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?