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The Excessity of Shopping

For some people, shopping is arduous work. Just ask me how much I like going to the mall a week before Christmas.

For others, shopping is pure pleasure, so much so that making a purchase elicits the same physical reaction as a lover’s caress or a hot fudge sundae. Remember Imelda Marco’s shoes? I would guess she experienced a burst of pleasure every time she bought another pair.

Shopping can be a way of escaping the tedium of reality. Whether it’s the latest electronic gadget or clothing style or hobby hardware, each purchase comes with a whispered promised: Your life somehow will be better once you have whatever it is. Often, it is to shop even when you don’t really have the time, the money, or the need for the things you buy.

It becomes an excessity when you’re run out of things to buy for yourself — and room to store all that stuff — and begin to purchase things for friends and family without being asked or encouraged.

It’s an excessity when you feel deprived, depressed, or anxious when prevented from shopping. When the mall is the only place you really feel at home and in control, there’s a problem.

SOURCE: Chapter 2, “Examine Your Excess,” in Gotta Have It! by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.

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