I actually went into a shop on Wednesday! I have no idea when the last time I strolled along a high street was! To be honest it was a bit of a shock to the system. I went to Plymouth on the train with The Boyfriend for a date, armed with a Christmas shopping list of bits I need to complete my presents.
I have two major flaws in my reasoning and judgement ability; firstly, I'm gullible (you'd get away with telling me the most ridiculous lies) and secondly, I am horribly easily swayed by advertising! I mean I see an advert on TV for Coca-Cola and immediately think (or even say to someone) “I want a Coke”. I want things I have no need for just because an advert says I do, and it really is a battle in my head between logic and consumerism!
Just walking along the streets of Plymouth was sending swirls of “you need this because of the BARGAIN PRICE” or “how could you let your mum go without THIS for Christmas?!” round my brain. I walked into one of those pop-up Christmas tat shops; you know the ones that sell novelty pens, personalised calendars and pasta shaped like bottoms? I was shocked at the pointless stuff for sale, yet I had frequented these shops in Christmases past to find some humorous but ultimately never-used gift for friends. Clutter at a premium price!
Grr, just thinking about the amount of money I must've wasted over the years on pointless crap is driving me crazy!
The Boyfriend is very good at not spending money. He's not as easily influenced as I am! Luckily I didn't fall for any clever marketing tricks by chain stores. I bought 12 cinnamon sticks (£3) for making mulled wine sachets to send to friends, an ugly top made of a nice patterned material to cut up and use for Christmas gifts (£1 from a charity shop), 4 Christmas shape cookie cutters (Father Christmas, a star, an angel and a Christmas tree) to send cookie-mixes-in-a-jar to The Boyfriend's nieces and my cousin (£2.50), and two packets of Fizz Wiz (popping candy from back in the day), which will be a present for my mum (40p). The only thing item I got for myself was a green jumper for £1.50 from a charity shop.
Having said that, our main trouble was food. We should definitely have packed our own lunches! We each bought a pasty for lunch and some cheap fast food for dinner. We also got bored when the shops started to close and the train wasn't for another 90 minutes, so went to.... Starbucks. I hang my head in shame. £2.50 for a coffee is definitely a waste of money, especially when The Boyfriend and I had been talking about how strange it is that people go to a shopping mall with the sole purpose of blowing their money! My report card for the day reads “must try harder”...