Confessions of a reformed shopaholic….

Did you hear that? Shall I repeat it? Loud and clear? On sale. Upto 50 percent off. Be still my beating heart. Get the smelling salts out, arm me with sensible shoes and comfort clothes and energy bars and let me at them. Err, not quite. Things have changed a bit.

This everything on sale occurs every year guaranteed at the time when one has exactly zilch in one’s bank account and can choose between paying the bills or living off chewing gum for the rest of the month and shopping unhindered, with no thought for the future. I was sorely tempted to go with the chewing gum, and had it been pre-brat I might have gone with it too, but being responsible parent, I desisted. I did the next best thing I could and wrapped my credit card in plastic and kept it in the freezer amongst the peas. I did hope that the cook didn’t chance on it and run squealing to the stores to shop out the stuff on 70 per cent no exchange, brandishing my card like a mighty weapon.

I then decided that I would visit the stores with only a token amount of cash in hand. These are measures which are now taken having been bitten on the butt by credit card bills which have run out of hand, and grim faced husbands who ponder the bill generated at the end of the month and who give one the kind of glare which could pin a moth to the spot and have it die a slow and painful death in true Voldermorte fashion.

I entered Inorbit feeling my heart beats speed up erratically and the familiar heady rush cloud my brain. I entered Shoppers Stop first. Women, hordes of women, were diving head first into huge cartons which were piled high with clothes, batting each other away with their handbags to get at piles which were being guarded proprietarily women shopping in packs. They rummaged through the cartons and dug out the best of the stock they could lay their paws on and charged to the changing rooms, where they grabbed changing rooms and held them for each other. Yet others ran amok at the children’s section not even attempting to take the pintsizes accompanying them to the changing room, but doing all the trials right there in the aisles with very surly and uncooperative children looking most embarassed at having to try out clothes in a public situation.

I went through the shoes and the bags. I was looking for a wedge heel for everyday wear, but the only half way decent pair had a terribly boring design and the rest were all either stilettoes or kitten heels which didn’t let me run down roads when chasing after the brat when I picked him from school. I didn’t pick up anything from the shoe department. I also had a bit of a fracas when a woman who looked like she could be Cinderella’s Step Mother battled it out with me for a kitten heel that would surely snap in two should she have attempted walking a couple of steps in it. Anyway. I emerged from the shoe section with no purchases. I went on to Lilliput, the store was uncluttered, and I picked up some tees and pants for the offspring, which he would surely take a look at and turn his pug nose up at, and never wear until he outgrew them and they would need to be passed onto charity untouched.

I went into Lifestyle where the crowds and the manic frenzy would lead anyone to believe they were actually distributing merchandise free. Women were burrowing through piles of clothes and shoes and handbags like they had just flown into town and had had the airline lose their luggage, and ergo, needed to be completely kitted out from head to foot. Very often, hapless men hung around with the kind of whipped look which made one actually feel like pulling out a tissue and handing it to them, saying, “There, there,” and patting them on their backs. I ventured again into the shoe section hunting down my wedge heels and saw only infinitely boring browns and blacks or profanely girly floral numbers which would probably have people collapse on the floor if they ever saw me teetering around in stuff meant for them on the right side of twenty. I steered myself away from the shoes, moved through the bags saw only one bag from Hidesign I would have killed to own, but realised it was not on discount and through strong willpower which I didnt know I possessed I dragged myself away from it, and fled into the womens clothing section. Saw a wonderful black waterfall cardigan which was not available in my size, saw a beautiful chiffony top, again not available in my size, a chocolate brown sequinned Forever New high collared deep cut sleeveless top, again not available in my size. I took this as a sign from heaven that I was not meant to shop at the sale, and went right back home.

I might go back to the stores again, but I know now that I have the strength to resist buying stuff just because. I think I’m finally becoming an adult.




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 Boy’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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11 Responses to Confessions of a reformed shopaholic….

  1. Phoenixritu says:

    Good gosh, I am a no shopping kind of person. I find this fascinating. Should send this to the DIL. She could be found in one of these rampage sales – they scare me


  2. Deepti Menon says:

    I hear you. Just bought a house, so with all the EMI and setting up home, this year the sales havre been avoided like plague.I look at the Sale signs and feel a sense of Zen and regret too! I am sure the spouse hopes I become an adult soon!! 🙂
    Loved the post!!


  3. dipali says:

    There are sales I go to (the Westside preview) and sales I avoid!
    I’m most impressed with this utterly reformed version, Kiran!!!


  4. shilpadesh says:

    Sigh! When I was working in Mumbai I hated going to Stop or Lifestyle or any other store on sale days. Sales bring out the worst in women! I’d rather spend Rs 100 extra per garment than make myself go through the farce of a sale!

    But I empathize with you. With a baby on the way I have decided to cut down on my personal spending, and it is hard. Hats off to you for having stuck to that.


  5. Writerzblock says:

    Awwww, I can so understand. I dropped the brat at school, and started walking towards Body Shop for some V-day gifts, but then decided to turn right back, and head home instead 😦


  6. faeriee says:

    I dont shop at sales anymore – i feel that its better to shop less at fresh arrival time than to buy lots of crappy stuff at sales ! Also, I have become increasingly allergic to the crowds nowadays – maybe age catching up.


  7. Ram pyaari says:

    I am not a shopaholic so this is a fascinating read!


  8. Roop Rai says:

    looking at the comment section, sure feels like there are a few of us after all who have problems shopping. 😀 i always have trouble finding the right things for me and always return home empty handed.


  9. soulmate says:

    Even though I had decided not to get carried away this time, I did and ended up buying stuff from Lifestyle, Levis and Wills!! I need to hide my card…


  10. you give us hope. seriously.


  11. Nish says:

    I’ve stopped shopping at sales, I never get my size anyway, and totally end up with a bunch of stuff that I would never ever have bothered to look at if they weren’t on sale.

    I have ended up spending more money though, but what I have I wear 🙂 You should have got that Hidesign bag if you liked it so much, their bags are so good, they last for ages and ages…expense is easy to justify to hubby. Ask him how much each of his leather shoes cost 🙂


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