Want to know where I got it?

I have realized that I seem to have a weird compulsion to explain where my clothes come from and how much I paid for them every time I receive a compliment. Actually, not just clothes, accessories too. I’ve sort of noticed for awhile that when someone says, “Hey, I like that skirt,” my response generally follows the format, “Oh, thanks. I got it at X for only $Y!” As in, “Oh, it’s Old Navy; $15!” Sure enough, yesterday when one of my classmates complimented my new sunglasses, I immediately blurted out, “These are my $11 grocery store sunglasses!”

Why does that matter? Do I somehow think the person extending the compliment wants to know where they can get the same item? Or am I proud of having gotten a bargain and want to share the information? It’s all very weird, I know. The best I could figure out is that I seem to feel some need to justify why I’ve bought something new — “They only cost $11! I’m not a profligate spender, I swear!” Also, I think there’s some weird neurosis in there about disclaiming the compliment — “Oh, they’re not really as nice as you think. They’re Nine & Co., but I got them at the grocery store. I’m not really that fashionable.”

Where does this come from? I have no idea. Looking back over some recent conversations, I realized I’ve done this at least three times in the last week. As I said, it’s a compulsion. I’m going to try to stop the blurting.

3 Responses to “Want to know where I got it?”

  1. regan
    August 21st, 2007 13:35

    I read on the great internet that woman do this for two reasons:
    1. We are proud of our bargain finds since we are constantly told to spend more more more on our clothes and accessories.
    2. Because we don’t want people to think we are the kind of girl that would spend money on clothes and accessories. We want to avoid looking superficial in the “there are starving children in the world, but I choose to buy $200 sunglasses” sort of way

    I can’t think of one female I know that does not do this. At the very least, we will automatically offer up the name of the store where we found the item. It really is a strange compulsion. I would love for boys to start doing this “Man, I love your hard drive” “Thanks, I got it at Frye’s for $49.99, can you believe that!?!”

  2. Erin
    August 22nd, 2007 12:38

    I think Dan does do that, but I get your drift. I’ve become really self-conscious about this, because I don’t actually notice other women doing it. My sister-in-law, who was on the receiving end of two out of the three times I said this recently, sort of absorbed the information with a quizzical look on her face. Then again, she’s not so much a bargain shopper, because they have a bazillion dollars.

    Side note: I really liked your address change card! Congratulations on the move!

  3. sportsgirl
    August 26th, 2007 20:04

    You know, I also this this is just one more way that woman prove they cannot accept a compliment. I think we think that if we simply say “thanks” when someone compliments an item of clothing, that the compliment giver will think “gosh what a snob”. Almost like if someone says “you look pretty” you feel like the appropriate response is “oh thanks, I got like no sleep last night and I feel fat”, so as not to act like it’s a given that you’re pretty. I have this same complulsion when someone compliments my clothing.

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