Hi. My name is David, and it’s been exactly one week since my last purchase.
Who am I kidding. Excuse me while I go out and visit the sale happening down the road from our offices. My debit card’s itching in my pocket and my closet seems to be lacking something. Don’t know what it is, but it’s definitely lacking something.
But, as a matter of fact. It has been quite a while I’ve blogged about my other love in life, and while the weeks have slipped passed us and the turn of a season has swung by, my closet is a bit more stocked and my debit card is still cringing at the sight that he might be swiped again.
Upon my many adventures, I meet a lot of people (mostly sales assistants), who inspire me or teach me something new along the way.
But last week, I met a girl who surely changed my view upon being a Shopaholic.
Let’s dub her The Girl Hiding in a Tower of Debt, or Lady Debt for short.
You see – while I pay for most of my purchases with my debit card, Lady Debt has a credit card to help her out.
A credit card, taught to me by my father as “Bad Plastic”, is something that I’ve been avoiding all my life so far. Mostly out of fear for what monster might be unleashed as soon as I’m given the freedom (read punishment) that comes with Bad Plastic.
I would rather starve myself or walk to the train station before I pass up the opportunity to not buy an item I really like, but Lady Debt on the other hand has the comfort (read demise) of a credit card (cringe) to help her out (read pull down deeper into a spiraling dark hole).
And so we met in YDE, her hands packed with the clothing items she wanted and desperately needed, and the little card sticking out in her hand from underneath the pile of clothing.
“Hectic day,” I asked her.
“Honey. TOO busy,” she replied with a sparkle in her eye.
“How’s the credit card working out for you?”
I’ve come to learn from fellow Shopaholics and shoppers that you’re allowed to ask certain questions, let alone you dish out some of your secrets too.
“It’s a burden… But I can’t do without it,” came the intensely-false reply from a wide smiling Lady Debt.
For a moment, I regretted asking her the question, fearing she might want to convert me to a “religion” (read cult) that would mentally change me and strip me from certain financial morals I’ve come to pride myself in.
To reclaim myself, I spoke my motto in a rapid, quick succession of words: Pay with what you can afford, and you’ll reap more benefits.
As if with some karmic law that had suddenly been passed, Lady Debt’s false smile dropped and I saw a little thought cross her mind.
The shop assistant was ready to help me with my purchase, and I walked forward to the counter. I put down the items, pulled out my debit card and felt more assured that I wasn’t racking up debt for myself.
I turned around to ask Lady Debt something, and was shocked at the sight unfolding behind me. The once, enormous pile of clothing was now scattered on a chair, while she was frantically searching through them all for the items she really wanted.
Her lips, were moving fast, as she was murmuring unheard words to herself. Words, I could only guess was logical considerations to make her stay sane by abandoning her babies…
The shop assistant lured me back to reality and asked me to type in my PIN on the pin pad. I paid, took my slip and bag and shifted to the side of the counter to let Lady Debt put down her purchased. She had three items now, while asking if the rest could be put away.
“You’ve made a changed Shopaholic of me today…”
I already knew that, and smiled.
“You’re way too pretty to be using a plastic card to rule your life. Keep it real…”
And with that, I greeted her and walked away.
Pride swelled over me as I took my leave from YDE.
In a way, I’ve never made debt while reveling myself in consistent shopping, and I convinced someone else to stop her ways of making debt.
Shopaholics are always perceived and portrayed as people who always rack up thousands of rands of debt and end up having to go for therapy and all that nonsense. In a way, I’m challenging that. I might not have money all the time, but I’ll always have a way to pay for that new shirt or pair of shoes, without making debt.
I won’t say I might never end up using a credit card, but lets say that could be an adventure for another day…