How Retail Therapy is Getting Me Through the Pandemic
All of the things that I bought during this time will forever be known as my “pandemic purchases”
Before the stay at home order was enforced, my sister was living with me and my fiancé — I had been living with her for nearly four years. She moved out in early March right before things got really bad in New York.
Her room was the biggest room in our entire apartment and for the past month after she had moved out, it kind of felt like untouchable territory.
It was now an empty room that echoed loudly with even the slightest bit of noise. We avoided going in there for a while because we didn’t know exactly what to do with it.
After enough time had passed, I finally made the decision just recently to make it into a home office. Since then, all that has been on my mind is how I should decorate it and what I should buy to put inside of it.
After all, there’s no better way to waste all of this time at home than to figure out how to decorate a room. But I was never much of a shopper, let alone an online shopper looking for home furniture.
When I first moved to New York almost a decade ago, I didn’t own that much furniture — I didn’t own any furniture really. I just had a bed and my clothes.
I’ve never had to buy furniture before because every apartment I ever moved into already came with furniture. I didn’t know the first thing about buying furniture or even where to look. I didn’t know anything about decorating.
I typically buy things out of necessity and I rarely break the bank when I do. I always buy things on sale and I’m extremely methodical about my purchases.
However, the endless scroll of the internet has driven me into a black hole of nonstop online purchasing. The search for sales and good deals is endless when you’re sitting on the couch.
So, I started with buying a desk. And now, I have an empty room…with a desk.
Then, I started scouring the internet for “home office inspiration”, constantly scrolling though Pinterest, Instagram, searching on Google.
All of a sudden, I found myself incessantly going through multiple online websites at a time looking at dozens upon dozens of different book shelves, rugs, chairs, and wall art.
I’d search for hours — early in the morning, when I’m eating lunch, and at night even before bed. I found myself adding all of these things to my cart, taking them out of my cart, then adding them again.
Finally, I started buying one thing at a time. And now, I’m waiting for a book shelf, a rug, a chair, and several pieces of wall art to be delivered to my home. Yet, it still doesn’t feel like enough.
The thought of what to buy next literally keeps me up at night. And I worry that I’m becoming slightly obsessive.
The only silver lining is that it at least it makes me feel like I have something to do other than work and watch television every day.
This pandemic has taken away a lot from me. It’s taken away a lot of what me feel like me. The ability to displace my emotions and stress with an outside activity has disappeared.
I’ve stopped running. I’ve stopped exercising. I’ve stopped going outside. I’m unable to fill my days with doing the things that I love in the world. I don’t have an outlet.
And so, the distraction of a trivial task such as decorating my new home office has somehow given me a purpose during this time.
It’s distracting me from knowing that a pandemic is still happening. It’s distracting me from knowing that life is most certainly not normal right now and that it may not be for quite some time. It’s distracting me from the fact that I’m not doing the things that I love to do.
I never thought that “retail therapy” was a legitimate thing until now — now that it’s brining me solace in the absence of running or any other activity. And I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but I hope that this whole thing is over before I find out.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article, check out “The Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned While in Quarantine”