Open Thread: Shopping Sprees and Retail Therapy

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Sometimes the simple things…aren’t so simple – like a shopping spree with a good friend.

I just returned from Florida and my bestie. On my first day there we spent the day at a huge mall in St. Augustine. It was the best thing ever – we went in and out of stores, did the whole girl trip. running in and out of each other’s dressing rooms, holding up dresses to each other for a  ‘what do you think?”  session,  enlisting the help of sales ladies, and random women in the dressing rooms kibitzing.

Retail Therapy Works!

We went in and out of stores the whole giddy afternoon, and left loaded with packages – clothes, bling, music, lingerie, accessories. It was bliss and not just because we got new stuff.

You have to be really close to somebody for a real honest to goodness shopping spree.

Think of it:

You’re standing in a painfully well lit dressing room that highlights every bulge and wrinkle. You’re wondering if the mirrors are legit or if they take off ten pounds and you’ll look like you’re wearing a sausage casing when you get home. The lighting makes you look like a Martian.

It takes a real friend to shop under those circumstances.  A real friend who will give it to you straight, but with kindness, like when she tells you the bathing suit you love is too young for you. (You were so right, Terrie, thanks!)

An hour of Retail Therapy with a friend is more emotionally nourishing and more fun than an hour with a therapist…and when the hour is over, maybe you’ve got a nice bangle.

I told a guy I know about it and he liked my new bling and my new sunglasses but he sort of…didn’t get it. Men hate shopping he said, (which to me is like hating breathing but ok). But when I asked him if there was an equivalent thing for men, he was stumped. I felt kind of sorry for him.

So how about it? Tell us about your experience with retail therapy. Are clothes your thing? Music? What do you buy that cheers you up? Let us know in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

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