Shopping is a necessary evil. Necessary, you know why, but evil, I’ll tell you why. I was at the mall yesterday, trying to buy formal clothes for my defense, when I made an interesting observation. The mall was filled with pictures and life-size cutouts of models who belonged to a different planet altogether. These models had sparkly white teeth and the most flawless smiles. They wore clothes that seemed to have been stitched on their bodies from their naked scratch to fit to perfection. They had their hair in the most suitable of styles, combed in just the way it should be. They had the best of figures, the perfect six packs and abs, as if they spent their entire days running on treadmills and lifting weights, without a hint of tiredness on their faces, of sweat or signs of fatigue. I looked at their figures, then looked at myself in the mirror, and thought- May no man ever want me if I don’t have a figure like that. They lived in the perfect houses, with not a stain on the walls. The orange juice they drank looked delicious. The cushions and the couches and the bedspreads looked all right. They smiled as if the world revolved around them and whatever product they were trying to sell. The women did not have wrinkles or dark circles under their eyes. They did not have any marks or blemishes on their skins, even if due to a childhood bicycling accident. They had happiness and joy written all over their faces. They wore the best of clothes, carried the best of accessories, and always knew what would go with what. None of them had birthmarks or flabby thighs, or bore the evidence of puppy fat or stretch marks under their skin. Everyone seemed so happy, as if they have never known what it means to cry and to feel sad and sorry and upset. The lady, who poses for a pair of shoes, focuses on a particular spot on the wall, smiling into nowhere, and had you not recognized the name of the company, you wouldn’t know if she was trying to sell us shoes or her happiness at owning those shoes. I look at the two models acting as husband and wife posing for another product, and I know that they have never had fights and arguments. They probably start their day happily going to the gym, exchange love notes and romantic telephone calls all day in office, go for candlelit dinners every evening and go to sleep in each other’s arms without bickering or fighting. Even the background showed me a home where every single thing was in its place. It seems that these people have never had disappointments, breakups, or failures in life. They never scratch themselves or are caught digging their noses at their off-guard moments or burp. I imagine myself buying one of the products these people are selling, and wonder if I’ll start looking as happy and as glamorous as they do. But I’ve realized that compared to them, I am still poor and ugly and miserable and cross with life. Rarely have these products- perfumes, diamond jewelry, high heeled shoes and watches and whatever I’ve seen in a shopping mall has ever given me flawless smiles and luscious lips and a figure to die for.
My point is, if it is a surreal world out there, or the creative imagination of Utopia, I don’t know how it fits into my real world of ugliness, imperfections, miseries and heartbreaks. And if that is the case, I don’t see why I should be lured into a fantasy world to spend more and more money and want things half of which I will never need and none of which will put me into such a fantasy world.
By the way, I finally bought a formal skirt and jacket along with formal shoes and 2 pairs of stockings. I further got a formal pair of earrings and a handbag too. And all this at a whooping time frame of an hour and a half. All I did was focus on what I absolutely needed, and stayed away from these smiling faces alluring me to buy sexy lingerie and designer dresses that I know I am not going to need at the moment.