Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Last Package

I opened my door yesterday to find a plastic wrapped parcel on my front porch. Oh yeah, I almost forgot— I ordered a pair of new black yoga pants from Athleta during their after-Christmas sale. Make that two pairs (I didn't know which size would fit me. I'll return one of them. Really.). As I tore the package open, I realized that if all goes as planned, this will be the last time I get a new treat in the mail for a looong time. Can I go one year, without hearing that satisfying thunk on the steps and running out to find the shoes/pants/sweater I've been waiting for?

At Day 4, I feel pretty good about my resolution. I even managed to make a trip to Costco and walk past the stack of wool pea coats on the way to the cereal aisle. But I am waiting for the other — super cute — shoe to fall. What's going to happen when I have a bad day, a bad week, or simply see something that would look fabulous on me (and marked down to a price I can't pass up)?

I need to buy a few gifts and am strategizing how I can do this without walking into the lion's den. My first thought is to go to small stores that sell only the specific type of merchandise I need, ie: a toy store for the kid's gift, a baby boutique for the newborn gift. Instead of walking into the mall where there are landmines all over the place, there will be only certain things. Sure, I'll pay a little more, but I'll be supporting a local business and perhaps more importantly, supporting myself.

Speaking of support, I have joined a movement called The Great American Apparel Diet. It's a group of women who have for ethical and financial reasons decided to go for a year with no new clothes. The program started on September 1, 2010 and there are are 239 days left on the ticker. Reading the other members' bios makes me feel a little like I'm walking into a 12-step program. I mean, I can stop at any time, right? I'm not like those addicts. But the refrains are quite familiar to me, and I know I am just like everyone else there. And it is quite inspiring to see women from all around the world who struggle with the same things I do and are succesfully making changes.


  1. I know what you mean - that little "high" that comes from buying something new, just for you, is hard to wean from. What I wonder is -- can you replace that "high" with some other kind of high? This is getting all psychological, but I wonder what the replacement "exciting thing" would be? And if you find that, it might make the lack of shopping less worrisome?

  2. That's a good questions. I think personally, new clothes bring me a high on a couple fronts:
    Body image- it's easier to buy new clothes than to the hard work of actually getting in better shape.
    Creativity- I'm always happy when I see something aethetically beautiful, especially when there are pretty colors and interesting designs.
    Escape- the process of just browsing and shopping is a nice break from the responsibilities of everyday life.
    So I should work out, do some art and watch a lot of TV? All kidding aside, there's a lot to think about!

  3. hi! i've been doing the same thing. just finished month 4 of 12. good luck!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth! Four months is a long time for a shopaholic. I'm inspired.

    BTW, extra yoga pants have been put in the mail!


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