An impulse purchase I don’t regret

October 29, 2007

by Jennifer Gallus

There was a time in my life when impulse purchases dominated my shopping experiences – mainly in college. Now, and for the past 10 or so years, my purchases must include items not centered around myself.

When my boys were under the ages of 3 and 4, I would hardly buy myself a thing in the area of clothing, shoes, makeup, and outdoor apparel. Department store shopping mainly revolved around cute baby clothes for them.

My husband would get so frustrated with me because I’d complain that I didn’t have new clothes, but every time he’d give me money I’d spend it on our boys.

A couple of years ago, he started putting stipulations on my spending money that somewhat forced me to start buying things for myself again. He’d say he’d give me X amount of money, but that X amount had to be spent on myself.

It was actually a very nice sentiment, and it worked. It was tough at first to make the transition, but I was happier because I’d have some new stuff for once. The boys didn’t really miss their continuous apparel additions because they had too many clothes to begin with. I could barely close their dresser drawers!

My husband does enjoy seeing me in new clothes and shoes, and I would guess most husbands would.

A few weeks ago, I was on a mission to get a few shirts and at least one pair of shoes. I knew exactly which shoes I wanted. I had seen them a couple of weeks before and regretted not buying them.

The shoe department was to be my last stop because who wants to lug around boxes of shoes while shopping for clothes? One must have a strategic plan while shopping to avoid an overload of items that would add unpleasantness to the day.

I finished all of my pre-shoe department shopping, and was headed for my last stop when I ran across one of those tiny shops in the middle of the hall at the mall.

I try to avoid these little land mines with pushy sales people, but for some reason I let my guard down and humored the very effeminate salesman.

He sat me on a stool in front of a mirror and started curling my hair. I have to admit, I enjoyed listening to this guy pitch his product. He had an interesting accent, and was very convincing.

Anyway, the curling iron is also a straightener. He demonstrated both ways to use it, and I’m not going to lie, I was impressed.

I have thick, coarse hair, and this curling iron smoothed it out and added shine. I was sold so I asked how much it was.

That’s when the real shocker hit me. I’m not going to say how much the thing was because it’s embarrassing. When he told me the price, he said how it was on sale and at Christmas it will be $100 more. “Isn’t that an amazing price?” he said.

“Yes – that is amazing!” I said sarcastically. There was no way I was going to spend that amount on a curling iron. I was headed to the shoe department for Pete’s sake!

“What – you don’t like price?” he said.

“No – I don’t like price!” I said.

“I can tell you like curling iron. Look at your hair – you need this,” he continued.

I bartered with him a bit. After all, I did really like how it performed. We came to an agreement on a price, but I was still hesitant. It was a large chunk out of my shoe budget.

Plus, I thought, it works well here but maybe it won’t work as well when I do it myself at home. I kept second-guessing myself and whether or not I should buy the thing.

The salesman then said, “Why not buy one for someone for Christmas too? Who could you buy one for?”

I said, “Oh, you’re good – but there’s no way I’m buying two!”

“You’ll be sending your friends to see Jeff,” he said with his heavy accent.

I said, “I’ll be back to ‘see Jeff’ if it doesn’t work!”

He was puzzled by this comment. “Why you say this, look at your hair – it works,” he said.

I ended up buying it because I do curl my hair every day as it is, and have always struggled with frizz. I’m happy to report that it is doing its job, my husband even likes the results, and I’ve had several people ask what I’ve done differently.

I guess in the world of curling irons, you do get what you pay for!


While enjoying a root beer soda, my 8-year-old said, “Root beer is half beer and half root.”