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Snap, Crackle or “POP”

May 10, 2010

Des Brophy Art Work, "Retail Therapy"

Have you ever been so mad at someone that you just wanted to snap?  Or do I mean shop?  You know, those times when you feel like you got to get away, go do something, go buy something?

I read an article today written by Kathy Kristof on retaliatory spending.  In the article psychologist Bonnie Eaker Weil speaks of “POP” spending, meaning “Pissed Off Purchases.”  POP spending is when someone gets furious with a spouse, boss, or friend and they stomp their feet straight to a store.  The article opens with, “You don’t need it.  You don’t want it.  But, dang it, no one is going to tell you that you can’t have it.” Weil said that it was this type of POP spending that accounted for $424 billion in purchases each year.  So I guess the only good takeaway of bad relationships is the extra boost for our economy.

Now I have no idea how they keep track of such a statistic but I don’t doubt it one bit, particularly with the shopping culture here in Dallas.  And I’m sure this goes for both genders too!  Cars, motorcycles, clothes, ipads, hand bags, beer, cheesecake, short shorts or 10 blockbuster videos at a time plus candy.

We all cope with life’s disappointments and stresses in unhealthy ways from time to time.  For many, retail therapy makes us feel better about ourselves temporarily.  But retaliatory spending is more about getting even or convincing yourself you can do what you want to do because you can.

We can’t find justice, control, or self-esteem at Target, even if we have a gift card.

Trust me, I’ve tried.

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