“If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

As I stood in line at the supermarket I noticed Gwen Stefani's face staring up at me from the July cover of US Elle (okay, I noticed "Good" versus "Evil"...ie a pack of gum and a Twix bar...staring up at me first...but my eye made it over to Gwen eventually). And there...just to the left of her Dennis-the-Menace-meets-high-fashion sweater...were the words "Shopping's Back!...275 of Fall's Must-Haves...Get Them First!"


Now there was a long-ish line behind me so I didn't have time to delve into the exact nature of all these items that I'm supposed to do battle for so that I can "Get Them First!"...though, I have to admit, even if the aisle had been empty I probably wouldn't have looked as I was still musing on the the announcement that "Shopping's Back!"

From a personal standpoint I can say that it never completely went away...I cut back...I waged mental battles about whether skirt A was better value (worked with more items currently in my closet, well made, had some promise of longevity) than skirt B...I became a frugal version of myself and searched for online coupons like a leprechaun sliding down rainbows...but I never actually stopped shopping.

But, if I had, I know that it would take a lot more than an exhortation on the cover of Elle to get me handing over my credit card again. I get it...designers are going out of business...stores aren't making any sales (or, to be precise, are having to put things on sale in order for them to sell)...things need to take a positive swing before they get worse...but maybe a couple of the lessons learned from this recession should be competitive pricing for well made goods (no over-priced, shoddy items marked up because they are "designer") and that, as a result of having to be more selective, consumers are now more savvy about being marketed to...a clarion cry of "Buy this!...Now!" simply won't work anymore.


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