Are you a materialistic or an experiential shopper?

A few weeks ago I went to the supermarket with my father-in-law to get things needed for a welcome-home breakfast for my husband after a long business trip.   On our way to the vegetable section I got pulled away to the flower area, of course, and got a Gardenia potted mini tree.  It had ready to bloom buds in many of its branches and I was happy to bring home a flower that would probably bloom over the weekend and fill the home with its special aroma.  When my father in law saw me walking towards him with this pot in my hands he asked "Oh, are you taking it with you to Brazil"?  I was shocked when he asked me that.  "how..why"? was sort of my answer.  His response, even more confusing, "I don't know..."  That kept me thinking for a few minutes until I realized that I was being a materialistic shopper and he was being, well, who he is, an experiential shopper.  According to an article I read weeks ago, Experiential Shoppers prefer to spend money on things that are not touchable, such as a dinner with friends at a restaurant, a trip away, or a good bottle of wine - sorry, all nonreturnable- are happier people than those who spend the money on tangible things, like a pretty awesome Yves Saint Laurent satchel bag or an even cooler head-spinning cocktail table.

My husband is more like his parents in a way that everything they buy need to have a purpose.  They don't buy a potted flower to then eventually trash -they buy the seed, plant it and see it growing into a big tree, like the one below which my mother-in-law planted at their vacation home 25 years ago.  That tree is a symbol of a beginning for them.  Me on the other hand, am quite the opposite, I don't plant anything I rather buy a few flowers and put them in water until they sadly die, and they usually die sooner than later…  Why?  Because I forget to change the water!  If it weren't for my mom who loves to plant -she is perfect age for that- the very few plants I have in the house would be as dry as a desert.

And so, maybe that's the reason why sometimes I feel bad when I spend money on things that I don't really need and very often that sentiment sends me straight back to the store to return it?  Oh... what a relief I feel when I do that!  I usually console myself thinking that the fact that I prefer to buy things for the home, rather than for myself, should make me feel better about it.  I would not hesitate for a second if confronted with the option of choosing between a pair of Klismos chair or a pair of Louboutins.  But one of the things that make me happier is to see my vision come alive and see it become a reality.  I guess that different things make each of us happy.


Karena said...

Julie this is so interesting...I had not thought about it, however I must admit I am more of a materialistic shopper; not that I don't keep things for years I do...I have furnishings, gorgeous pieces I've had forever!

I would rather purchases pots of flowers than plant a tree though!

Art by Karena

Tabitha said...

I think I'm a bit of both - as a gemini that's wholly legal though.

The enchanted home said...

Fascinating..I think I am actually both but bend towards a materialisitic shopper a bit more.....just love instant gratification and love things I can touch, hold and feel! I get so excited over new purchases that I really really love! Good foodfor thought.

Jamie Herzlinger said...

I am in love with that blue bag...absolutely stunning!!! Good for any season!!!

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