Don’t Open That Sundance Catalogue, It’s A Trap!

I keep throwing the Sundance catalogue away. Then it reappears, like something out of “Pet Semetary”

First, I threw it in my bedroom trashcan. When I was sitting on a different can it reappeared in the magazine wrangler. Creepy.

After the flush, I purposely threw it into the recycling bin under the kitchen sink. Then, when I got into bed … there it was. On my nightstand, where Stephen King had put it.

In stark raving terror I marched it down the hallway and out the front door and into the bins outside. I dashed back in, locked the front door, turned out all the lights and set the house alarm.

I fell asleep with my eyes pressed against binoculars trained on the outdoor bins.


I was roused by the sound of the trash truck lifting the blue recycling bin with its metal claw and tossing the trash inside into its maw.

I could’ve sworn I saw the glossy cover of the Sundance catalogue, with the blonde woman bedecked in the Palace Silk Double-Hem Tunic, disappear into the trash truck along with the other detritus.

I was free. I wasn’t going to indulge my frivolous shopping addiction during this month’s cycle.

These are the items I was fixating upon:

The Perfect Trapeze Pullover for $98 because it will so beautifully camouflage my tummy souffle:

District Boots for $178 because I didn’t become a film-school lesbian when I was in film school and better late than never:

Style In Check Shirt for $89 because I am a ranchy kind of girl, even though I’m afraid to ride on horses and of how large their poop is:

The Sunrise Loop Belt for $70, because this belt will make my waist look as small as it was in high school when my boobs were a hopeful 32A:

Okay how much would all that cost?  

Let’s just tabulate … (sound of Jeopardy music while tabulating) … oh dear, that’s $435 now add shipping … 500$ … and tax … 1,120$ and you’ve got enough money to give cataract surgery to 1,000 blind Tibetan monks.

Or you could buy all this crapola, be excited when it arrives. Tear open that brown package like it were a delivery of the finest Colombian white and try on all the stuff like you were shooting a speedball into your arm.  

Then be disappointed when several of the items don’t look the way you wanted, or are too tight in all the wrong places and you’re faced with sending them back and you fall into a shame spiral that causes you to watch TVLand until 2 a.m. while inhaling spam covered in Cheeze Whizz.

Or.  You can just … not buy all that crapola.

So far (and I have been negotiating with myself about buying just one item … just one) I have not succumbed.

Here is what I am doing in an attempt to replace my urge to buy with something else. I am choosing items in my closet that I haven’t worn in over a year and I am wearing them. I found a top from Banana Republic in my closet last night that I had no idea I owned. I wore it out and I looked marvelous.

I’ve made a deal with myself that after I’ve worn every single item of clothing and jewelry that I own at least once, then I can buy myself a new outfit. The outfit can be a complete outfit; including a top, bottom, jewelry, undergarments and shoes.

Here’s the catch.

I don’t think I can possibly wear everything in my closet once for at least a year. So, this should be interesting and I promise full disclosure.

Tomorrow I will start canceling all of my catalogues. Just the thought of doing that leaves me feeling panicky, like somehow I’ll never be able to purchase things from Boden or the Sundance catalogue ever again.

That I might miss some one-of-a-kind thing that would somehow change my life. Or that Robert Redford will decide to stop being my secret mistress. Well, sacrifices must be made (sorry, Bob) so here we go …

(P.S. When I opened the refrigerator door this morning, the Sundance catalogue was in the fruit drawer where Dean Koontz put it.)

What do you do to stop compulsive spending …?

20 thoughts on “Don’t Open That Sundance Catalogue, It’s A Trap!”

    1. Shannon Colleary

      You just made me laugh. Not that I want you to be destitute. So I don’t know why that’s funny. Let’s put it this way, if I keep shopping I’ll be the one on the corner with a tin cup and bottle of strawberry wine.

  1. At one point, I froze my credit card in the freezer. If I wanted something bad enough I had to wait for the card to thaw before I could purchase it. Usually by the time it thawed, I was over whatever “it” was. Make yourself wait a day and see if you’re still thinking about the purchase. Chances are high that you’ll have forgotten about it.

    1. Oh Becky, I have my credit card number memorized. I am an especially intransigent case. And I think about the thing I want day after day. I look at it online. I look at it in the catalogue. I put it in a cart online then leave it for a few days only to go back and finally purchase it. I’m only in luck if it sells out. But something has changed for me lately, could be the fact that work is scarcer and funds are more limited, but perhaps I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m willing to look at this as a spiritual, not a financial issue. We shall see.

  2. You are hilarious, Shannon – I love your writing!

    I got rid of all my catalogs a few years ago. It was rough at first not to have so many beautiful things to look at, but they were just ending up in the recycling bin and I thought that was a waste, so I’ve learned to live with it.

    I have to admit I have a little problem with frivolous spending, but it’s not on clothes, it’s on domain names… ahem. I have just let a few dozen expire and I could barely breathe. I don’t have that one licked yet, I will admit…

  3. Shannon, my future best friend, we need to talk.

    I have secrets…fashion secrets.

    I refuse to divulge my source on here because I am hoarding most of it for myself…

    …but this post made me sad, and I am breaking down to reveal my hush-hush origin of clothing.

    As long as you promise not to tell another soul.

    1. Thi sweete — I would never divulge your fashion secrets (what are they? I must know nooowwww!). And I would love to be your best friend. Just don’t tell my friend Tango 5/6. She gets very jealous and she can do one armed push-ups!

  4. Yes…catalogs can get the best of me. Fortunately, I do have a ton of self control and only buy things I really need so I’m doing ok in the area of frivolous spending….but chocolate? That’s one I definitely need work on : )

  5. You can’t take this vice from me. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink (well, not daily), I don’t have crazy sexual escapades (I only watch vanilla porn), and I avoid the Kardashians and Jersey Shore. Disguising my muffin top with cleverly designed all natural bamboo fiber organically dyed clothing is the only thing that brings me real joy.

  6. Just read about Copernicus the monkey – a friend posted it on facebook, and perusing through your blog I read about you and your catalogs. You are so funny! I laughed and laughed, and was laughing at myself, I guess, recognizing the same catalogs (Sundance and Boden!), the same catalog dependency, anxiety, love and hate. You so got me.
    Thanks. I’ll keep in touch with your blog, dear Bloggess.

  7. Ok you are really funny and I seem to have the same experience with that catalog. By the way I am totally getting that trapeze pullover since you made me aware of yet another way to disguise my tummy souffle! PS I didn’t know there were women out there who did not have their credit card number memorized in case they accidentally froze their card!

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