Monday, August 18, 2008

Buying Time

     In some attempt to curb my spending, I had resolved to completely stop buying things impetuously. After (almost magically) spending money that I really didn't have any right to spend on a couple of items, I found myself wanting to wean myself off my bad habits and to try and stick to some sort of plan — a financial diet, if you will.

     But the problem of the impulse purchase kept arising. Whether I was trying to casually stroll through the streets of the city ("Oh, just look at Barneys displays!") or through the Internet ("Oh, look, the Julian Red sale is on!"), I kept finding myself drawn further and further into the maelstrom even as I was trying to put more and more distance between myself and my temptations. My Macbook Pro did little to ease the situation as it kept filling in those damn forms for me, making my purchases require that much less thought.

     My solution is no solution at all. Creating a list of fall must-haves (black trousers, new coat, et cetera) has focused my shopping into a product-oriented process. This isn't to say that I don't flip endlessly through catalogues and magazines and websites; far from it. Indeed, I'm doing as much, if not more, random shopping than ever before. What I have been doing is actually buying less. The more and more I deliberate, the less likely I've found myself actually purchasing anything. Perhaps my problem lies in the "impulse" part of "impulse purchase". I enjoyed the fantastical feeling of new-ness that every purchase imparted. But as I have required myself to think and analyze each item more, the true flaws of both the garment and my reasoning eventually show through and casts a rather unflattering light on both my habits and my would-be purchases.

     One luxury, if you could call it that, has been magazines. I arrived at Michael's doorstep last night and was greeted by the latest issue of VMan. That in addition to Antenna, V Magazine, Details, Men's Vogue, and Vanity Fair have been clogging up my reading time. Truth be told, purchasing the magazines is really just a proxy for my more voracious and less fiscally responsible desires. A Lanvin ad is hardly a Lanvin suit. Hardly.

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