We can feel it, right there in front of us, behind us, also around the corner. It’s almost haunting us, it’s about to get us. It’s nothing more and nothing less than that gigantic four-letter word: SALE.
We (women) are –there’s no doubt about it- window-shopaholics. We have this huge virtual wardrobe or bookcase (for those who window shop books) in our memory to store everything we buy in our window-shopping escapades. We don’t feel embarrassed by the fact that we can stare for hours at this beautiful leather coat or that amazing trilogy of tales by our favourite author. Now, why do we do it? Why do we window-shop almost everything around us? Is it because we feel empty inside? That’s an easy answer. I think, and this is just a guess, that we do it because we’re too proud or too scared to actually purchase what we want. Again, this can be either because we care about what other people think or because we rather buy things we need than things we desire to have.
In my case (I’m a university student and I’m sure I speak for everyone in the same position), everytime I window-shop and I get to the point of, you know, deliberating if I can actually buy the thing, I start thinking of all the photocopies and books I need for school which cuts off any possibility of me purchasing anything at all. Here, I should say that I’m sure there’s not a definite answer of why we window-shop: It’s not that I think I don’t deserve having something I want but every penny counts, specially when you’re a student. Still, I keep window shopping; I find pleasure on it.
Another possible answer would be that window-shopping is a cheap –actually, it’s free!- pastime. Of course we sometimes buy what we see, but the point of having all those things beautifully displayed in a window may be to own the desired object for zero money.
I’ve also found that I unconsciously consider the time spent looking at a window, virtually shopping every item that catches our attention, as a treasured moment, almost filled with high classical music in the background, just like in the advertisements. I don’t care if it’s cold outside, if it’s raining, snowing or if it’s so hot that I could dehydrate. I always have time to do it. I need those moments of daydreaming, of believing everything is possible, including being able to buy all I see. In fact, nowadays, we don’t have to catch a cold to experience pleasure in window-shopping. We can do it online right from our home and if we want to actually buy something, we’re just one click away from doing it.
Whatever the reasons, we don’t regret it. We find it comfortably “profitable”: we buy, except that we don’t.