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Rita Chidinma: Shopping… Just Because!

With the new world of easy banking and e-commerce, even if you don’t have cash on you, with your debit card or bank app, or mobile transfer, you’ll still end up buying things impulsively in a matter of minutes or even seconds!

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Years ago, on a fine Saturday afternoon, I saw a very beautiful blouse, hanging so elegantly in front of a clothing store immediately I stepped down from the bus at liberty junction on my way back from ‘lesson’ at Queen’s College.

I felt as if I was being magnetically pulled in the direction of the store, I just couldn’t help myself. I had to purchase that blouse. I was already imagining how I would pair it with different pants and even some midi skirts and heels for Sunday service. I kept daydreaming as I got closer to the store. I thought that no matter the cost, I was going to empty my lesson bag for it, and then tell a white lie to replace the transport fare from my dad when I got home. Haha.

When I asked about the cost of my dream blouse, the lady at the store told me it was five hundred Naira. I kept my face neutral so I won’t show my excitement as I told her to remove the blouse from the mannequin and pack it up for me. But within me, I was beyond ecstatic! Just five hundred Naira?! Ahh. I couldn’t believe my luck. I quickly found a folded five hundred naira note in my purse and paid for the clothes. I was so excited! I thanked the lady and left.

Now, on getting to the place where I was to board a bike to go home, the bike man said the fare was fifty naira, which was the normal fare. I nonchalantly said okay. But just as I was about to board the bike, something made me stop and search my bag for the fare. Lo and behold! I found just ten Naira in my bag! At first, I thought it had to be a joke because I was almost never short on funds like that, my dad made sure. But the situation gradually turned serious as I didn’t see any other money in my bag and even pockets, apart from the miserable ten naira o. Eh, God.

Out of embarrassment, I quietly moved away from the bike man, who was already giving me the looks, and thought of a way out. I didn’t have a mobile phone because my dad’s condition for getting me one was for me to get the ‘first’ position in school that term. I considered boarding the bike and then asking any of my siblings to help me out when we got to the gate. Then I remembered that my elder ones were still in school because they were preparing for their SSCE and did I really want to go down that road with my mom if I were to meet her at home? No, I thought. Which left the last and miserable option; trekking home.

I trekked home! Under the blazing hot sun and it’s not like the distance from our house to liberty junction was that close. By the time I eventually got home much later than I usually did, my mom was worried and asked what happened to me. I simply told her that we didn’t close on time that day. I wanted to say the truth but I didn’t want to chop beating?. I then took a shower and went straight to bed. I didn’t tell any of my sisters the story until years later. I thought they wouldn’t laugh, but guess what? They made so much fun of me when they heard. I even felt like a clown myself, hearing them narrate the story to my mom who also found it very funny.

Now that I’m older, I can’t help but wonder: what is it with impulsive buying that won’t let you stay away from things you don’t need? With the new world of easy banking and e-commerce, even if you don’t have cash on you, with your debit card or bank app, or mobile transfer, you’ll still end up buying things impulsively in a matter of minutes or even seconds!

So I devised a means that works for me: whenever I see something that catches my attention and I want to buy it immediately, I tell myself to close my phone and check back in two weeks’ time ?. Then, I make sure I always have a list before going to the market. That way, it’s easier to stick to the important things. If something catches my fancy while driving, I convince myself that there’s no parking space or I’m late to my destination, or it’s simply not worth the trouble. I also mind my business while viewing posts from people on social media. That badass shoe or figure-hugging dress can sure wait. Good things no dey ever finish ?.

How about you? Do you buy things and regret later? How are you coping with it?

Rita Chidinma is a Post graduate researcher at Federal University of Technology, Owerri with a passion for creative writing and fiction. She is a highly intuitive and deep thinker who uses writing as a means of self expression. In her free time she loves reading, writing and writing some more. She is a wife and mother to three kids. She can be reached on Instagram and Twitter (@theritzz_) or through email, [email protected]

2 Comments

  1. Kem-JN

    March 6, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Hahaha. Funny story!
    Yes! I used to buy a lot of random stuff impulsively in the past until I realised that sometimes the sellers just convince you to buy stuff you aren’t sure of. At the end of the day you get home and find that it doesn’t fit well or it doesn’t look as nice as you once thought!
    The most recent must be the silicone bra I bought the other day thinking it was going to be so useful!!! Its not even that adhesive and it keeps falling off! I regretted that purchase though… thousands of naira out the window! Oh well! I’d try this your method of waiting two weeks! ???

  2. Stella

    March 6, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Going to the Market without a list can be a disaster! Thank God u searched your bag before boarding the bike ooo lol

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