Friday, December 30, 2011

The Forbidden Fruit

Today is December 30, which means I have only one more day to shop for myself before the fast begins.  As part of my preparations to stock-pile undergarments, I was forced to take a trip to Saks yesterday afternoon.  Saks is a great department store and I am happy for Birmingham that we have one.  However, I typically try to stay away on the assumption that nothing good can come from my going in there!  Operating under that assumption, I generally go only once or maybe twice a year, and always for something specific (say, On Gossamer underpants).

Yesterday was no exception, and I was on a very specific mission.  The plan:  march straight to the lingerie department and do not stop.  That plan was quickly derailed when, within five seconds of entering the doors, I spotted a friend and her daughter in the shoe department.  Well of course I wanted to stop and speak.  And of course, standing there in the middle of the Saks shoe department, shoes starting speaking to me - "look at me, you better get me now, I'm on sale, I come in your giant size 11!"  To make matters even worse, Saks was having their rack shoe sale (confession that I hit the Gus Mayer rack sale last week and bought a great pair of black booties), and there was an entire side of a rack devoted exclusively to sizes 10-11.  Jackpot!!  I felt an actual obligation to look.  There could have been some life altering shoes on that sale rack, and how would I know if I did not even look.  So you know what happened.  I'm staring at these great shoes (Prada, Jimmy Choo...brands I don't even own and cannot afford to buy) and I feel like we are in a stand off.  It's really a weird feeling to be taunted by shoes!

I walked away.  I had to.  I don't consider myself to be a shopaholic by any stretch, but maybe that is how an addict feels when exposed to the source of their addiction.  I knew it made no sense to just stand there and stare at shoes I had no intention of buying.  After the black booties last week, I had decided that would be the last impulse purchase for a very long time (and by long, I did not mean a week).  I quickly made my way up to the lingerie department and found what I was there to buy.  Purchase made, I now had to get back out of the store -- right through these gorgeous dresses and adorable spring frocks. It was terrible.  Usually I would not care, but somehow knowing that everything was "forbidden" made it so much more desirable.  I suppose there are some Biblical references to be made there!

I made it out with only underpants in hand, I am happy to say.  But I think I need to stay away from shopping opportunities until I feel stronger!

So tomorrow is the last day and I have only a few more necessities to purchase, and then the fast begins in earnest.  I know it will be a challenge at times, but I honestly feel like I will grow from this experience.   It is ridiculous to think for a second that I need any shoes, or anything else material for that matter, so I welcome the exercise of discipline and reflection.  Let me know if you are in too...I think forbidden fruit probably tastes pretty bitter and is not really worth it in the end.