Many dangers come with ‘buying under the influence’

I recently came across a phrase that has been unable to leave my mind: “Buying under the influence.”

We have all been schooled on  driving under the influence, but are we aware of the real dangers of buying under the influence?

This secret hazard to the women of society should have a penalty, but who is to stop us?

As fall season emerges it is only likely that we will go from store to store in a haze of grabbing trendy items, leaving the mall drunk on fashion.

Last May, I had my first experience of buying under the influence. I stepped into one of my favorite boutiques and scouted an awesome pair of Jeffrey Campbell limited edition shoes. The platform was made out of wood and they were a solid six inches high. As I pranced around the store in these Gaga-inspired heels, I started to say to myself in a fashion-slur.

“You need these. Of course, they aren’t too high. If Gaga can walk in them, why can’t you? Just get them; they are only $175. Just do it!”.

With more than a casual dent in my pocket, I walked out of the boutique completely intoxicated by my purchases.

In addition to the heels, I acquired a pair of ripped, dark green shorts that my mother calls the “swamp shorts” and refuses to let me out of the house while wearing them. My last offense was a bright green ring the size of my hand that looks like I belong in the cast of “Wicked.”

Who was to stop me when my credit card level reached its max the same way an intoxicated person’s blood alcohol level reaches a 0.08? Unfortunately, there is no secret police that pops out of stores and cuffs you (as much as I would like there to be).

Once I calmed down from my “shopping high,” I discovered the worst part of this silent addiction. I had just spent money on ridiculous items that I convinced myself I needed because they were too awesome to leave.

Although I would not define myself as a shopaholic, and you may not define yourself as one either, I felt it was appropriate to warn you that there is a way to prevent yourself from falling victim like I did.

So, here is my list of helpful tips to guide you on what you should do in case a sudden instance of shopaholism takes you over:

1. Take a deep breath.

2. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Really think in depth on this one. Do you have something like it already? What purpose would it serve in your closet?

3. If your answer to the previous question is no, immediately step away. Leave the store if you have to.

And finally, always and I mean ALWAYS, go shopping with a friend. It is important to have the guidance of someone you trust in order to stop yourself from over-indulging … that is if they are not a shopaholic themselves.

Brittany Weiner is a junior majoring in print journalism and art.