So when I was in Year 12/Lower 6th (or 16-17years old for all you none english schooling peeps) I desperately wanted a pair of red and black faux snakeskin peep-toe heels. They sound stunning I know! Sadly for you all that unless you purchased your own pair in 2000 at your local River Island, then you will never fully know how special these shoes were. This is the closest thing I could find… (but really not a scratch on the real deal)
Anyway at that glorious stage of my life, I had a part time job at my local supermarket and little did I realise but I had more disposable income than pretty much any other time of my life! Sad fact!
Anyway I had seen these shoes in the window of River Island on my way to getting the bus home and I thought they were the coolest thing-but as I had spent all my last pay on starbucks coffee and nights out at highly reputable places with the name like ‘Toad’ and dear lord ‘The Phoenix’ I was broke. And so I waited patiently as the days past, I kept checking they were there, worried that everyone other size 7 cool student had seen these style icons and they would be sold out in minutes.
But joy, of joy the day arrived and I took my £35 there and for some joyous, possibly quite obvious, reason they had plenty of stock. I asked for a pair to try on but woe is me they looked awful, and I mean dreadful. My big toe and its nearest companion looked like they’d been rammed into an awful outfit that was cutting off their blood supply and turning them a worrying shade of purple. I could cope with the pain but not the humiliating experience of losing 2 toes on the dancefloor of Yates. That would surely be more embarrassing than say leaving the toilet having not done up my bodysuit and thinking it was fine because it was ‘tucked in’….
I was, after all, trying to up my trendiness not decrease it.
I looked at my mate concerned but still hopeful that maybe she saw something different to me, maybe the magic wasn’t lost. It was. So I left River Island with all my money and never have I been so sad to have cash in my pocket.
You see I EASILY fall into the trap of believing a product can make me feel better. And I just want most things…I walk into a shop and I always want something…even at a garden centre, actually especially at a garden centre-and this at the store part before you even get to the plants.
When I was younger I used to flick through the Argos catalogue and want stuff from every page…every page!!!! I would see it as just obvious that you would need something from every section.
I am advertisers absolute dream. And Christmas well that’s my alladins cave..everything is just so shiny and sugar coated and shimmers with ‘this will make you feel amazing’.
And so I want, I crave, I desire….
Mostly in my head, but sometimes out loud. I see people with things I want…and I think that ‘should be mine’ like some entitled little twit.
What is worse I expect people to miraculously know what I want and surprise me. Under the stupid assumption that they too would have seen that coat/journal/experience/card and thought ‘Jen must have that it will make her dreams come true’.
Unsurprisingly, that doesn’t really happen and so I am disappointed that things are failing before they’ve even began. Where did the magic go wrong and get misdirected?
All of this makes for a very ugly thought life and expectations.
Because of course even when I do get it, when its lovely, it doesn’t quite have the desired effect. It doesn’t sparkle like I thought it did, or flatter me at all, or relax me for more than that hour. And that’s at best.
At worst I waste mine, or somebody else’s hard earned money on crap…and that feels crap.
I wish i wasn’t as envious as I am, or fall so easily down the rabbit hole of naive thinking that a product = style/class/peace of mind/confidence.
Yet at the same time I am challenging myself to think what I need, and asking people to help me with it. This feels more difficult, it means thinking about what I struggle with and ultimately letting that person know and not worrying that I have put them out or that they will feel obliged.
For example I need head space…and I often feel that by going for a walk or a swim but I find it best to go with someone else to motivate me, and also to ask someone (probs my husband) to take care of Faith. It’s not asking the world, but sometimes asking for people’s time or input feels more of an ask than hoping for nice jewellery.
So this Christmas, I am going to be looking for gifts that I NEED not focussing on the longgggg list of WANTS-that give it a few months (days/hours) will ultimately go out of fashion or I will realise it isn’t really me anyway.