Although I’m bad at what my therapist calls “impulse control,” she’s not what I’d call “overly helpful,” either. Her advice to “sit on my hands” when I feel like buying something, for instance, is completely impractical since I type for a living. Being at my computer all day feels a lot like sitting in a mall that’s open 24/7, and I end up buying a lot of random stuff that I let fill up my small apartment because I’m not good at admitting defeat. To illustrate what I mean, I’ve catalogued a list below of things I regret buying but refuse to return:
1. A pink velvet lace-up choker
I bought this because I was guilty of trying to look cute at Coachella. Sue me! I never wore it because I was camping and what that actually means is I didn’t shower for three days and, instead of a pink velvet lace-up choker, wore a thick layer of dirt that congealed around my joints. I chose to “embrace” this look; it reminded me of a time in middle school when my friends and I held a competition to see who could go the longest without showering until one of our mothers intervened. I bought the choker at the same time I bought this phone case, which is “vaguely vaginal” and can’t fit in my back pocket. Practical.
2. p50 Lotion
Because the internet is my gospel, I immediately bought p50 Lotion after seeing a bazillion people blog about it. After about 30 seconds of smearing it all over my skin, however, there was a lot of stinging and redness, which reddit forums have since educated me is “normal.” (I was unprepared for it at the time.) I sent my siblings and parents a series of selfies documenting the progression of what I thought was my face melting, and no one responded for at least 24 hours. When my dad finally responded, he told me to “take a cold shower,” which was weird and also not helpful. I haven’t used it since because I’m scared.
3. Instagram Stalker™
At the time, I was dating a chef, though the term “dating” might be generous given the fact that he mostly avoided me. Anyway, I was in the throes of checking his Instagram a normal number of times a day (24) when I became obsessed with finding out whether my behavior was being reciprocated. So I paid $20 for Instagram Stalker™, an app that lets you know who’s liking and commenting on your Instagrams. The chef wasn’t even in the top 20 and my mom was number one.
4. Hinge Plus
The only app that lets you sort by height, but you have to pay $11 a month. The only man that engaged with me on this app was 6’8” and said he wanted to “climb me like a tree.” The end.
5. Matcha powder
I am what my mother calls “gullible” and what I call a marketer’s dream. I recently walked into a wellness shop and plopped a huge bag of matcha in my bag because I’m obsessed with the allure of wellness, and when I got to the cash register, was informed that bag would cost $150. Too embarrassed to admit I could definitely not afford $150 worth of matcha, I completed the purchase and started crying as soon as I walked out. I have made exactly one cup of matcha tea since.
6. A 12-pack of essential oils
Honestly, what am I going to do with eucalyptus oil other than go around smelling like Vicks VapoRub all day? No shade to Vicks. I also bought a 500-page book about aromatherapy at the same time and I have not read a single page. I showed it to my roommate and she said, “Can’t you just Google that?” and she’s right, you can.
7. A Miley Cyrus concert tee
Even though it made me vaguely uncomfortable, I went to the Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz tour out of sheer loyalty. (I used to be obsessed with Hannah Montana.) I decided to buy a concert tee at the end of the show, a decision I can’t explain considering it scared me. The shirt features Miley in a thong and nipple pasties. I’ve only had the courage to wear this shirt once, to the gym, where I felt people staring at me as I pretended to know how to work an elliptical machine.
8. A $14 beer at a One Direction concert
Other than being ridiculously expensive, this beer was purchased to announce to a swarm of confident, crop-top-wearing teens that I was an old, and not one of them. However, breathing the same air as Harry Styles is something I will never forget despite having to literally pay a friend to go with me. The truth is: I’m down with the teens, and my own crop top made me self-conscious enough that I was avoiding consuming liquids and didn’t even end up drinking the beer in the end.
9. One specific set of Whole Foods groceries
I once went on one of those cleanses where you cook all your own food, and sauntered into Whole Foods like I owned the place, only to start crying when my total came out to $300 and I had to ask politely if I could put everything back. After this incident, I started listening to a podcast where Oprah explains the power of “no” repeatedly. It’s only half-working.
TBD whether or not I need a new therapist. At least she’s covered by my insurance.
Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.