Having parted with the last of my savings on a flight to San Francisco I am faced with the realisation that I don’t have any money to spend while I’m there. Not being the kind of person who can budget on holiday, I prefer (or can’t help) to throw caution, sense and overdraft to the wind of cocktails and indulgence, while putting to the back of my mind the horrible depression and sizable debt that will be waiting for me at home. This abusive cycle of save – spend – save – spend has come to an end. This time I have a plan! Although it does involve a little garmentry binge and purge.
As a beacon of efficiency, I am supplementing my sensible saving by freeing myself of my worldly goods and offloading anything of value on ebay. My history with ebay is not quite that of an old friend, its my barometer of desperation. I have cycles of systematic ebay bingeing; winning items that look ok online but along with their arrival comes the cold realisation that I most likely paid over the odds and can’t remember why I was so frantically bidding on said shoes/wallet/boots that are always inevitably underwhelming in reality.
However, I keep coming back to ebay for two reasons: I like playing the game, the adrenaline kicking in when I feel close to a grift. I never stick to my pre-agreed limit and I am never sure of how it’s going to end. Afterwards I do realise any small sense of achievement is outweighed by a gnawing feeling of stupidity for allowing myself to become stressed in a bid for something I didn’t even realise I wanted or needed 24 hours earlier. I often emerge on the other side cold and clammy, that little glimmer in my eye – that Mulberry purse or Prada boots just out of reach; and the dream of owning some stranger’s unwanted goods fades.
Is the me I imagine – relaxed, affable, more interesting and 3 dimensional than the clothes on my back, with a magpie eye for unusual things more realistically - just a compulsive shopper? All that controlled excitement, that sparkle, is actually the dripping of mascara in my eye when I break out into a cold sweat because I let my emotions get the better of me in a fit of obsessive online shopping?
Who cares? I don’t. The second reason why I like ebay: I can just re-sell things, that’s what ebay is there for, isn’t it? With its bright logo and enticing photographs, luring me in with the false promises of big wins at low prices. And shopping online isn’t even like spending real money! Except I do spend the money, receive my win, realise it’s rubbish, pay my ebay fees and decide to relive the whole nightmare again by re-listing the win, hoping to sell it to a similar idiot to myself – at a loss. This probably makes me sound as though I don’t have a job, a life, or any friends.
For every shopping binge I have an innate ability to forget the bad times and move on, telling myself it won’t happen again. Then comes the purge, the wardrobe cleanse. The bad memories fade to a little dark place in the back of my mind, with the rest of the ebay defeats, as well as a little dark space at the back of my wardrobe.
I apply the thought tidy house equals tidy mind to my dwindling finances. Culled wardrobe equals a fat(ter) wallet. It is a selfless sacrifice to share my past-season offerings with the world and help my holiday cause. And this time I’m avoiding the trap of browsing ebay for ‘research’ purposes and buying even more junk before I’ve had the chance to offload mine. This might be a sign of the beginning of a gambling addiction but I’ll worry about that after my holiday.
Out with the old…