Confessions of a Marine Mom: I’m Enrolled in Retail Therapy

Confessions of a Marine Mom: I’m Enrolled in Retail Therapy

June 2, 2011 ~ The first time I walked into a Marine Corps Exchange, I thought I had died and gone to heaven…..Marine Corps Mom’s heaven, that is.  I had not laid eyes on my son for months and back in my hometown, there was not a single place of business that sold anything related to the Corps.

I grabbed the first Marine Mom shirt in sight. It wasn’t long before I found another and another.  Decisions, decisions!  Which one should I get?  Oh, what the heck.  I’ll get all three.  In fact, I might as well get a few more because, after all, there are seven days in a week and I can’t think of a single day I don’t need to be telling the world that MY son is a Marine.

Still stuck in the shirt section, I found a great shirt for the Marine Dad in our household and I found shirts which could be worn by proud Marine Corps brothers.  Of course, I couldn’t go home without a shirt for both sets of proud grandparents and then there was the proud aunt, uncle, and cousins I needed to think about.  It was nearly impossible to resist the USMC baby clothes so I grabbed something for everyone small enough to fit into the tiny garb. Before long, I had to put my pile of clothing on the floor because my arm was killing me.  I was well on my way to developing a need for physical therapy during the early phase of my shopping experience before I was willing to stop long enough to find a shopping cart.

With both hands free once again, I was now able to start grabbing Marine Corps mugs, flags, towels, and magnets.  I had magnets for the fridge and magnets for the car and a couple of bumper stickers that would soon be showing themselves around town. This place was incredible and I was so thankful that I had my debit card and my husband had just gotten paid.  I was also glad that he wasn’t with me as I would likely be standing there with only one t-shirt and a look of longing. It was a lot easier to abandon all self-control when he was not on location.

It wasn’t long before my eyes landed on the jewelry section.  I’ve never been one for wearing a lot of jewelry but I found that I simply could not live without the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor earrings glimmering from the display.  I figured I might as well get one of the matching necklaces and bracelets.  After all, they don’t have these back at home.  I might never get another chance to buy such a beautiful set!

I shrieked when I saw the teddy bears.  A teddy bear wearing Dress Blues! NO WAY!  I could not consider driving the 12 hours home without one of those by my side.  Again realizing that it might be a very long time before I had this opportunity to shop, I also grabbed the bear dressed in camouflage.

Typically, I am not a shopper.  I only hit the mall when I have to attend an event such as a wedding and my jeans and t-shirts are simply not appropriate.  When I do finally force myself to go shopping, I usually buy everything I need in one trip.  I’ll get the dreaded dress and while I’m out, if I find a pair of shorts I like, I buy them in three colors so I don’t have to go back to the mall until someone else gets married.

Because of my infrequent trips to the mall, I was able to justify my crazed shopping and I quickly pushed the guilt associated with extravagant spending right out of my mind. I told myself that my husband should be thankful I’m not a shopaholic like other women. I also justified this spending spree as an expense which could be filed in the mental health category for I had awakened earlier that morning with fear and dread because my son was about to deploy. Those feelings were now long gone and I was certain that my shopping tab was going to be far cheaper than any bill for services I could accrue with visits to a shrink over the next several months.  I was certain that this Retail Therapy was a very cost-effective way to handle my Marine Mom stress.

Sure, I was about to spend a small fortune but it wasn’t every day I had the opportunity to purchase these rare and beautiful items inscribed with the motto Semper Fi.  Besides, my son was serving our nation.  He was going to war and I owed it to myself to be in possession of as many Marine Corps items as I could fit in my car for the twelve hour drive home.

I denied myself the Marine Corps throw and the Marine Mom scrapbook supplies.  I could always get those next time.  I finally told myself enough was enough until I saw that adorable camouflage purse. which quickly found its way into my shopping cart along with a USMC water bottle and a USMC gym bag. You wouldn’t expect me to use anything else while I’m at the gym would you?

Originally published by the author at comfycouchcommand

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