Shopping is addictive. Thank God I'm a man

Share

Here's a message for all those miserable old men you see every Saturday, patiently plodding after their wives as they journey from supermarket to supermarket in search of perfectly priced chickens, economy-sized baked beans, or cheap household cleansers: you have not saddled yourself with some mad person who's on a mission from God to check out the three pence off on this product against the four pence off on the other, and doesn't care how long it takes, nor how far she has to travel. Your wife is suffering from a medical condition. Your wife is one of the 20 per cent of women in this country who's a shopaholic.

Here's a message for all those miserable old men you see every Saturday, patiently plodding after their wives as they journey from supermarket to supermarket in search of perfectly priced chickens, economy-sized baked beans, or cheap household cleansers: you have not saddled yourself with some mad person who's on a mission from God to check out the three pence off on this product against the four pence off on the other, and doesn't care how long it takes, nor how far she has to travel. Your wife is suffering from a medical condition. Your wife is one of the 20 per cent of women in this country who's a shopaholic.

Or omniomaniac, as it's less commonly known. A condition that is, apparently, not only reaching crisis proportions, but overtaking the number of drink and drug addicts in the UK combined. That's right. For every wine-soaked crack addict in this country there's half a dozen women drooling over a shopping bag. To which I say, thank God I was born a man. Shopping's bad enough as it is, without it becoming compulsive. Shoe shops alone are enough to drive you mad. I'm a size 10, me. Not an uncommon size, you'd think. Well, it is if you run a shoe shop.

God only knows how many times I've selected an attractive pair of brown loafers, then said to the shopgirl, "Do you have these in a size 10?" before the dramatic pause as she hides in the stock room, counting slowly up to a thousand and six, before returning and stating brightly, "We've got them but not in your size." Then another pause as she allows this totally useless piece of information to sink in, before adding, "Have you tried the shoe shop across the road?" To which I give the time-honoured reply, "They sent me here."

If I had my way everybody would wear brown dungarees and big black boots, and that would be it. Take away freedom of choice and shopping addiction is a thing of the past. That and credit cards. If there's been a more evil invention in the world other than the credit card, then please don't tell me what it is. Keep it to yourself.

"Of course, I'll only use it in an emergency," I thought, as I slid the shiny piece of plastic into my wallet, feeling like a grown-up for possibly the first time in my life. The first emergency occurred when the off-licence opened. The next about half an hour later, the next half an hour after that. Then emergencies occurred with monotonous regularity until large men appeared at my front door demanding their money back.

I have been guilty of shopping madness myself. Who could resist the de luxe nostril hair trimmer, at only £9.99? A fantastic buy. True, it didn't trim any of my nostril hairs, de luxe or not, but it did make a pleasant buzzing sensation against my nose. First time I've ever used a nasal vibrator.

I'm not dumb enough to fall for the designer label trap, though. I don't see why I should fork out an extra fifteen quid on a pair of underpants just because some French bloke has written his name on them.

The more money you have, it seems to me, the madder your purchases are. Flick through any of the glossy supplements that come unwanted with your weekend newspaper, and look at the bonkers stuff that's out there, nearly all of it targeted at women. How about a pair of knickers at £69.95? Or a lace top at £650? Or (my favourite) a "Ghost House silk throw" at £1,000. Just the thing to cover that old armchair in the corner.

I'm lucky in that I'm reasonably broke and my addictions are cheap and easily catered for. There are few designer beers, as far as I'm aware. I don't have to take a black cab to Knightsbridge when I run out of cigarettes. I'm also lucky in that I can accept that my life is devoid of purpose and meaning, and no amount of Ghost House silk throws will alter that. Well, maybe just the one.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: pours or pores, pulverised, ‘in preference for’ and lists

Guy Keleny
Ed Miliband created a crisis of confidence about himself within Labour when he forgot to mention the deficit in his party conference speech  

The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election

Andrew Grice
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect