I Think I've Been Using Retail Therapy to Break the "Stay-at-Home" Monotony and Didn't Realize It

Illustration for article titled I Think I've Been Using Retail Therapy to Break the "Stay-at-Home" Monotony and Didn't Realize It
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I don’t remember exactly what date it was that a general, nationwide “stay your ass at home” proclamation happened, but if memory serves correctly, it was sometime in mid-to-late March. According to school emails for two of my kids, their last day of in-building instruction was Friday, March 13th, which is amazing because it feels like they haven’t been inside a school building since February.


Anywho, since being more or less homebound has become the status quo, you’d think that spending money errantly would be a non-starter. I’ve mentioned that I hadn’t been inside a Target in almost a month (and then almost like clockwork, I ended up in Target the NEXT day, as evidenced by the two individuals who texted my wife that they saw me there dancing down the aisles—with a mask on, natch; I was listening to Mobb Deep’s The Infamous album which is much more danceable than it gets credit for) and was saving some money, but I’ve also managed to spend money on all the things online.

For instance, since March 31st, I’ve purchased seven pairs of shoes. Seven. I ain’t even going anywhere for real. Four of them, I realize, were boredom or ‘why not?’ purchases or the result of the oddest luck of all time. For instance, I managed to purchase two pairs of Yeezy Slides (I only hoped to buy one, but I copped the wrong ones on the Adidas app and somehow managed to get the right ones off of Yeezy Supply) when I thought I’d be assed out on getting any of them...because usually, I am. I entered myself into a raffle on the Adidas app for the Yeezy 350 “Linens” and for the first time in history, won a shoe raffle.

Thankfully, I was able to get all of those shoes at retail price (four of the seven are going for at least 50 percent over retail prices on sneaker resale sites; still not enough to make a decent profit since I have to leave the house to actually sell them and that could kill me). And three of them are shoes that were purchased for less than $60 a piece. But seven pairs of shoes in less than a month seems excessive, even by my own standards. I’m lowkey ashamed of this. There are people out of work right now and I’m here impulsively buying shoes, which in most cases is probably a frivolous purchase. But I also know that this isn’t normal behavior for me.

Being bored and sitting around the house and surfing through my phone has placed me in this spot where I keep looking at sites that are selling things and I’ve just hit “purchase” out of boredom several times. I’ve talked to folks who I know are just buying shit on Amazon because there is literally nothing else to do at times. My sleep schedule is all fucked so I’m up reading random articles about different types of seaweed and talking myself into shoes I have professed an actual hatred for. This is an interesting sidebar to this pandemic.

There are lots of people who are income insecure right now, and for whom a $1200 check from the government is used to help right a ship that they never crashed in the first place. For some of us who have been able to maintain our jobs, who have (for now) the privilege of a semblance of financial security, that also means we’re almost unintentionally sitting on Amazon or Wayfair or sneaker apps, going through retail therapy (and spending money that maybe we shouldn’t be) because it’s so easy to do and is the closest some of us can get to retail shopping. It’s a privileged position, I recognize, and it’s also one that, now that I think about it, could do more damage to my own family than I realize. Boredom causes any manner of negativity; blowing money during financially unstable times is definitely negative. I need to do better and will actively think about that now.

I’m definitely (probably) putting a moratorium on shoe purchases from here on out. Like I said, I’m lowkey ashamed; I don’t even have anywhere to sport these shoes and I’m not a person who has been doing photoshoots of myself in my closet for the ‘Gram—no judgment or shade; I enjoy seeing people find new and creative ways to pass time, especially when time is so wonky right now. Maybe I need to start coronavirus IG modeling. I know I’m not the only one doing this.


Has this time spent indoors affected the way you’ve been spending money?

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



For me quarantined alone, it’s perfumes. The arrival of three different sets within the past week has encouraged me to bathe Every.Single.Day when I really have no reason!

Except, my secret fear of having a heart attack and handsome paramedics refusing to rescue me!