Confessions of a Male Shopaholic

The difference between shopaholism and the other -oholisms (e.g. choc and alc) is that the worse the addiction gets, the better you look.

I’ve never been prone to any kind of addiction before. And as a teenager and young man, I was almost completely indifferent to clothes and matters of style.

Maybe that’s why I’ve fallen prey to this dreadful form of -oholism. I didn’t build up enough antibodies when I was young!

Also there are three stores in Mack’s area triangulated and calculated to keep my wallet-finger twitchingthat are aimed directly at the “sweet spot” of the Daddy’s style-sense.

The one is almost a high-end army-surplus store where the ownera military nerd, if that’s not too oxymoronicsells vintage and/or selvage jeans, old Omega officer’s watches, “dead stock” hats and trench coats and shoes and boots bombers and paratrooper jackets, and all kinds of other deeply interesting stuff.

Another is “Spectacle,” a high-end glasses shop in Mack’s hood.

I went in after a viewing of an old Michael Caine movie, Blame it On Rio, featuring among other things a topless 20-year-old Demi Moore. Michael Caine lusts after his friend’s daughter, who seems to be either topless or nude 75% of the time.

And at one point Michael Caine puts on these GIANT glasses, and Ms. Daddy and I were laughing at them: “Oh, look, ha-ha-ha, they’re ridiculous.”

But then Mack started scratching his chin: “Hmmm, actually I love them.”

And I’ve been on a quest for ever larger glasses ever since, the bigger the better. The first time I went into Spectacle I said: “I was watching this Michael Caine movie last night, and…”

“Oh, Michael Caine’s our hero. We have a picture of him in the back room.”

“Uh-oh,” I thought, and right there the Mack knew he was doomed to spend many hundreds, if not thousands of dollars there.

And sure enough, it has come to pass.

“Is that another pair of glasses?” Ms. Daddy will ask in astonishment.

Hey, I try to explain to her: My father had a mid-life crisis and started buying sports cars. Much more expensive. You’re getting off lightly.

To which Ms. Daddy, sensible woman she is, actually agreed.

But by far the deadliest store is the Fred Perry shop that is exactly en route between Mack’s house and my office.

Fred Perry stuff is a weakness anyway: it’s a little street, a little preppy, a little punk, a little classy, yet a little gangster, somehow, all at once. Perfect for Mack’s new “Gangster Nerd” look.

Then there are three charming, chic women, all looking v. sharp in their own Fred Perry-wear, in there complimenting the Daddy: “Oooh, that looks nice on you, that’s perfect, it’s just right.”

And Mack’s head starts to spin, and suddenly my wallet’s out.

Or they might say very little. I’ll come out of the change room and one of them will say, with ultra-finality: “There you go.”

And walk away. Thus causing the wheels of Mack’s head to turnand so I begin to sell myself!!!

Either way I will all-too-often wind up with yet another expensive little item in a tiny, tasteful paper bag.

The good news is: Mack’s style is evolving at an alarming rate, and threatens to leave all but the most obsessed fashion-masters in the dust.

The other good news is: It’s so out of control Mrs. Daddy doesn’t even ask, anymore, what things cost. She has finally taken to heart, I guess, my oft-repeated statement: “You don’t want to know.”

The bad news sticks its tongue out at me in the form of a receit every time I go to the bank machine.

But I ignore it. Crumple and toss, don’t even look, that’s my motto.

Kids, I don’t suggest you adopt my money-management approach at home, but for me, for the present, it’s probably the best way for me to be handling my “finances.”

Churn, earn, and burn, baby! There ain’t no turning back now!