May 10, 2008

Consuming and Mother's Day Consumption

For a while I lusted over the naplak patch Miu Miu flats (aka "ice creams on a few of the fashion boards I frequent, referencing their color patterns that mimic Neapolitan ice cream colors). I never bought them because I never found them for a good price but slowly various knock offs have tempted me. I found the most realistic looking version on's new e-shop. Because I had a birthday coupon, free ship code, and a reward certificate I figured I could try them.

Except they are the least comfortable ever. Too big, also. I have another pair of flats by the brand (Penny Loves Kenny) that are triple strap mary janes (pseudo Chloés) and those are fine. These HURT. So back they go. Thankfully I can return in-store. I only hope I can get the reward certificate reimbursed to me somehow.

I wrote earlier about over-consuming because of various sales. And although I had every intention of returning the Tory Burch Pink Patent Reva Flats, I decided to keep them as a present to myself for taking on this extra work.

I got my spring evaluations back and they were glowing! So I feel even more entitled to them. But one of the perils of studying ideology is that I recognize my entitlement's connection with the rhetoric of retail therapy and emotional buying. The lure of justifying purchases by arguing they're rewards that I "deserve" becomes a fiscally dangerous slippery slope of retail risk. And on top of that, eventually, it seems logical to internalize the notion that "you are what you buy," and therefore, your emotional expression to others occurs through what you give them as gifts. Although I can say with certainty that I do not judge others in this manner, I agonize over finding the perfect presents for loved ones.

This Mother's Day I intend to celebrate three moms and at least two aunts. I began worrying about what to buy these ladies the day after my birthday. I bought my mom a pair of black pearl earrings that were meant to match the black Tahitian pearl necklace I bought her last year. But when they arrived in the mail, they weren't the right color and just weren't worth it. So back they go. Instead I got her this Coach wallet to match the signature print bag I got her for Christmas.
I promise that she'll protest that I spent too much. After all, she only asked for a hanging basket (and I got her a beautiful one). But I wanted to get her something more because she has always gone above and beyond in gift giving to me. I know she'd be just as pleased with a thoughtfully composed letter in a pretty card (which she'll get, of course) or a framed photo (which I've done for various holidays). But I found a good deal on this and think she will really like it.

Chris (my s.o.) and I carefully picked gifts for his mom and stepmom. And I know none will measure their worth by the gifts they receive, but I still fear that on some level my love will not be expressed adequately through these gifts. It's an absurd notion to expect such a thing of gifts. But when you allot too much power to things in your own consumer life, it begins to sound logical.

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