Picture this: It's 2 AM and you're curled up in bed, your face illuminated by the light from your phone screen, as you scroll through your Instagram feed. Your eyes light up when you come across a bag you've always wanted. And so it begins.
Stage 1: I want it.
You've been looking for a bag in that colour for months! You tap and swipe, looking at all the pictures they have, a smile tugging at your lips. It's the exact colour you've dreamed of. You must get it.
Stage 2: Time for some math.
With fingers crossed, you look for the price. You put on your accountant hat as you squint your eyes and frown. With no hint of the girl who failed sixth grade Math, you're doing mental math at a pace that would have impressed your teacher.
You did just buy those books. You chew on your fingernails in anxiousness as you try to convince yourself that you can afford this. So I'll just hold back on the takeout this month.
Stage 3: I deserve this.
When you find that the numbers aren't exactly on your side, you find a different way to convince yourself.
I worked so hard this month.I never really buy anything for myself.
You try not to pay attention to the closet filled to the brim with all the bags you thought you deserved. Yes. I can get myself things now and then. I deserve it.
Stage 4: But is it worth it?
You impress yourself with the speed at which your mind changes and thoughts take a completely different route. Your brain is now reminding you of all the things you could get if you didn't spend on this bag. Or maybe you'll actually be responsible and save?
Yes. You're finally doing the responsible thing. You scroll past the pictures, determined to get the image out of your mind. You pat yourself on the back for being so grown up.
Stage 5: Hmm. Reality check.
Your maturity lasts all of thirty seconds, before you find yourself back with the image. You have no idea how you got there. But there you are. Convinced that with this bag, you'd be a much happier, cooler person.
Reality hits you hard. You have the mental age of a child and have no self-control over yourself, so pretending that you would save this money is bizarre.
Stage 6: You only live once!
You've bought it! You've placed the order and for a brief moment you're satisfied with yourself. You look at the picture and smile.
The next few days, you glance at the progress of the order repeatedly. You show everyone the picture of the bag for validation as you say, "Why not, right? I mean, if not now, then when?"
Stage 7: Regret.
A few days pass and the honeymoon phase dies out. You're now staring at a different bag. One that's definitely more what you wanted than the one you ordered. You come across ten other things you're sure would have been a better purchase.
Oh well. Next time.
Syeda Erum Noor is dangerously oblivious and has no sense of time. Send help at firstname.lastname@example.org