The Unbearable Banishment: the reason i hate confessions of a shopaholic

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the reason i hate confessions of a shopaholic

Every time I see a trailer or commercial for Confessions of a Shopaholic my fists clench, my lips stretch taunt against my teeth and my eyes roll up into the top of my skull. I am so annoyed that I vibrate.

It’s the “hilarious” story of woman so obsessed with shoes, bags and clothing that she becomes crippled with credit card debt. The character is vapid and I pray that I’m raising my daughters to be more thoughtful human beings. I hope they’ll never need a pair Prada shoes to feed their self esteem.

Then I remind myself that it’s only a romantic comedy. Not a documentary. I’m not even the target audience for cryin’ out loud! I wondered why I was giving a friggin’ commercial for a movie so much power over me.

So I meditated on the REAL reason why I was getting so angry. The actual reason for your anger is rarely on the surface. You have to do a bit of digging. And I had a spark of clarity.

I spent many, many years dating in Manhattan and overall it was a pleasant experience. But in New York City, the woman depicted in Confessions of a Shopaholic actually exists. I’ve always done okay for myself financially but I am not wealthy and never will be. When I would date a Shopaholic and it became obvious that my income was modest and always would be, I was dumped. I am almost certainly better off for not having fallen in love with someone of that ilk, but a rejection is still a rejection.

But remember one thing don’t lose your head
To a woman that’ll spend your bread

Every Picture Tells a Story
Rod Stewart

Having been kicked repeatedly over a number of years for the same reason has left a sore spot.

So I won’t see that movie. It’ll only stir bad memories of feeling inadequate. Plus it was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer who’s a shithead bottom feeder and I don’t want to give him my $10 bucks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

they aren't just in NYC. i know bunches of them... shopping is recreation, "owning" is "power", and there is no such thing as "enough"...

February 10, 2009 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger kyknoord said...

It would seem that there are still girls who will look to a man to be their sole provider. As long as the soles are attached to a pair of Prada shoes.

February 10, 2009 at 6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn and i was hoping you hated it beecause it's no longer based on the book of a similar name but instead has turned into a typical vacuous girl rom-com.

The actual story is about a British financial consultant who moves to NYC with her fiance but is secretly addicted to spending money. It's about how she tries to overcome the problem and what lengths she goes to

February 10, 2009 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: I suppose the movie’s universal appeal means that there are plenty of shopaholics outside of Manhattan. I was in the belly of the dating beast.

k: That’s a play on words! Touché!

Liz: It’s true that I don’t know anything at all about the book. I only know what I see in the movie promos. Your synopsis sounds a lot more thought provoking than what’s being thrown up on the screen. The main character is no longer British. Typical Hollywood.

February 10, 2009 at 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have that same fist-clenching reaction to the commercials for "He's Just Not That Into You." I don't really know why so maybe I should meditate on it like you did. My initial thought is this is yet another stereotype-enforcing crap-fest starring Drew Barrymore. Don't we have enough of those already?

February 10, 2009 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

pop: Apparently not.

February 10, 2009 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I also cringe at this film. I cringe even more when my friend says she loves chick flicks and wants to go see it. no, no, no.

February 10, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

jo: At the risk of damaging my finely-honed reputation as a manly son-of-a-bitch, I don’t mind a lot of chick flicks. Love Actually is a holiday favorite of Mrs. Wife and I. But I find this one to be particularly galling. BTW, glad you enjoyed your holiday.

February 10, 2009 at 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is a series of books too. I just not that into them.

February 10, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


First it was four popped collars and now this flake film? Underlying anger issues indeed!

I don't really have much to say about the film or the idea behind it. Anyone who's read much of what I've written or heard what I've said already know my thoughts about unrestrained capitalism/consumerism gone horribly wrong.

As to getting worked up over commercials, I've found that not watching TV has greatly enhanced my overall Zen-like peaceful feeling of calm. (Listening to Lou Dobbs courtesy of XM radio not included.)

February 10, 2009 at 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'd say "read a book", but there are too many out there that'd get you spooled up just as easily.

but, i sympathize, nonetheless... [sigh]

February 10, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Sid said...

Hmmm, I have to admit that I do like pretty things. I spend quite a bit of money on clothes and random other stuff. Here's the thing, I don't actually expect a man to provide for me. And it hurts just as much when the very first thing a guy tells me is, "I don't earn a lot of money. I'm a conservationist." Hello if you'd actually bothered to speak to me you'd realise that I'm a conservationist too. Agh ... I won't bore you with this diatribe.

February 10, 2009 at 11:53 PM  
Blogger Jason Quinones said...

i feel the same way about bride wars.

my personally recommended chick flicks for manly movie goers:


the baxter

wristcutters:a love story


raising victor vargas

February 11, 2009 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger ~E said...

I know people like that. Who set aside parts of their salary for that next Kate Spade hand bag or whatever designer they are addicted to.

February 11, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger bob said...

But we love Isla Fisher. And Joan Cusack.

February 14, 2009 at 7:02 AM  

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