Shopping Amnesia


I went to order a book the other day. Good Enough: confessions of a less-than-perfect mum” by Dilvin Yasa. It looks like my kind of book. Motherhood: self-deprecating, honest, amusing. I once, only once, bought a book that was the opposite of this. Some sort of guide to yummy-mummy-hood. Singing the virtues of hummus on oat cakes as a good snack to get through those timeless newborn days. The importance of me time. Date nights. Taking care of yourself (gym euphemism) and other such ideas which are so far removed from my experience of motherhood that it’s surprising we can use the same term for the process of looking after a small person we call our own. Unless those oat cakes were laced with Valium/coffee/wine/something illegal.

Anyway, Yasa’s book does not look like this at all, and I want to read it. So I went online to order it and then I paused. Because I was experiencing déjà vu and I thought to myself “Have I already bought this and forgotten?”. I know I haven’t read it, and I do want to, but I honestly could not remember if I had perhaps already purchased it and was waiting for it to arrive. Or had I bought it on the kindle app, and then promptly forgotten (because really the only time I read is after dinner on a Friday night, when I don’t use my phone / iPad. It’s a Jewish sabbath thing. But the price of a kindle book is so attractive I seem to often overlook this flaw in my reading system).

This is not the first time that I have had shopping amnesia. A while ago I spied a stunner of a Bianca Spender dress on sale online. Reduced from five hundred and something to $220. A dress, I find, is a more economical way of shopping. You get more bang for your buck buying one thing that is a complete outfit than you do with separates. I didn’t buy it because I wasn’t supposed to be spending. But as the date of the end of sale loomed closer I convinced myself that it was A Dress Not To Be Missed. On the last day of the sale, I received an email informing me that it was, indeed, the last day of the sale. Nothing like a bit of pressure to convince you to lighten your purse. I opened the Bianca Spender website but then something happened (most likely Baby N’s mother-sitting-down- and-doing -something-for-herself-radar went off and he woke up) and I got distracted. As I got into bed at 11.30pm that night, I remembered the sale was finishing at midnight. I went back to the website, added the dress to cart, but before I could complete the purchase, I fell asleep. Shopping Girl, Interrupted. I woke up at 2.30am (Baby N’s mother-in-deep-sleep radar) with the phone resting on my finger tips. And then I remembered what it was doing there. I checked the website and true to their word, the sale had ended at midnight. I did also go and put Baby N back to sleep.

Well. Now I was on a mission. Nothing like missing out on a dress to make you realise that it was a must-have. I went to David Jones the next day to find it. I knew it would still be on sale there. There it was, but in miniature. I asked the sales assistant for my size, and she helpfully told me that rather than transfer from another branch, they would post it directly to me. I think she was happy to avoid a second encounter with Baby N who was vocalising his displeasure at the sedentary pram.

I was extremely impressed when the next day a courier showed up at my door with the dress. The sender was not DJs, however, it was Bianca Spender. And then I began to worry. Had my thumb just pressed “confirm”
as I fell into my heavy slumber? Or had I been sleep shopping? Was I now the owner of two stunning Bianca Spender dresses?

This shopping amnesia all comes about from online window shopping I guess. It’s a bit like browsing, even trying on a bunch of things, and then walking out the store. Sometimes I shop online, fill up my cart, but once I take a look at that total, sometimes seconds away from clicking confirm, I instead close the window. It still feels a bit like shopping. I know I’m not the only one who does this. Or sometimes I just leave the safari window open to remind myself that when the credit card clicks over to the next month, and we’re not so close to maxing out, I really should but that dress / book / electric guitar.

This behaviour makes it very difficult to remember sometimes if I’ve actually bought something and I’m still waiting for it to arrive or whether I’m still waiting to buy it. I end up searching my inbox, and then my email trash, for purchase confirmations, which 99% of the time do not exist.

Once Shopping Amnesia is recognised as a legitimate medical condition it will provide the perfect response to that age old suspicious question, “Is that new??”. “Yes, honey, I guess it is. I just found it hanging in my wardrobe. I remember seeing it in the shop, but everything after that is a blank”.

And fortunately there’s no pill for amnesia.

Happy Shopping!!

XOXO Shopping Girl


2 thoughts on “Shopping Amnesia

  1. I get this too. It explains why there are 3 full Costco-sized jars of Vegemite in my pantry. And why my Aussie Post delivery man always looks so surprised when I look so surprised to see him. (Did I really order those 5 pairs of shoes??) Apparently the answer is always yes.

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