I thought I was Becky Bloomwood…

…but, with great distress, I realised now that I have morphed into skinflint Jess. The lack of make up aside. Yes, true. Horrifying, isnt it? I fainted in shock. Almost. I didnt dare dent the floor tiles. No way I was spending money replacing a perfectly good tile.

There was a time in my life when I was Becky. I would get into a store, for no reason but simply to feast my eyes on the beauty that was a bag that screamed my name from a window display and bought it, just because. Just because ended up with me having three shelves full of bags that I rotated on a weekly basis, and still felt incomplete. And then there were the shoes. The shoes. The shoes that I just had to had to had to buy. Also just because. They were so perfect. They made me complete. I would put on a pair of gorgeous shoes and feel I owned the universe. The universe has come bit me on the butt and plonked me up on a loft in my office with really steep stairs, which means I now live in sneakers. And Ballys. And flat slippers. Really unglamorous stuff. Stuff I looked down my nose at in times gone past. So now I plod around in fugly sneakers and feel the world look down on me and have really mean friends come upto me and ask me if I was always this short or I just shrunk even before they say Hello. (You know who you are, you!). Then there were clothes. Lots of them. Clothes I bought in bagfuls which went into my shelves surreptiously, to be removed piecemeal, gently, so that the spouse wouldnt actually notice that they were new but assume that they always existed in my wardrobe. It also helps that the spouse doesnt really notice me, unless I ask for money, ergo this part was easy. Now, I dont think I have shopped for clothes in months. I have my wardrobe full. Overflowing to be truthful And my social life currently borders on the nonexistent. It doesn’t make sense to buy more clothes just because.

Things have changed now. My credit cards are on borderline max out, and the interest rates so scary that I tremble in fear everytime the bill arrives. I use them sparingly now. I hide them in inaccessible corners of my wallet, where I need to slide in nailfiles and such like in order to pry them out. I keep the debit card up front and first at hand. When I go to malls, or shopping centres, I go to extremes and keep them at home, in the locker, in a ziploc bag. It keeps me on the straight and narrow. The path has been tough. Very tough. It has been an attainment of nirvana of sorts. I no longer enter a store and need to buy up everything in sight right now. I don’t feel the urge to anymore. In fact I cant even remember the last time I did that. I’m become the kind of skinflight who gets into stores, sees what is on offer, checks prices and makes a mental note to come back when the store is on sale, if I really adore something.

When I go grocery shopping, this new skinflight me is in full evidence. I refuse to pick up anything if it isnt on discount. Or part of a package. Which I could use. I spend time squinting at prices and comparing sizes and prices. If there is a two for one offer, you can be sure I pushing the cart down the aisles mowing down unwary shoppers as I make a beeline for it. I refuse to buy stuff that once upon a time I chucked in happily into the trolley and which always lay unused until expired in the fridge like exotic cheeses and dips and such like. I’ve had a hunk of Camembert forgotten in the back of my butter compartment creating such an odorific noise that I almost called in the exterminators convinced I had a dead body concealed on the premises.Ergo, no exotic stuff unless I am hosting folks over and can be guaranteed said exotic stuff will be consumed on the day bought itself. And I, err, shop from a list. There, I have said it. In public. I’ve morphed into one of them boring, old farts who dodder down aisles consulting a mile long list and ticking off items. And then too, compare prices and sizes, and check out each and every offer on display before deciding what it is I have to buy. And pick up stuff like onions and potatoes from wholesale shops in bulk. Gah, where is that spoonful of water to fling myself into?

I swear prices rise by the minute. The can of oil I bought last month was a good 25 per cent cheaper last minute than it was this month. Is it just me, or is this insane inflation hitting everyone this hard? Or is this newfound thriftiness a sign that sense is finally coming to me, or is it that I am, gasp, finally accepting that I am getting old?


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boyโ€™s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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7 Responses to I thought I was Becky Bloomwood…

  1. Param says:

    Gosh, i can relate to this 100%:)This is exactly the way i behave when i go shopping…shopping no,no window shopping lol. Gone are the days when life was supposed to be just Mast Mast. I guess marriage and kids does this to most women.


  2. Gigi says:

    You are growing up. ๐Ÿ™‚ What next? 6 months living expenses stashed away in the bank for your emergency fund? Reading The Motley Fool’s guide to investing? (Or the equivalent for Dalal St?)

    Ooh – cute touch on the snowflakes in the webpage! You artsy people are impressive.


  3. soulmate says:

    Believe me.. Its the insane inflation… I also no longer shop, unless I absolutely need something and not want… Gone are the days when I would pick up a top, jeans, shoes just like that…
    I have seen some amazing pair of jeans which fit me like they were tailor made for me, but I didnt buy them… Just pacified myself by saying that I still have two pairs and I can manage.. Need to curtail expenses…


  4. Aarabi says:

    haha! The phrase “gone are the days” should give you a clue…


  5. vaidegi j says:

    sigh!! ๐Ÿ™‚ sums it up quite well, the every week marketting/grocery shopping scenario. yes mebe..finally happening.. just the natural course of events i would think, mebe speedened up a bit with the inflation thing. it wouldve happened even otherwise, no worries! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  6. aargee says:

    Inflation- May be right! But isn’t it sensible to be this way? Or am I old already at 29?


  7. Deven says:

    Dear Kiran,

    Absolutely wonderful blog, just finished reading all blogs from 2007 to 2010, just mind blowing real stuff and i could identify to almost all the things that you have come across, just fantastic, have become your fan forever.Cheers and do keep writing such wonderful stuff forever.


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