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The Girlfriend's Guide to Health will be updated every Tuesday.... Stay tuned dear readers and let me rock your world.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s that time of year my cyber sister…. The holiest of holy.

Yes, You know what I am talking about…. Boxing Day.

Some have Christmas or Yom Kippur or Ramadan or Oscar Night…. I love the days between December 26th and January 7 which in the ever reliable world of excess have become the BOXING WEEK.

I love that in the world of shopping, a weeks is really more like 17 days.

Now let us be clear.  I never shop on Boxing Day itself. I’m a tough broad. Hell I can handle a mountain climb and a good triathlon. I can battle a good shoe sale like any other woman of distinction. But to shop in the stores on the 26th itself is just asking for trouble.

Why just this year I got a jump-start on my oh holy night festivities. Indeed my Boxing Day shopping is done and might I say that my Comme de Garcons dress looks pretty fabulous…. Never mind its 80% off price tag.

But should you venture out on this day of days or even in the next few, please my girlfriends obey the rules of the road….

Rule number 1: Wardrobe.
Ladies, Yoga pants or some sort or leggings are a must. I am talking about a base layer that can easily accommodate an entire outfit being worn/tried on over it should the line to the fitting rooms be completely unacceptable.

Should you wait for 2 1/2 hours to try on that Prada suit now discounted at $225? I don’t think so my sister. Instead get your fabulous ass to a quit corner in the store and put the whole suit on over your legging and t-shirt.

Here, you use your imagination to adjust for what the fit would feel like without the “base-layer” beneath.

Now- you’ve used your used your spacial relations and time managed with the best of them.

Rule Number 2: Fluids

The key here is to bring a coffee that is big enough to provide the needed energy and enjoyment for a day of shopping endurance but not too big to have you draining your bladder periodically throughout the day.

A full bladder can be the difference between a pair of Christian Louboutin Prive peep-toe pumps for 80% off or the need for a bathroom break.

Chose wisely my young Jedi- a happy bladder or jubilant feet.

Hint- no one cares if you piss on the floor as long as the shoes you are standing in have red soles.

Rule Number 3: Music

I love to shop with my I-pod. I listen to books on tape or a great mix. I find the music or the story take me away and allow me to shift my focus to the clothes at hand and not the greed in the store.

Rule number 4: Attitude is Everything.

Ladies, Boxing Week is not for the faint at heart. There is no sisterhood. This is not the place to make lasting friendships or find a playgroup for your Mommy and Me class. The store on Boxing Week is an endurance challenge. Keep your head down, smile, be polite put really…. Expect service personnel to treat you like shit and fellow shopper to be greedy and nasty.

Maybe you will be surprised. Maybe a lovely fellow retail sista will let you have the cashmere she was eyeing that looks way better on you. However as in medicine- hope for the best but expect the worst.

This way when someone shoves you down in a Holt Renfrew accessories department you are not disappointed or even surprised- you are merely able to get up, align your chakras and love on to buy the Lanvin crystal safety pin that you have been having an affair with since you saw it walk down the Fall runway in Paris.

I know it sounds brutal… but I love it. I love it all. I love the physical emotional and retail thrill of a good Boxing week blow out. I love the waiting that went on for my perfect dress all season only to find it 70% off and in my size waiting to come home with me like a puppy in a window.

I love it when I can suspend belief for just a few hours and wonder what suit, what dress hell what handbag will be marked down so low that they are practically paying me to buy the damn thing.

Turns out, there is science to back up my retail euphoria….

In a paper published in 2007, researchers at the UK's Brunel University noted that shopping is associated with increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that has been linked to pleasure and positive thinking. In fact, levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter released during pleasurable experiences including sex, can rise sharply even when you're merely window shopping.

In another study, published in the journal Neuron, researchers at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Stanford strapped volunteers to an MRI machine and showed them photos of products. When shoppers saw something they wanted to buy, a flood of dopamine to the nucleus accumbens--the brain's reward center--lit up their MRI images like a dashboard.

And it's not only about pleasure. Shopping may also help women maintain their mental acuity in old age, says Guy McKhann, M.D., a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University and a co-author of Keep Your Brain Young. "People who are doing really well as they get older tend to be mentally engaged, physically active, and socially involved," he says. "And women are all of those things when they shop."

Who new my shopping would help me train for my mature years.
Studies show that picturing several different outfits engages the brain and the prefrontal cortex, which are all important activities as we age….

So the key to eternal youth and happiness really can be found in my closet…
Forget the big holidays and bring on the Boxing Week…. My health, my well being and hell, the science of my longevity depend on it.

And who says you can buy happiness.  Well the obviously haven’t found Manolos at half price…

Now get out there ladies… and make me proud. As one fashion season closes and another opens never forget the ultimate message my sisters… GOOD CLOTHES OPEN ALL DOORS…

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