Last week when I spoke to the English woman about the casting call for Blast Films, our discussion centered quite a bit on how so many rural people are generally thrifty, and how it helps to be immune from fashion if you're going to live in the country. I told her that we never, EVER recreationally shop. Ever. I also said that ALL of our clothing purchases, with the exception of sock and underwear, occur in thrift stores.
This concept seemed to boggle her. "Don't your daughters ever long for shopping experiences in new shops?" she asked. "Don't they ever want to buy a new pair of designer jeans?"
I laughed heartily at this concept. "My older daughter is our little fashionista," I told her. "She loves nice clothes. But we're so used to thrift store prices and the ability to buy anything we want for a fraction of the cost, that whenever we go into a retail store and look at their clothes, the kids come away with sticker shock."
You see, this woman was operating under the identical premise that so many people (especially women) have, to wit: shopping is fun.
Fortunately our girls got their shopping genes from me, and here's my take on the subject: I hate shopping.
I really do. I never long to waft through a mall, fingering garments, trying things on just for fun, blowing a wad of cash. I get bored just typing about it.
Have you ever read Confessions of a Shopoholic? It's a light-hearted amusing book, and it was successful enough that the author wrote a bunch of spin-offs (Shopoholic Takes Manhatten, Shopoholic Ties the Knot, etc.) One of the spinoffs was called Shopoholic and Sister, in which the main character (Becky) tries to forge a relationship with a newly-discovered half-sister named Jessica. The best bonding experience Becky can imagine is shopping together, so they go off for a day-long outing in stores. Trouble is, Jessica was raised to be thrifty and she finds shopping to be a total bore.
I enjoyed that book because I am Jessica.
Thankfully, so are my daughters. When I told Older Daughter about my conversation with this lady from London, about whether she ever longs for shopping experiences, Older Daughter had a good laugh. "I can blow a wad of cash at a thrift store and emerge with a mountain of clothes," she said, "versus a single pair of designer jeans bought new at a retail store."
Our favorite thrift store is Value Village, which has a wide selection of clothing, books, household items, kitchen items, etc. I estimate that 95% of our shopping is done at VV.
We were in Value Village this week, and Older Daughter found a skirt she particularly liked for $5. I'm guessing it would be in the realm of $50 or so in a retail establishment. As we paid for it, she exclaimed, "I just LOVE thrift stores!"
So no, I'd say she never longs for shopping experiences. (Except at thrift stores, of course.) We're at minimum an hour's drive from the nearest retail stores, so none of us can ever impulse-shop anyway.
Which, now that I think about it, may be one of the "keys" for people who live self-sufficient lives -- we're indifferent to fashion or other trendy issues and just prefer to live as frugally as possible, immune to the lures of advertising, cultural peer pressure, and trends.
Something to think about.