Lately, I’m loving shopping. No, not going to the mall and browsing. I’ve always hated that (except on certain rare occasions in good company). And certainly not buying things.

But I’ve been looking at the unsolicited catalogs that come in the mail and the random web sites that are having a Big Sale.  Combing through them page by page. Picking out what I want, what I need, the things that will surely, somehow, make my life better. Easier. More beautiful.

I hunt for bargains. I reject things on a whim: too expensive. Too beige.  Not enough cashmere. I load up my imaginary shopping cart with hundreds of dollars of goods, things I not only can’t afford but wouldn’t really want if I could buy them, things I wouldn’t have room for or make good use of. But I don’t think about that, only about what I like.*

Then I close the browser window. I throw away the catalog. I don’t buy a thing, and I go back to my ordinary life, having feasted my eyes on the array of colors designed solely to appeal to them. I am reassured and reminded that I have no material need unfilled. I am refreshed.

*Well, because I’m me, I also think a little about what makes an item in a catalog or on a web site appealing, what makes it appear to fill a need I only have while looking at that page. How it’s pictured. What rhetorical techniques the sales copy has used. The layout of the page. The senses it’s appealing to. This kind of analysis is also a pleasure, for me.