Monday, September 21, 2009

Childhood shopper-girl trauma*

My dad killed the shopper-girl in me. :) I would come back all pumped up after some shopping trip where I thought I had haggled and got the deal of my life for a pair of Madhuri-Dixit-type baggy pants (yes, as horrified as you may be, that was the trend in those days) and he would jokingly say "You payed for this? I could get you ten of these for Rs.xx in ChikpeTe". Or he would say "Is this new? Looks like saarso baTTe (mop cloth)" when I thought I had bought this hep top from Wearhouse or Weekenders. (Please note that those two were the "it" stores of our generation or so I thought). The worst was when I was in the fifth standard or something and he got a pair of jeans stitched for me after buying said jeans material from, where else but, ChikpeTe because he thought the ready-made stores fleece you generally. Have you ever heard of getting jeans stitched from the neighborhood tailor unless you were JLo or something and had your personal designer? Before I came to the US he was bent upon getting me a leather jacket stitched but I put my foot down and said I will buy a winter jacket in the US. And you should see him haggling in action. I take him whenever I buy used books and he easily gets me about 50-70% off the price first quoted. So I can never bring myself to pay the full price for anything.

I have imbibed this anti-shopping, penny-counting mentality from him and I have caught myself advising cousins and younger folks to stay away from the brands and the upscale stores.  Having a husband who thinks like the father hasn't helped either. I almost hate shopping in malls as I have no way of knowing if I'm buying at a reasonable price. Shopping online suits me better, as I can take my time to search and research, but then there is always the problem of not knowing if something bigger and better is going to be launched obsoleting my buy. Having choices is stressful. Too many decisions. Too little information. No optimal solution. Gah! And how tragic that now my dad comes and gifts me $xxxx and tells me to buy whatever I like and I'm like "Yeah, right, like I can! Thanks to you!" :) What is this if not childhood trauma*? Is there going to be a cure ever? :)

* - In the Average household, "childhood trauma" in a lighter vein refers to anything that you avoid because of being traumatized by it in childhood. For example, a friend hates bananas now because he was made to eat one everyday in his years at home. So his "childhood trauma" is bananas. :) What is yours? 


  1. LOL @ the tailored jeans :)

    I share your trauma too (is it hard to believe, given I have a blog on clothes?!). I cant bring myself to buy anything unless its on sale. And its all thanks to my mom's frugal ways. Her mantra was that we must splurge only on food and vacations.

    And books - I NEVER buy them. I only rent.

  2. What can I say...i share your trauma...though mine is self inflicted. I used to buy clothes in Bangalore at those export surplus sales @ Mota Arcade and pay 50 rupees for a Gap T-shirt. Here too, I can never buy anything full price or any of those expensive brands!

    My mom and sister are the exact antitheses to me. I had the only mom among my friends who would feel bad that she could not buy me that extra top! And my sister plonks down money on branded stuff like she is shelling out peanuts.

  3. TPL: Thanks for the support! :) Yes, we have also moved to borrowing books from the library these days.
    cluelessness: Isn't it surprising that sometimes a parents' biases make the child go against them and sometimes with them? :)

  4. I am the queen of thrifting. I tell my dh not to buy big electronics in best buy but to instead order online to save on tax plus most sites offer free shipping. I am frugal and now since I started shopping at thrift stores and became even more frugal. TJ Maxx prices seem too much to me..

    My sisters otoh, think I am insane and think nothing of throwing $200 on a fugly Coach bags. My other sisters spends aton of money of shoes or at least she used to.