Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping

This afternoon, as I'm walking down to Union Square after work trying not to drop dead from the inferno that is New York, I had the sudden urge to splurge. My suburban born and raised girly self needed an air conditioned building with high ceilings, escalators, and racks of discount belts. So I popped into Filene's Basement, my new favorite department store in Manhattan. It's got great bargains, it's never all that crowded, the cashier people are shockingly polite and you can try on stuff in the corner where the full length mirror is in the Juniors section and not have to wait on line for a dressing room. (Ladies, trust me on this one. Fugettabout schlepping to Century).

As I was browsing through DKNY petites, I suspected that I may have officially replaced alcoholism with shopping. Now, I'm not saying I had a serious problem in the past. It's just well, I was a lush. My friends knew how to lure me into any situation. Poker, PN? There will be wine there....Or, C'mon PN, let's go deep into south Brooklyn even though it's 11 pm! I'll buy you a drink! Karol is most guilty of this and I love her for knowing me so well inside and out, and embracing my lushness with open arms.

But lately, I find myself having no desire to drink. For instance, I know the bartender at a certain bar uptown who gives me free drinks and tonight I chose to order seltzers with lime the entire evening. Yet, I went about twenty blocks out of my way in 106 degree stifling heat (don't forget about that humidity factor) to find the perfect black belt. I turned down happy hour with a coworker the other day because I wanted to buy new ballet flats from Loehman's.

Part of it is that I'm in a stage right now where I am craving alone time. I've always been a big shopper, but shopping is more about getting lost in a whirlwind of senses and being able to escape lingering thoughts about your over-complicated life. All of a sudden, major decisions involve how this purple mini skirt hides my hips but does show off my thighs. Should I shell out the forty bucks even though I have no top to match?

I figure this phase will last until fall hits and I want to be outdoors drinking pinot instead of sniffing anti-theft device glue. In the meantime, you guys should check out this hot new red dress I picked up.