Shopping as self-medication

I am not a shopper, typically. I don’t care about or have purses, I have one pair of shoes for each circumstance (one pair of winter boots, one pair of rain boots, one pair of tennis shoes, one pair of work boots, one pair of dressy shoes, one pair of flip flops), some of which I’ve had for over a decade. My house is teeny tiny and stuffed with people, so new furniture or appliances are out of the question, and we have so many hand-me-downs that the kids need almost nothing.

And yet, here we are, in unprecedented times.

It started with setting up a school area for the kids – a couple of desks, “office” supplies, workbooks. And then crafts, because we were looking at a billion years of never leaving the house. LEGOs and Play-doh. A board game or two. Sewing supplies to learn how to sew. Garden supplies that have veered away from “what I need” to “what I want.” Gifts for Easter baskets to compensate for the pandemic.

I’m not spending thousands and thousands of dollars, but all it takes is $27.40 a day to spend $10K a year. I had gotten pretty good about spending close to nothing on online shopping, buuuutttttt…unprecedented times.

I wonder how many people clutch that tiny adrenaline boost as I have been. Something to make the day special, interesting, fun. Something to convince ourselves that this isn’t a quarantine, it’s a camp. Something to remind ourselves that everything is totally normal.

At any rate, here I am, telling everybody (me) that it’s time to reel it in. The pandemic doesn’t seem to be going away. I can’t make us feel like normal again because this is normal. Boxes arriving in the mail won’t change that.


2 thoughts on “Shopping as self-medication”

  1. I’ve kept this fairly minimal but have definitely ordered some food items that I may not have purchased in stores – tea, cereal, etc, – when ordering other essential items (like OTC meds). I am trying not to place orders that don’t include essential stuff. At least that stuff will get used and won’t stick around for too long.


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