Lying, Cheating … Shopping?

Editor’s Note: Who is the wisest of them all? Who is more dedicated to your pleasure than anyone on earth? Who can help you when you’re going online for the first time to find love; or when your lover’s children hate you; or when you want to strangle your husband? Why, the Love Goddess, of course. She promises nothing less than celestial wisdom, heavenly sex, divine dating. Read on …

The New York Times recently reported a list of “money disorders” burgeoning as we find ourselves reeling from the economic news. Overspending is rampant, but so, apparently, are other “problem financial behaviors,” such as underspending (hoarding, as if we were in a depression); serial borrowing (we all know what that is); financial enabling (giving too much money to adult kids, who are then not motivated to make their own) and so forth. People from all over the monetary map have these problems —including Wynona Judd, who used to buy, she claims, too many cars and Harleys, but now has her verhicle issues under control. But here’s what struck me, since of course I’m always fascinated by new data about love: A “problem financial behavior” psychologists have named “financial infidelity” — or “cheating on a spouse by spending and lying about it.”

Please. By that definition, we’re all harlots. Ragingly unfaithful Jezebels. Unless you’re married to a guy who knows — really knows — retail, what woman in her right mind tells her spouse, over a nice roast chicken dinner, “Darling, guess what? The Prada bag I had my eye on was reduced to $1100, but I didn’t succumb; instead I spent a mere $400 at Coach,” as though the guy wouldn’t still fall face-first into that chicken. Because most men don’t see the $400 as a good deal, assuming as they do that handbags cost what they did in the ’80s (that is, if they ever even thought about it) and that pretty much any purse in the galaxy could be had for less than, oh, a hundred bucks. Does a man who hasn’t bought a shirt for himself since the Vietnam War know what a nice dress shirt costs? A tie? (I tear off tags when I buy my man clothes, egregious cheat that I am, because otherwise he wouldn’t wear it and I would have to live with someone who walks around in tattered stuff from eons ago — and I do mean eons ago.) How about announcing to him what a sweet little pair of women’s boots (not designer, even) for fall cost? Or a moisturizer, for that matter?

I mean, look, the idea of hundreds and thousands of dollars on clothing and cosmetics repels us all. But men emphatically don’t get the maintenance thing — and never have. So why talk about any of it if you can afford (literally) not to?  If you must confess, perhaps do what a friend of mine does: “I report exactly half of what the item costs — which is just what it should cost!” so that her husband can rest happily in the world of shoulds in which he resides and has no desire to depart.

Discretion, in retail as in love, isn’t deceit. So don’t call this “infidelity,” please. Which psychological issue is worse: Hiding the price of certain things, or causing a nervous breakdown? I rest my case. 

—TLG

Have you ever lied about cost of a dress or a handbag to your significant other? Tell us about it below.

Like all savvy goddesses, The Love Goddess has her own blog, which can be visited by clicking here.

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