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.