First: Do not shop. Resist the urge with all of the power contained within you. Do not browse. Do not peruse. Do not just stop in to see what they have. Freeze your credit cards in a block of ice, along with your tendency toward reinvention and your lust for Zeitgeist-y things. Unsubscribe from all e-commerce newsletters. Unsubscribe from looking at hot people on the street. Do not read blogs.
Visit a real-estate agent and purchase a home in Labrador City, Newfoundland, where you will be able to not shop in solitude, 555 miles from the nearest H&M. Wake at 4 a.m. to prepare a hearty breakfast, then hike into the woods to fast and pray for several days until the wind whispers “investment piece” and you can no longer distinguish the shadows on the wall of your sleeping cave from a Rick Owens look book. Stand in the center of a circle of rocks during the solstice and howl to the moon, “When will the next Naked palette be releeeeeased? How long will skinny persist as the dominant jean silhooooooooooouette? What shape of shirt should I wear with cuuuuulottes?” While you wait for clarity, sip a strong tea brewed from the printed-out Instagrams of your lifestyle enemies. Stitch together a tasteful, pajama-inspired co-ord set using found bark and leaves. Soon, answers will come to you.
Then you will be ready to shop.
Return to civilization hungry for commerce. You have known what it is to starve yourself, and may you never know that feeling again. Today, you are reborn to shop. Rise at noon and start your day with a plate of raw oysters and a Birkin bag filled with latte. Visit a waterfall and bathe in it, then rent a convertible and air-dry on the ride home. While you are driving, put lotion on the outside of your body, and also on the inside using a very long custom Prada Q-tip. At home, spend at least one hour listening to music and trying on different hats, but do not dally too long, for your limo to the mall is waiting outside.
The limo is from the ‘80s and has multiple wall-mount cordless phones. Fix yourself a mimosa from the minibar, then use one or more of the phones to telephone the stores and let them know that you are on your way. Ask the sales associate to assemble her finest wares in advance of your arrival. Ask her to assemble a peanut gallery composed of the following shopping-enhancing characters: a supportive and body-positive female friend, a sassy gay male archetype with strong opinions but otherwise minimal character development, a judgmental mother, a therapist, a slightly less hot version of yourself to denigrate, a slightly more hot version of yourself to which you can aspire, and a person who has remembered to bring along the Bed Bath & Beyond coupon. Also request that a long-lost enemy from your past be kept on retainer to walk by the store window and look jealous on cue.
When you arrive at the store, the only other people present are A-list celebrities who are asked to leave so you can shop in peace. Begin by walking clockwise around the store, and rubbing the fabric of every garment between your thumb and forefinger while saying Hmmmmmm discerningly. Then, walk counterclockwise and gather everything that appeals to you and is also in your price range, which luckily is everything since your phone is buzzing and you’ve just found out that you’ve been awarded a large settlement in a class-action lawsuit in which you didn’t even know you were a plaintiff! Champagne for everyone! Ball gowns, too, and slouchy-chic contemporary-looking pantsuits, and also that white jumpsuit that Solange Knowles wore to her wedding! Everything looks amaaaaazing on you. The BFF is saying, “You look great!” The gay archetype is nodding in affirmation and continuing to not have a backstory. Even the judgmental mother figure says yes!
At the register, there is a student discount, and you get away with using it, despite not even being a student. On this day only, management has made an exception to accept competitor coupons, and the Bed Bath & Beyond 20 percenter is received with mass acclaim. As planned, your long-lost enemy walks by right on cue to look jealous, but she happens to trip and fall. Rush over to help her up so she feels insecure about how much you have succeeded in putting petty feuds behind you. A professional photographer who happens to be standing nearby captures of a photo of you in your hot new look making peace with your past. You post it to Facebook and your ex comments, “I regret breaking up with you.”