Februar-ain't Shopping

The title of this post might be the shittiest portmanteau ever, I know. Really, there are so many other months that would have worked at least a little bit better - "No Shop November" would be ideal, but "March of Nickels and Dimes" or "I May Not Shop" are, if not great, at least not totally confusing. But if I'm going to challenge myself not to buy anything for an entire month, you better believe that it's going to be the shortest month of the year, hence the supremely awkward title.

Last month's challenge was a cake walk. Wear lipstick every day for a month? I love wearing lipstick anyway, so this was less of a challenge and more of an excuse to dig out the 20 or so lipsticks that routinely ride around in my purse and actually, you know, wear them. I really, really love to shop, though, which is something that I've already talked about at length in previous posts and won't bore you with here. I will just say that if I put the same amount of time, energy, and brain space into learning a foreign language, I'd have mastered Mandarin and Turkish by now.

That's why I'm going to take a break from shopping this month. It's only four weeks, but I still felt a palpable pang of dread when I decided to undertake this challenge, which tells me that it's probably a good idea to do this. The lovely Porcelina is doing a 100 day no shopping challenge, and my immediate thought when I read her post about it was that I could never do that. And barring a financial crisis so severe that I end up homeless, or getting hit by a car and being in a coma, or possibly being invaded by body snatchers, I probably couldn't go 100 days without shopping. But 28? I should be able to make it through. If not, maybe it's time for a little intervention.

 If you do a Google Image search for "shopaholic,"  everything  is pink. Apparently shopping too much is 1) Super Cute! and 2) something only women do.

If you do a Google Image search for "shopaholic," everything is pink. Apparently shopping too much is 1) Super Cute! and 2) something only women do.

I think there are a few things that I'll need to do in order to be successful in this endeavor. The first order of business, quite simply, is to find something else to obsess over for a little while. Maybe I'll work on some fancy, complicated recipes, or try to watch and review a certain number of movies every week.

 Maybe I'll see if I can find an uncut version of Erich von Stroheim's  Greed . It would take me approximately 28 days to finish, so it might be just about perfect.

Maybe I'll see if I can find an uncut version of Erich von Stroheim's Greed. It would take me approximately 28 days to finish, so it might be just about perfect.

 

Avoiding temptation is also important, so I'm going to stay off of shopping sites, and try to avoid magazines and mainstream fashion websites. The Paris couture shows just ended, and I got so caught up gaping at all the beautiful things that I made a couple of purchases that I'm happy with, but were really frivolous. I'm still going to be on Instagram and I'm still going to check out other blogs, but I'm going to try to appreciate things aesthetically without having a "I'll have what she's having!" moment.

I also need to work on reminding myself of just how much I've got. It's one of those things that I think has become a bit distorted in my mind by the internet and social media: there are so many photos out there of closets that are practically bursting with beautiful dresses and skirts, boxes of hats, row after row of shoes. Sometimes it's kind of a relief to see that other people shop just as much, or more, than I do, but other times I use it as justification to buy even more stuff. I don't dress for other people, so why am I shopping for them?

Let's get real - there's loving fashion and wanting to spend your money wisely, and then there's actual OCD that maybe requires some form of therapy. I'm getting a little too close to that second one to be entirely comfortable with it.

Have you ever put yourself on a voluntary shopping ban? Any tips for keeping my wallet firmly closed?

By the way, the giveaway for those five gorgeous MAC lipsticks is still open! Thank you to everyone who has entered so far, although I'm surprised that so few people have entered via Instagram. Just to be clear, you don't have to post a new photo if you don't want to - any old photo you have hanging around of you in your favorite lipstick will do just as well. I hope I get to see some of your smiling (or frowning, or whatever) faces soon.