Let me tell you a story about moment I’m not very proud of: the time I splurged on something I did not deserve—or even need, for that matter.
It all started one day when I visited a department store and found myself perusing sunglasses. One thing you should know about me is that I love sunglasses. You can easily find five pairs in my handbag because I need options, I kid you not. So anyway, as I was browsing, I came across the Celine sunglasses, which are at the top of my covet list. Just for fun, I put on a pair and took a look in the mirror and instantly thought, “Wow, I look like a BOSS, these would look so good if I took a trip to Europe and posted all of the pictures to make everyone jealous on social media.” When I looked at the price tag, it was—brace yourself—$450. Whew. Knowing it was way above my budget, I put the sunglasses back and said, “One day.”
Fast forward to a mere 3 months later, I started a new job and on this particular day was feeling good about a lot of things: it was a Friday, I had accomplished a lot at work, I was feeling grateful to be back in New York, it was pay day, and I felt I deserved to treat myself. Plus, I learned I would get an employee discount at a sunglasses store I will not name that sold, guess what, Celine sunglasses. I figured I’d stop by to check it out. What’s the worst that could happen, I leave with sunglasses I want?
As I walked into the store, I was greeted by one of the friendliest sales associates I’ve ever met. I asked about the specific pair of sunnies I was eyeing on and tried them on and she said, “Girl, you look FIERCE!” And I, being the sucker I am, replied, “Wow you really think so? I think I need these in my life, it’s time to pull the trigger.” She even threw in a bigger discount than the employee one I had—how generous! After swiping my credit card, she handed me the receipt and merchandise and said, “Come back soon!” I replied, “Oh trust me I will, there’s more that I have my eye on!” And that’s when I felt my stomach drop. Did I really just say that? I turned around and left the store realizing what I had just done and did not feel good about myself. Now that I had a material object I had been thinking about, what’s next? Is that just something to cross off from my list of wants? I kept trying to convince myself, however, that this was the right decision because when would you ever be able to buy this again with that type of discount? Yeah, okay, that makes sense. I put the sunglasses in my bag and went about my day.
A couple of days passed and I realized that I was too scared to wear the sunglasses. They were in pristine condition and god forbid I ruin a $450 pair of sunglasses, they’re Celines after all! But I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I made a mistake. I just knew it in my gut. The end of the month was coming up and I realized I needed to pay for my rent. What’s more important: rent or sunglasses? I think that answer is obvious. I decided I needed to return the sunglasses. Sigh.
Thank goodness at this point I still had my receipt, but I think deep down I knew I wanted to hold onto it just in case I felt the need to return them. I walked into the same store and was greeted by a different sales associate this time. When asked why I was returning it, I said I didn’t need it. The sales associate replied, “Then why did you buy it in the first place?” Ugh, that is a good point. The guilt settled in. It was obviously the wrong move on my part and now I felt the shame.
The moral of the story is to only buy what you need, not what you want. Also if your motives are to make people jealous on social media, that’s not a good way of thinking either. So kids, learn from my mistake: don’t buy into the hype unless you can afford it. Put your necessities like rent and your bills over material wants, it’s not worth it in the long run. And, oh yeah, don’t believe the friendly sales associates. You know they’re really good at their jobs if they persuade you into making that big purchase. Honestly, the person who sold me the sunglasses really deserves a raise.