I had mentioned in one of my previous posts that I was noticing similar grieving patterns after I miscarried in my second trimester compared to those I had when my mom died in 1994. One of those coping mechanisms, of all things, is retail therapy. [A reminder that I am not the shopper in the family. My husband is the shopper, that I affectionately (and secretly) call the queen or the diva. This started years ago when he used to buy me my perfume, "Happy" from Clinique, and I would find the "free gift" in HIS bathroom drawers - eye cream, wrinkle cream, what have you.] I remember when my mom died, my dad gave me his credit card and off I went to Kingsdale Shopping Center (where we all worked at Macri’s during college – I could go for a mini chef turk salad right about now!). Naturally, I had my bff Deirdre in tow.
I remember being in The Limited and Limited Express. I was buying just to buy. Again, I don’t even like to shop and yet it made me feel better. As I sit here at forty (40) years old, I can write with fair certainty that I will get in trouble now with my dad for revealing this tidbit almost two decades later. I remember Deirdre saying, “Oh, I like that shirt, sweater, etc.” or something that effect. “Throw it in the pile.” Deirdre, “No, I couldn’t do that!” “Sure you can! It is on my Dad. He will not know. Throw whatever you want in the pile.” Deirdre and I both made out like bandits that day all thanks to my Dad. In short, money – whether mine or my dad’s – after something traumatic in your life, does not seem to matter. A lot of things don’t seem to matter. People dying of cancer would love to have my problem of a miscarriage or failed adoptions. There are so many bigger issues in life. I remember my dad saying to me, “Your mom worried about money all the time. Look how all that time was wasted now.”
Maybe I learned to deal with grief by retail therapy by example? My dad, at the sake of being childish, “started it”. First, he was the one that loaded my brother and I on a plane to Las Vegas first class for a week after my mom died. Second, that trip was followed by another vacation to good ole’ Ocean City, MD. My dad grew up in Maryland and spent his summers there. My mom, dad, brother and I went every year for 1-2 weeks. Third, my dad gave me his credit card to shop. This retail therapy does not seem to be uncommon. I know of a husband and 10 year old that lost their wife/mother to breast cancer a few months ago. They have been staying in a vacation home in Malibu since she died in May. I know everyone grieves differently. Some people get angry at God (or angry in general), some people get depressed, some people drink and some people, well, shop. After this latest loss, I can say that if the economy is getting better, you may want to thank my husband and me. We apparently think we are the Rockefellers right now.
My husband went out and bought a Playstation 3 right after we miscarried. I handle all the money in the family, but I told him it was fine. We went to Las Vegas, first class, just my as dad did. We have shopped…um… quite a bit. That translates to: I came home with a bookmark and a nail file from Las Vegas (total $3.50) and my husband came home with about 1,000 t-shirts/hats (his happiness = priceless). I most certainly did want to buy the Wynn hotel bed, along with all the linens, but had to draw the line at that point. I would never get out of bed if we had the Wynn bed and, therefore, I would be unemployed. By allowing us to treat ourselves a little bit, it is allowing us to heal. I simply feel there are bigger things than money right now. As I write this, he is shopping for a new xm radio. He also went out and bought a rare kind of beer he drank when we were at a restaurant in Las Vegas. He never drinks beer, let alone buys it. I think we both are buying here and there just to buy. Right now, splurging a bit on something other than adoption agencies and medical fees feels good after almost a decade. I am also splurging a bit on others. I have done some things (quietly) for others because it makes me feel good. There are worse vices or ways of dealing with grief. This is a positive one. The economy needs us now. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. I am answering that call with something I never say, “SHOP”!
This respite will all be coming to an end shortly. We will have to decide to try again or to give up completely. We meet with “Tressel” tomorrow to discuss our options for the future. I have kind of enjoyed this mini break from the quest of parenthood. Is it sad? Sure. Is it difficult? Absolutely. But to be free from anxiety or medical tests/exams for the past month has been a very welcome relief. To end on a positive note, I do believe in signs. As I sit here and write this, I just got a call from Tressel’s office. Thinking they were just confirming our appointment, she surprised me and said he is now taking our insurance. None of this has been covered by insurance. We have a consultation tomorrow, and although I will believe it when I see it, what unusual timing. Just when we thought we were at the end of our rope, a call with a ray of hope. Maybe we can try again and not have to stand in line for cheese? Maybe any further tests will be covered by insurance, or, in the realm of shopping and retail therapy, on “sale”? However, right now, at this moment, as I take this journey day by day, that call may have just saved us, at the very least, a very large consultation fee for tomorrow and I will take it! Baby steps.
Thanks for reading and sharing. Stay tuned for the next baby step. xoxo (aka socks).
Originally Published: Monday, August 13, 2012
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