Monday, June 16, 2008

Peer Pressure - do it, do it, do it, do it

I am a sucker for peer pressure. I have trouble saying no to my friends and family, especially when they give me the "pretty please" look or tell me how important this party/movie/event/dinner/kegger is to them. I pretty much yield.

In college, I got in trouble for minorly defacing property because my friend asked me to go to a frat's keg party. I originally declined because I had plans with my eventual boyfriend, but all she had to say was, "Jess we'll go for 10 minutes, 10 minutes and we'll leave after that." Yeah right. Four hours later we were both drunk on Boones Farm and busted by the rival keg house for defacing school property were permanent markers. Oops.

Fortunately, the college peer pressure I caved in to did not involve a beer bong or something that would end up on YouTube, but even in my late 20s, peer pressure is still there and I still cave to it, but this time it's a bit more expensive (but no longer requires getting school officials or the police involved.)

The kind of peer pressure I am referring to is the social shopping peer pressure. The kind where you go out with your parents and friend, not intending to spend money (like me this weekend) and come back with three bags from Pottery Barn and one from Banana Republic. To be fair, everything was 30-50 percent off (minus a bracelet) but still. My friend Ryan calls me the "enabler" because any time he sees something he likes, I tend to say, "you should buy that," and he usually will, after he nicely curses at me for reinforcing what his head is telling him, which is that he should really buy that DVD/CD/shirt/man-bag/etc.

In the hall of fame though is my stepmom, who is the ultimate in peer pressure selling. When I called her to convince me not to buy a Kate Spade messenger bag (on sale again), her line was, "well Jess you can always return it." And like a moth to the flame, I bought it and still have that (and use it). Watching her work her magic on others, I know when she's close to convincing them because she will actually take their purse or other shopping bags to hold so that they can go up and buy what they've been contemplating. Genius.

My friends Liz and Sarah are also close seconds to her, although Sarah is a bit more aggressive in her peer pressure selling technique. She's made me spend much more money than necessary on things by saying the standard girl-influential lines, "they look great on you," "that [shirt/skirt/etc] makes you look so thin," and the ultimate line that I've used (with success) on my friends, "[insert name] you deserve it." You're totally right, I do.

So my message for the kids today is this: peer pressure is okay (in the social shopping sense) as long as you know your limits. If I have buyers remorse or second thoughts, I have zero problem with returning items I've bought, or re-arranging my budget for this pay period so that I can have it. Be smart and shop and enjoy your post-shopping trip with a fashion show of all your new stuff. Love it.

Oh and the line, "we'll go for 10 minutes" doesn't always work anymore on me for parties. Sometimes I'm literally tracking time on my cell phone while for others, 10 minutes becomes several hours, without permanent markers.

19 comments:

Arielle said...

Be strong! Or maybe if you want to stop shopping so much, just don't go with your friends so you won't even be tempted to buy.

And also, I am DEFINITELY interested in whatever bed bug remedies you can recommend! I don't want to get exterminated again and I don't want to take any chances! You can leave me a comment or email at arielleblogs@gmail.com. Thanks!!!

thatShortChick said...

Oh and the line, "we'll go for 10 minutes" doesn't always work anymore on me for parties. Sometimes I'm literally tracking time on my cell phone while for others, 10 minutes becomes several hours, without permanent markers.

story of my life right there.

Maxie said...

Oh i'm horrible about peer pressure-- shopping and other varieties. And i'm bad about ever taking stuff back too.

on a totally unrelated note I really want to see the bean that you have on your page when I come to chicago! Where is it? Is it anywhere near the navy pier?

Angela said...

People NEVER plan to go to a party for ONLY 10 minutes! They just SAY that! The only time a person is at a party for 10 minutes is when they PLAN to stay for 4 hours, but something/someone they don't like is there/happens. Then they skidaddle!

I'm pretty good about peer pressure when it comes to shopping. My friends will say "GET IT!" and I'll come close, but my brain always kicks in and I set the item back down.

Alexa said...

you must be strong!!! don't be pressured!

unless you secretly want to do it. haha

thegoodnamesaretaken said...

I love my kate spade messenger bag :)

One of my friends is especially gifted at the shopping pressure thing. I always end up buying things when I'm out with her, but they tend to be good purchases so I can't really be annoyed with her about it. And yeah, that 10 minute thing is never true.

Princess Pointful said...

I am suddenly very, very grateful YouTube didn't exist when I was a party-happy teenager. I may have even been infamous by now.

Cass said...

@ maxie--the bean is in millenium park,next to the art institute, not really near navy pier but not that far, you could take a cab...

@jess--your kate spade messenger bag is awesome, don't regret that purchase! ;-) I hope to see it tomorrow!

ANG* said...

ooooooh yeah. we should *never* shop together!

L Sass said...

My boyfriend is actually the worst shopping pressurer I know. I think that's because he wants to cut the debating short and move on!

Jenn said...

Jamie is hard to shop with. I'm an impulse buyer and often need someone with me to talk me out of purchases. Jamie encourages the $50 bag with matching wallet.

Jessica Claire said...

i prefer shopping solo but when with friends I so am the enabler

If i think something looks good i'll let them know!

Tipp said...

That is exactly why I don't shop with my girlfriends, it is bad news on the budget!

megkathleen said...

The line, "You can always return it," always gets me. It's also my sister's favorite peer pressure technique. And do I ever return it? Of course not!

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redstaplernation said...

Oh GAWD. The "you-can-always-return-it."

I'm sure you know as well as I do:
NO. YOU. CAN'T.

Because you won't.

barbetti said...

Haha "Peer pressure is okay." One of my friends and my favorite sayings is "peer pressure! peer pressure!" We always cave in.

But shopping can get me into trouble...so if I ever go shopping with you, remind me to only carry a set amount of cash. ;)

Blaez said...

i usually have no money so i can't be pressered by the peers.

my ex mother in law use to take me out with her to go shopping and she'd say "you'd look really cute in this" and buy it for me... muhahaha!

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