Last month was not the best for me health-wise. I had to do a lot of medical exams (I’m not yet done) and as usual I scared myself (and Jeroen) nearly to death.
I thought I had discovered a “scary” lump inside my throat and thought of the worst.
Jeroen and I decided to pray and fast. He gave up coffee, steak and massage for one month. As for me, he suggested I give up shopping—except for essentials.
So apart from the groceries and school supplies, I haven’t shopped for about three weeks now.
I am not allowed to shop until July 7, when I join the annual Hong Kong sale season.
Stopping shopping is not as hard as a I thought. It is harder for me to give up food or drink because cravings are really hard to control.
But not shopping is OK. Just don’t enter the stores, or if you do, make a mental note to come back. Chances are you’ll go home feeling no less empty or fulfilled. You’re just the same person without the additional clutter you’re bringing home (it also doesn’t hurt that I always get swag, so I’m always surrounded by gifts).
About four years ago I read this book called Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping, where author Judith Levine and her husband decided to experiment not buying anything but essentials for a year.
That meant searching the cupboards for things they can use before buying new ones, for example shampoos nicked from hotel stays.
That’s one of things I’ve been doing. I ran out of my favorite Murad concealer and instead of buying a new one, I’m getting by with Benefit concealers. I’m going to run out soon of my favorite Murad facial wash so I’m going to use my Neutrogena facial wash instead.
Grace and I kind of window shopped tonight at Podium. Normally I couldn’t walk out of a mall without buying something.
I contemplated buying 4 pillows + 2 free, but figured I could wait until July 7th. Whenever I tell friends I’m not shopping they can hardly believe it. But I’m actually liking myself this way.
Here’s the bad part: after Podium, I asked Grace to come with me to the nearest Citibank to pay my bills.
I wasn’t thinking. I pulled my Citibank dollar ATM card by mistake and paid a BDO credit card bill worth Php 27,400—using hard-earned dollars instead of pesos. It was too late when I realized my error.
Grace and I tried to call Citibank and BDO (she is a banker) but no one could help us.
I was thinking:
1) What if I had made a mistake and punched a wrong amount or overpaid an extra digit? What if I lost all the dollars I’ve been saving up for years and no one could help me?
2) What if I were a thief and used someone’s ATM card to pay my bills? That money would be gone forever?
Anyway, charge it to experience, said my Twitter friends. I have now separated my Citibank dollar ATM and returned it to the safe where it belongs.
That said, I really hate robotic call center agents who have no heart. I really want to kill them (see Complicated Girl Index below).
Is there anyone from Citibank or BDO who could shed light on what could’ve been done?
I’ve already cancelled my BDO credit cards out of frustration. Anyway, I am trying not to shop.