time it's all said and done I have a wishlist of anywhere from 8 to 50 items. The next few weeks are spent re-reading the information for what I have already deemed to be the best of the best. I need to whittle it down to just one or two items that I will actually get. Then, after the long decision making process is finally done with I buy that item online with complete confidence that I bought THE best of whatever it was I was looking for. I never go and find the item in a store because I find that the waiting each day for the package to arrive only further increases my excitement and anticipation. Then the day finally comes, after what is typically months of planning... it arrives. The excitement continues as I open it up and is usually maintained during the product's first usage. Then it dies down considerably. But the thrill of the purchase typically outshines the guilt when I go about it all in this long, drawn-out fashion.

I'm right in the middle of three obsessions. That is too many at one time for me. Thankfully, one has (mostly) come to a close, because I've pretty much exhausted my purchasing potential in this category. I'll start with that one. Lately I have discovered Hayao Miyazaki's films. If you are unfamiliar, he's often referred to as the Japanese Walt Disney although this comparison is far off. The folks over at Pixar think of this man as a God and his films, as a whole, I believe are much more geared towards adults than children. There's no cliche jokes, usually no clear villian, sometimes not even much of a plot and the characters never break into song, but I saw one of his movies and was hooked in. I HAD to see more of his films. Per my typical purchasing method, I began to look up his films. Disney got the rights to sell his movies in the U.S. When I saw that he only had ten films, one of which I already owned, I knew I was in trouble. There would be no way of getting around me ordering them all. I knew that. If he had 80 films I could have restrained myself and picked out one or two (okay, or three) to purchase, but the fact that there was such a limited number of them... my wallet was going to hate me. I still went through the process of researching each of the movies, including reading several ranked lists, critic's reviews, regular people American reviews, regular people Japanese reviews, trailer viewings etc.. But in the end I did as I knew I would, went and purchased them all. That's why I can say I'm in the clear with future purchases around this obsession. I bought all of his movies. However, there are new movies to be made and several more which he has had a part in, even if he didn't write and direct them all. I shouldn't say I'm safe yet. I'm still awaiting the arrival of 8 of these movies and the anticipation is ever increasing as I'm learning how long it takes disney movie club to ship these things out. At the rate they're going I wouldn't be surprised if they're coming over directly from Japan. Either that or Disney is "being nice" and trying to prolong the process because they know the anticipation is 90% of the pleasure.
I couldn't resist adding this image which features a (still life animation hah) image
of Miyazaki as well as characters and creatures from 7 of his movies.

One of my other obsessions are these wonderful handmade soups by DeShawn Marie. With so many different scent combinations to choose from, it's hard to pick what my next order will be. You can bet I've read through each description multiple times and carefully picked out each one to buy. I really wish I knew how to draw out my happiness from these purchases though. While I do LOVE the soaps I find myself wanting to try out all of the "flavors" as quickly as possible. As a result, I'll open up a package, use it one day in the shower, have that initial excitement of it being something new, and then, instead of wanting to finish up that soap before moving on to the next one, the next day I'll want to open up another one!  (Note that I've only actually done that once. I am usually able to contain myself and wait.) Seriously though, these soaps are so divine that I bought them twice as gifts for people, and both times the thought of giving them away nearly killed me. One of those two times I admit I kept the soaps for myself and gifted something else. Unhealthy obsession.
Yum... I'm addicted to these soaps
My third recent obsession is a more healthy one. Depending on how you look at it. Lately, out of nowhere, I've been craving exercise DVDs. I don't even typically work out. Meaning never. But back in high school I had one dance-ish cardio VHS (yes VHS) that I loved. Something recently rekindled my interest in this and let me tell you, this is THE MOST time consuming addiction of them all. I have different dvd wishlists on amazon all geared to specific exercises: there's a list of cardio dvds, stretching dvds, strength training dvds, yoga dvds, dance inspired dvds, pilates dvds, exercise ball dvds... you name it. So far I've given in and bought 5 of them. That's just so far. I know future purchases will be made. But guess what? I actually use them. I have no idea where this sudden interest came from. I think it's because I have a lot more time on my hands now and I don't know what to do with myself.

Me exercising to a workout dvd... if I were brunette and several shades more tan (tanner?)
Change those two things and insert an image of my dog jumping around my
feet annoying me while I try to workout and this picture is pretty accurate.
I think I'm mostly safe so long as my obsessions stay in the realm of dvds, books and soaps. If I ever have a dire need to collect cars or classic artwork I may be in trouble. But you'll be sure that I have done my research and only bought the best there is! Maybe I am a shopaholic... just a different breed. My obsessive, planning type may be more dangerous to wallets than my spontaneous, impulsive counterparts.