See, this is why one should tidy up their desk multiple times a week, as opposed to only doing it before Mercury goes into retrograde, because they just might find a treasure trove of random gift cards!
Over the years, I’ve learned that there are three types of gift card people in this world.
- The people that spend their gift cards decisively and right away without any hesitation.
- The people who hoard their gift cards, allegedly for a rainy day, but end up holding on to them for months or years. (Ahem! Yours truly.)
- The people who totally forget about or lose their gift cards and end up frittering away what was essentially free money. (I hate to admit it, but I’ve been this person, too.)
Why do I hoard gift cards for so long? — because honestly it makes no sense. I like to shop.
No, I loooove to shop. I could get an honorary Ivy League PhD in the shopping arts, LOL! And I especially love that I get to pick exactly what I want when I use a gift card, because I’m super picky about…well, almost everything.
(And this is why it took me more than 10 years to finally decide on a new couch.)
But with great power comes great responsibility. Do you spend the gift card on something you need, or do you spend it on something you want? And if you go with something you need, do you play it safe, or do you get the thing you’ve been lusting after forever but never would have gotten yourself in a million years?
For example, say you suddenly get a $400 gift card to spend solely (ha ha) on shoes. Do you buy a single pair of Jimmy Choo glitter heels (SWOON), or do you go the practical route and buy the four pairs of Nike running shoes that you know you love and wear all the time (and that you know you’ll eventually go through over several years)?
As you can probably guess, those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books were a great source of vexation for Little Karen when she was a kid.
All of this is to say that I’ve been sitting on a Nordstrom gift card for months.
I know I should probably use it to replace my favorite Blank NYC faux leather jacket, which I’ve worn and loved for years. It held up well, but the pseudo-leather is falling off in huge flakes on the back of the collar, and I don’t think there’s a good way to fix it. Thankfully, I found out that Nordstrom still sells the exact same jacket.
I’ve hesitated to pull the trigger, though, because part of me thinks that even though I’ll wear it all the time…why not look around for something new and different?
Beyond that, should I even use the gift card get a jacket? I could use it instead on that Chantecaille foundation I’ve wanted for a while…
I think that maybe because gift cards feel like getting free money it ups the ante on the final decision. There’s more pressure.
Another funny thing I’ve noticed about gift cards — and I know I can’t be the only person who does this — once I finally get around to spending one, I still keep the physical card, instead of throwing it away.
Why I do this, I don’t know, but it results in a whole mess of confusion.
[I guess it’s kind of like going to the Chanel counter and leaving with your purchases in a Chanel bag? That is, you know the bag is disposable, but you keep it around anyway because it says Chanel? I MAY OR MAY NOT KEEP THIS, DECIDE LATER.]
I think it may be time to turn over a new leaf and transform into one of those decisive gift card people — or so she says after adding and removing the same black jacket to her cart multiple times over the past hour…
How do you typically handle your gift cards? If you’re the type who always knows how much is left on them, or if you can readily and swiftly make a decision, teach me your ways!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,