Post-shopping- detoxing at Oosterman Treats rehab. (PSD)

images Christmas shoppers

Yes, I understand. It is not your fault. Have you thought of handing it over to your higher power? There were a group of pale looking people huddled up at the basement of the Woollies car park. This car park is particularly cheerless. It has cold-blue neon lighting and looks so grim. Hard concrete columns with paint scrapings left by cars whose drivers took too sharp a turn around those columns. It is deliberate though, we know that. The only way out of the bunker-like environment of this soul-less car park is to walk the gauntlet of ramps and escape inside the warm welcoming, and cash yearning bosom of Woollies ‘the real food people’ shop. The lighting there is warm, inviting, and at the entrance are large pictures of moist apples, and bunches of rosy-cheeked kids showing real food eating with real healthy foods.

The people at the basement car park were part of a group doing a meeting. They were self admitted shopping-addicts. Each time they met it was to try and stop the disease of uncontrolled shopping. A careful observer would notice few men, but women formed the majority. Many had twitching and jerky hand movements. A result of handing over credit-cards, often involuntary. They had no control. But, as it was often pointed out by their leader, a bearded guru-like man of a somewhat elderly appearance; It was not their fault. It is a disease, he kept reminding the group. One woman told the meeting while standing, she had been clean for over seven weeks. A loud clapping followed. When she sat down she had tears in her eyes.

Of course, the shopping addiction does not include normal everyday household items such as apples, salt or oat-meal. No, the goods that are so addictive are generally grouped under this terrible but very addictive and pernicious name; ACCESSORIES. If ever it was possible to become addicted, it was to that word and all that it entails. It hints at something that is terribly needed. We all need accessories to living, don’t we? We can’t live by air alone. We need an accessory. Anything and everything actually falls under accessories. The shopper buys something, comes home, and casually mention they bought an accessory. The husband (or wife), dutifully bound, looks up from the newspaper, often The Daily Telegraph, and mumbles ‘oh that’s nice dear.’ The Daily Telegraphs of this world are of course totally in tandem with the world of accessories. Page after page they feature adds for handbags, lettuce spinners, sound-bars, 3d printers, rocket-like juice makers, vacuum-cleaners. You name it. It is all full on party-time for the shopping addict. The lure of handing over the credit card and walk out with something wrapped up, anything really. The zing-tone of the scanner is enough to set some off on a shopping binge.

One wonders if this desire to shop for ‘accessories’ is associated to the much heralded ‘life-style? Everything is now linked to life-style. From a Norwegian chair to a drill from Bunnings, all is part of a much needed life-style. At many social events it is now perfectly acceptable and normal to ask about someone’s life-style.

One man at the group was sobbing quietly in a corner. When asked, why?, he confessed to having busted a few days before. ‘I don’t know what happened,’ he said. ‘I found myself at Bunnings and bought a hammer-drill. It all went so quickly, it was done in no-time.’ The man was heaving with remorse. It was heart rending to watch. ‘My wife found out. She had enough. She is leaving me. She told me I have six hammer-drills already.’ Some still in their boxes. The floor is littered with Alan keys.’

The group leader sagely and ever so gently, told the man that busting is fairly normal and not his fault. It is a disease, he said. ‘Just hand it over to your higher power.’ We all get stronger after each bust and pick ourselves up and try again. One lady shared she has over 50 handbags. ‘Oh, that’s nothing, another said. I have over 70 pairs of shoes.’ They all clapped again after this revelation and sharing.

The group shared cups of tea afterwards with an Aldi biscuit, and each went their own way.

It is not easy.

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9 Responses to “Post-shopping- detoxing at Oosterman Treats rehab. (PSD)”

  1. Andrew Says:

    The Financial Times has a supplement called “How to spend it”. Need I say more?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, same here, Andrew. You see it in the eyes. They look so obedient and follow the adds religiously. In fact, consumerism is a religion. Look at the latest Messiah, D. Trump. You watch him get the followers.


  2. elizabeth2560 Says:

    Yes, we do get sucked in. I now have a pressure cooker that I did not plan on owning! At least my intentions are honourable (ie eating healthily).


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We too have a couple of pressure cookers. One was inherited from our daughter. It is a fiery red one and very heavy. It also has a red little metal stop that fits on top of the lid. When the food inside reached boiling point it lets air escape and starts to wobble. That wobbling noise used to irritate and we parked it in our garden. It now holds a hydrangea.
      How are things with you, Elizabeth?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jennypellett Says:

    Too funny. I’ve avoided the shops this week completely, using my corner store to top up on milk. I cannot bear the frenzied greed of the after Christmas sales. Happy New Year to you down under 🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Today is yet another day of public holidays. Banks are closed and so is the stock market. I like and yearn for normality to return. I read we are getting another public holiday this month. Australia day. What the heck does that mean? We should really have a World Day.

      Happy New Year to you too, Jenny.


  4. chris hunter Says:

    According to Routers News the Hammer Drills in control of Canberra have been overthrown by the Butt Plugs.

    If visiting the area it may well pay to follow the ring route.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      A good router is not to be ignored, Chris. How’s life generally?


      • chris hunter Says:

        Generally life is OK Gerard but like yourself I had an edgy Xmas thinking about Manus, hard to get it out of your head, well you can’t, no more than any atrocity really.

        Last night I watched a documentary by Noam Chomsky. He admitted that he’d got it wrong back then in the late 60’s when the US rose up against the establishment and briefly heralded a new, more respectful order.

        He didn’t anticipate the degree that conservative (corporate) America would fight back and retake centre stage – as we see today – a runaway train whereby wealth is gathered in the hands of the few like never before and entirely setting the agenda for everyone.

        The same is happening here in Australia of course, the mega rich and their toadies in government have siphoned the guts out of the country and have the gall to blame the working class – despite the taxpayer funded bailouts for companies “too big to fail.”

        It’s all a bit sickening….


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