You know when you go into a store (doesn't matter what kind of store) and you kind of know you want or need something there, but you can't quite put your finger on what it is that you want?
In the grocery store, it's that vague suspicion that just that morning you ran out of something vital (milk, cheese, bread, anti-depressant, whatever) and if you go home and walk in the door (which is always the 'AHA' moment you remember what you needed to get) you will be one pissed off person.
At the Target-type playgrounds, it's even worse because you have so many choices. Was is a food, pharmaceutical, clothing, household, or recreational item? This is when you end up with a basket of crap you didn't set out to buy and possibly don't need.
Well, need is such a relative term - what is a want but an unsubstantiated need at a later date? Exactly, you may not need that new CD right now, but when you're on that long drive and realize you've listened to all your other stuff - you'll be glad you have it. That want suddenly became a need, didn't it? Don't argue with my shopping rationalization - Logic has no place in shopping.
The worst, however, is when you walk into a specialty store (Best Buy or Victoria's Secret) and can't quite remember why. I went into PetSmart and wandered for 20 minutes before remembering what the puppy needed. I also purchased another 10 things she may not actually "need" but well, you know my argument there...
Here's the problem - at these specialty stores, you're not exactly getting a bargain. You don't have coupons (usually) with you or discounts beyond the store card (sure, 10% the FIRST time, what about the three years of purchases afterwards - where's my discount then? Huh? HUH?!) So, you're random purchasing is less defensible and infinitely more expensive.
Note: Keep your receipt! You may want to go back and get some of that cash back. See: Returns and Impulse Buying in an upcoming post.
I'm standing in Victoria's Secret staring at perfume and lovely frilly things. I swear to you, the second before I walked in that store I knew exactly what I wanted, in which line and color. I had spent time perusing the catalogue to make my choices. But the minute I entered the store, the sweet perfume smell (which might contain some sort of drug to cause this state of confusion) and pretty frilly things made me forget.
Do I need new bras? Well, I can always use a new bra, but I think I just bought 5 - so I'm probably good. What about panties and thongs? Well, I bought some new ones before the trip to France but I don't like some of them. Maybe I should get more, but my panties drawer is full. I would have to throw some out. I hate doing that because then when you really need to do laundry, you don't have any backups. Well, ok - did you come for pajamas? Sadly, I'm single and the men who want me naked don't want a relationship and are not concerned with my cute sexy garments. Not that men in a relationship would be either, necessarily. Why are you here? Good question.
And that's when I walk out of the store with nothing.
I hate that.