Kat continued her solitary work, making her way through the Buried in Treasures workbook, answering questions and finding out more about her Bad Guys and triggers. She set a goal to reduce her acquiring.
She wouldn’t go as far as Mary. She wouldn’t be giving away family heirlooms as gifts this Christmas, instead of buying proper gifts for people. But she was keen to stick to her list. The one problem was that whenever she went out, she couldn’t resist the temptation to shop. She always considered that she a good eye for a bargain.
Like that time when she’d spotted a microwave oven at the Scratch & Dent Sale. It was discounted by 50%, and she just couldn’t leave it behind. “Sometimes you have to spend money to save money”, she’d told Bill when he pointed to the perfectly good microwave in their kitchen. She knew that one day it would come in handy.
One of the exercises in the Buried in Treasures was to go on a “non-shopping trip”, measuring the discomfort of not buying, and recording your feelings on a scale of 0 (fine) to 10 (awful) in the workbook. Who ever heard of such a thing?! But she did it anyway.
First stop was the supermarket where she had to stop herself from reaching for the muffin trays. They were a good bargain, but she took a deep breath, walked past and recorded a 5 for discomfort in her workbook.
Next she walked along the street, browsing in shop windows. The Bed, Bath & Table store had a really good sale on bed linen, with 25% off. That was excellent value, and she was very tempted. She imagined the crisp new linen in that gorgeous violet colour that would look so good with her new nightgown, and the pull became stronger. But the memory of Bill saying, “Kat, this linen cupboard is so full, there’s definitely no mice, because they couldn’t fit!” came back, and she had to walk away and write a big number 8 in her workbook. This was too hard!
She couldn’t take it anymore. She scurried back home to avoid the shops all together.
She made herself a cup of tea and turned on the TV for some distraction and relaxation. It wasn’t long before the ads for Black Friday deals made her squirm. So she hit the off button and turned on the radio instead. Same thing. It was all about Black Friday.
What the heck is Black Friday anyway? Why are they talking about it on Thursday. And why does Friday last till Sunday?
The radio was silenced as well. She went to her computer to play Solitaire. Usually it was one activity she could rely on for some quiet downtime. But as she played, annoying little ads kept popping up, and the phrase Black Friday was bombarding her again. There was no respite from it. Ping! went her email notifications one after the other with more Black Friday deals.
She felt under siege. She’d done the right thing, tried to avoid the shops and spend some time at home. But it wasn’t safe.
It was clear that there’s no avoiding temptation. Kat had been carrying guilt around with her for years, thinking she was weak for not resisting the shopping urge. Now she realised she was up against a tough opponent. The marketing experts – those well-paid well-resourced marketing gurus who spend all day thinking up ways for people like her to part with their money – were always going to be there.
Kat realised that if she’s going to win the war against all that pressure, she’ll have to equip herself for battle. They don’t know who they’re dealing with, she thought.
Just then her phone buzzed with a text message from her dentist. It was another Black Friday deal! You can’t trust anyone!
Catch up on the past Adventures of Kat here…