I had an entirely different post scheduled for today, but I've been feeling more than a little indignant lately, so let me get on my soapbox for a moment and rant.
My shopping sabbatical (no clothes or accessories purchases for 5 months) has almost reached the 3-month mark, with the incentive/reward at the end of the 5-month haul being a Chanel purse. I figured spending the money I'd saved during that period on an extravagant purchase I otherwise wouldn't be able to afford would be great motivation for staying on track. I'd have one purchase that would last me until I become a little old lady, as opposed to lots of cheap trifles that would break or wear out and end up in a landfill. In other words, I'd start buying for quality from now on, not quantity. This rationale was my way of easing my consumer's guilt associated with such an extravagant purchase.
Most of the friends I've explained my rationale and my shopping sabbatical to have applauded my decision and been excited for me. However, I've also had loads of judgemental disapproval heaped on me. "I think that's a ridiculous amount to spend on a purse," said one friend. "You could, you know, use that money to see the world," said my friend E.
The comment that stung the worst, though, came from my ex: "You are stupid beyond belief. No words can describe how stupid you are." We were talking online; he'd just returned to Mexico after a 5-week trip to Alaska. He said that if he'd had the money, he would've flown to Vancouver to see me, and then jokingly asked me to pay for his flight. I jokingly replied that I was saving up for a purse, then added, "I like you, but I like the purse a little bit more" in Spanish. When I told him how much the purse was, disbelief turned into anger and he uttered those words.
The more I thought about what he said, the angrier I became. We had broken up and we still had residual feelings for each other, but at the end of the day we were just ordinary friends. We weren't obligated to each other in any way, and we certainly didn't owe each other face-time. He chose to spend his hard-earned money on a trip to Alaska instead of seeing me. So what's wrong with me choosing to spend my hard-earned money on a luxury I've fantasized about for months instead of seeing him? If I spend my money on the bag, at least at the end of the day I'll have the bag, whereas with him...I don't know what we have, but it doesn't exactly smack of long-term commitment.
I vented to my friend E, and after getting some of that rage out of my system, I began to sympathize with my ex a bit more. The cost of a Chanel purse is obscene in the eyes of someone from Mexico City who's used to a low cost of living and couldn't give a hoot about designers. Plus, he was probably more hurt than anything else that I'd choose to spend the money on a bag instead of subsidizing his visit to Vancouver.
E pointed out something else when I complained about how I was sick of being judged and taking flack from people: When I step out with the purse once I get it, I'll inevitably invite stares and attention and negative snap judgements from people, many of whom might dismiss me as some spoiled high-maintenance Asian girl. "Let's just say you see a 24-year old driving a BMW," he reasoned. "What do you think [immediately]? Parents bought it." And E has a point. People aren't going to care that I paid for it myself with my full-time job, that my credit rating is stellar, or that I've never been in debt once in my life. They aren't going to care that I'm quite frugal normally and that this is a one-off purchase that's intended to curb my excessive consumption habits in the long run. They'll look at me with disgust in their eyes as though they were looking at a BMW-driving 24-year-old.
When all is said and done, I'm going to do what makes me happy despite what others may think. As any fellow shopaholic will know, it's taken a lot of willpower for me to come this far. That purse at the end of the road will be all the sweeter as a reminder of my discipline.
Alright, rant over. Thanks for bearing with me. I'll return to the regular scheduled programming.