We have seen more than our share of shitshows in the last week and a half. Between our parenting challenges, involuntary job loss and the death of a cat, we're emotionally exhausted. Losing Gideon really pushed me to the limit, even though I did my best to hold it together. After seeing him go, Diana and I did our best to engage in retail therapy, but walked away empty handed.
Our first thought was that we should buy a chair for our living room. We've had a 4-foot beanbag chair standing in now for the six months that we've lived here. It's super classy. We dropped into an Ikea and a "real" furniture store but didn't find anything we liked. I started flirting with buying the biggest, most expensive Lego sets available, but backed off when they suddenly announced a roller coaster set for next month. I still want to buy that video camera, but probably shouldn't be doing that for the cost of several mortgage payments. I've got a strange urge to buy a drum machine for some reason. The bottom line is that I really want to buy something to distract me from all of the angst, anger and sadness, even if it is temporary.
Honestly, that kind of spending was my automatic reaction to crappy situations in my 20's, but somewhere in my 30's I stopped doing it. Maybe it's because I started to mitigate the crappy situations, but I'm sure part of it was also that I stopped buying crap I didn't need, and definitely focused more on experience-based spending.
There's still a weird adrenaline hit when you buy stuff, I just don't need it like I used to. Now I get that feeling when I'm in New York going to see a show, or stepping off the cruise ship in an Alaskan or beach port. Heck, I get it sometimes just going to the beach. Travel is more expensive, but there's little question that the memories are more enduring than buying another gadget.