Who needs emotional shopping when there's emotional browsing?

Shopping. It's not about want (sorry, fashion), or need (sorry, environment). It's about lack

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By Lauren Laverne on

I’m stalking a pair of “yoga boots”. I mean, last week I had no idea yoga boots were even a thing. You do yoga barefoot, surely? To be clear, they aren’t actually boots to wear during yoga. They’re for after. Or before. They are boots which are not directly involved in yoga but which imply that yoga has happened, or is about to happen, without actually facilitating it in any way. They aren’t especially attractive - a silky nylon upper, like a foot-sized sleeping bag, balanced atop a trainer sole. I’m not sure I’d wear them in public. I keep going back to them, though. I can’t leave the boots alone, it’s the shopping equivalent of picking a scab. At some point (not yet - we are early in our courtship) I might buy them. 

This is a thing I do. I don’t really shop for stuff I want (sorry, fashion) or need (sorry, environment). I shop for things that represent what I lack. In the case of the yoga boot, what I lack is the kind of life that necessitates a yoga boot. Yoga Boot Woman does yoga, obviously (11am class? No problem! She hasn’t got anything else on!) she also has a swishy blow-dry. She is the kind of person who spends the afternoon “running errands”. She “pops” places, wearing “off duty” clothes, clutching a takeout coffee the width of her perfect thigh. Does Yoga Boot Woman have a job? A family? Any thoughts or ideas? Problems? (One boob bigger than the other? Stress-related flatulence? Co-dependency issues that make her unable to sustain a relationship?) I don’t know, because those parts of Yoga Boot Woman’s life do not exist in my imagination. Remember the boots aren’t for yoga, they’re for the bits in between yoga, and this in-between is precisely what I lack. Yoga Boot Woman has free time. 

I keep going back to them. I can’t leave the boots alone, it’s the shopping equivalent of picking a scab

In the hectic whirl of hosting a daily radio show, getting an awesome new digital platform for women off the ground (thanks for joining us at The Pool, by the way. I hope you love it as much as we do…) and looking after a young family there isn’t a lot of time to slouch around. There’s has been minimal pottering, scant idling. I’ve had to cut right down on dawdling, meandering and ambling. My pondering regime has gone to pot. I mean, I wrote part of this blog in a taxi, and the other bit with my four-year-old ‘playing the glockenspiel’ on my back. So. I look at the boots instead.

When my boys were smaller it was pyjamas - a pretty obvious pointer to my lack of sleep. Before I made a home of my own it was lamps (I loved lamp, much like Brick from Anchorman). Prior to leaving home in the first place it was designer clothes for the fancypants, metropolitan life I did not yet have. It isn’t that I’m an emotional shopper, because I don’t always (or even very often) buy the things I look at. It’s more that I’m an emotional browser. I need to visit them every now and again to show myself that there are other lives featuring plenty of whatever it is I’m missing. So many of them, in fact, that special boots have been invented. 

How to describe the Hush catalogue if not as hardcore leisure pornography?

I may be unusual in this respect, but looking at the growth in the market for ‘loungewear’ (a term that didn’t exist a decade ago) assures me I am not alone. How to describe the Hush catalogue if not as hardcore leisure pornography? Oooh, she’s having a cup of herbal tea in some woods…the lazy cow…She’s reading a book in an armchair IN HER PYJAMAS phwoar…look at the louche on that…. 

I don’t want to be Yoga Boot Woman, even leaving aside the co-dependence and the stress-related flatulence (very awkward with a job in live radio). I love my life as it is. If I really wanted to be Yoga Boot Woman I would have made a lot of different lifestyle choices. Probably starting with doing some yoga. So I’m not going to buy the boots. Instead I’m going to give myself what I really want - a tootle, a mosey, a casual peruse. I’m going to save my money and spend a little time instead, on an old-school pre-Internet lol. 

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Lauren Laverne

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