Monday, April 03, 2006

On the Mall

The other day, I decided that I'd been frugal enough lately to give myself permission to go shopping a bit. So I went to a mall today, a large, swanky suburban mall. At times like this, I start to wonder if my frugality is actually just a personality disorder, as I seem to suffer from some kind of mall-induced paralysis.
When I walk through a mall, I look at every store and start eliminating them as being too expensive, too tacky, or just not what I need right now. (And then there is Versace, which covers all three.)
Today's shopping expedition took place in the evening, after dinner. The stores were all getting ready to close and there were hardly any shoppers, which was nice because crowds in malls can freak me out too. Anyway, I hemmed and hawed and walked back and forth, trying to decide which stores to go into. I went into one shop and tried on a pair of jeans that totally didn't fit, and weren't really what I wanted to buy anyway. I looked at some shoes that were totally not my style in another shop. And then when I had decided that maybe I should go back to the J.Crew to try to buy a pair of shorts, by the time I got there all the stores were closing and it was time to leave.
Money spent: $0
It's as if shopping is just something you have to be good at, and I'm not that good at it. This is probably a good thing.


Anonymous said...

This is the reason I do so much of my shopping online these days. I hate wondering around stores not finding what I want, etc. The worst is finding what you want, but not being able to pay for the item due to lack of cashiers...

Anonymous said...

My wife loves wandering around stores, and she'll try on dozens of outfits on any given shopping trip (I love helping her pick out outfits; go figure). Despite all this, she rarely buys something (or lets me buy it for her). I'd say her try-on-to-buy ratio is about 200:1. But when she does buy clothes, she always goes for a good combination of price and quality.

Me, I try on and buy a new shirt and pair of pants every five years.

Britt said...

"At times like this, I start to wonder if my frugality is actually just a personality disorder..."

I must admit to having this very thought every once in a while! (About myself, not you, of course.)

Adventures In Money Making said...

Studies have shown that window shopping provides the same high as actually spending money. I like to hang around the malls especially around christmas. It really lifts the mood, even though i rarely buy anything!

Single Ma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Single Ma said...


::regaining my conscious::

*thinking* Did she say "mall induced paralysis?"

Ok first I have to LMAO, but my brain is screaming "oh lawd, please say it aint soooo!!" You went to a mall - not just ANY mall, but a swanky one - and you didn't buy anything? Nada? Zilch? Nothing? No shoes? Eearrings? Makeup? Shoot, not even a belt? Nothing??

See, I might have to revoke some of your fabulous points now cuz that's a serious violation! LOL

Mike said...

I used to blow money like it was nothing at the mall. I think it's a mindset you need to have, because I'm exactly the same way now.

Of course, in the past, once I went to the mall I was already committed to buying SOMETHING. Now I go and it's all just overpriced clothing and not really what I need/want/find flattering etc.

Mall fashion is on its own plane of existence and I prefer standalone clothing retail if I'm going to shop (like Target or H&M).

Anonymous said...

I'm even worse. I have a gift certificate to a store I usually love, so it's free money! And I still haven't found anything I like there in months. I've gone twice, fought my way into a parking space, wandered through the store, and left disappointed.

I can definitely relate to shopping paralysis. I can usually get myself out of it by saying "I need this for work" or buying a gift for someone else.

Anonymous said...

This blog is great. Congratulations. I am a journalist, writing about personal finance in Brazil, and will certainly mention your blog in my stories. Btw, would you mind answering a few questions if I email them to you?

Just Thinking Out Loud! said...

I want to be like you. I know how to go to the mall and not buy anything. However, I can neutralise 3 months of going to the mall without buying anything with one day of shopping. :) You are my new mentor! :)

Madame X said...

Hi Alessandra,
I'm happy to answer questions. I'd love it if you'd send me a link to
any of your writings online-- I know Portuguese a little bit. Muito obrigada!
You can email me at

mOOm said...

Sounds like me. I know what I want to buy and go to the store/mall but don't like anything I see.