A recent February episode of Q - guest hosted by Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden (whose wit I have always appreciated) - featured an interview with Phoebe Baker Hyde who wrote the book, The Beauty Experiment. The gist of the book - and the interview - is that Baker Hyde spent a year living outside the beauty conventions that society promotes for women through media, advertising and various industries. The book explains her personal experience through the experiment, explores beauty conventions from other cultures and explains practical tips for women to use in simplifying and challenging their own beauty routines.
As I've pondered Baker Hyde's suggestion over the last while, I've begun to realize some of the dumb reasons I walk out of a store with a purchase:
- I feel like I've wasted my time making the trip to the store if I don't buy something.
- I'm looking for something specific, and I can't find it, so I buy something that's close enough (it usually isn't close enough and ends up not getting used).
- I don't want to offend the nice sales clerk who has been so helpful.
- I have no use for it now, but think I might be able to use it some day.
- It's on sale, and I might never see it for this price again!
This past weekend - armed with all these ponderings - I managed to leave two stores with nothing in my hands. One was even an art supply store, so that's a huge accomplishment for me. I was looking for a very specific storage solution for my studio, and almost gave in to buying something "close enough" when I couldn't find what I really wanted. In the end, my forbearance payed off when I found exactly what I wanted after doing some research online.
So from now on, each time I leave a store, I'm going to picture a big red stop sign on the door that says: "Do you really need to buy that?" Hopefully I'll have a little more money in my pocket and a little less crap around the house.