An Impulsive shopper would often go home with regret. This is not some baseless coinage. I have been an impulsive shopper today and I know truth is not the only bitter abstraction. Regret is also. This morning, before work began at the office, I busied myself with the latest literature a love got me. Bitter leaf; the newbie in my African text collection. Even though I’m about approaching the second chapter, I know there’s a happiness the book promises. This was why I thought of getting a notepad, a fancy one, in which I’d store things I find noteworthy. From the conception of that thought, getting a fancy notebook for my novel, I didn’t give my mind a minute’s rest because I kept imagining what manner of fanciness would befit my prospective notepad. My likeness for fancy notebooks may seem odd, I mean why so much love for a ‘notebook’? I’m just that strange.

So, I daydreamed about different designs, by then work had begun. There’s only one place nearby where my fanciness could be defined: the Ikeja City Mall. ICM, for me, had a way of sowing and tending the seed of happiness for shopping that, once you got there, there’s no stopping that hand from reaching your purse.

The daily ritual of trekking from work to whatever destination, engaged us-myself and my two confidants. Embarrassing moments was the topic of the day and, humorously, they both had embarrassing moments that I could taunt them with. It was only funny how just a shopping moment later, after bragging about being untauntable (for lack of better vocabulary at the moment), nemesis caught up with me. In the stationary shop (that I won’t name so as not to publicize them. I have already been patronizing enough, thank you!) where I dreamt of going all day, I found the notepad of my daydreams. I could have just taken that to the counter and left immediately. I wish I did. But I began feasting my eyes on other materials that could accompany my beautiful notepad, oblivious of how the harmless feasting would hurt me. I saw the stationery case. It was a transparent rubber purse that had in it some fancy pens, a highlighter, a pencil and an eraser. The manner in which it hung loose on the rack, one like me who loved the fancy things of life wouldn’t take the eyes away. I didn’t know the admiration would only last until I knew its price. Even when a warning came from my momentary antagonist not to purchase the purse, I turned deaf ears. I put all I got on the counter with the satisfaction that I had made the right decisions.

“N4, 020”

“With the purse?” I said, putting up a grimace.

“Yes” the woman replied curtly as she packed the items in their branded plastic bag, showing no sign of emotion for me who felt like a jackpot had been lost. I still didn’t get the numbers right, N4, 020!!! For all that I got? I turned my back with a stupid smile on my face, hoping those two hadn’t heard the attendant. Huh? They had. The smirks on their faces were priceless. At that moment when I knew I couldn’t do anything, I turned to the attendant with my ATM card imagining how the four thousands and twenty would be drawn from the just funded account.

Stepping out of the stationery store, the overpriced purse framed its ugliness in my mind and I thought, “I should have just asked for the price before buying”

I shake my head at my silly love for superficiality. No more spending till I cover up that void of N 4, 020, I decided.


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