Vignettes of Ruin and...

Virtua Retailia (the Goddess of Internet Shopping & Credit Card Debt)

In Gluttony on February 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I feel bad. I feel ugly. I feel completely colourless. Virtua Retailia, help me! Heed my prayer!

Pamphlets for this god arrive in the form of email newsletters. They spam up my inbox like an irrepressable virus. The amount of unread emails in bold font depresses me. So many emails wanting attention yet they somehow accentuate my isolation. I think maybe, I will just delete them, regardless of the one genuine email I may delete in the process. But then something catches my eye.

An extra 10% off all sale items! For online shoppers only! Plus free delivery until midnight Sunday…don’t miss out!!

Miss out? The hell I will! Virtua Retailia, I thank you!

You deserve it, says Virtua. It has been such a long time since you had something nice. Wouldn’t you feel better, with a nice new dress? Maybe a new pair of shoes to go with? And what about some new eyeshadows? You go through so much and no one even knows. Give yourself a break.

I systematically visit all my favourite sites. New dress? How about ten new dresses at these prices? So much better than the actual shops. I will just add everything I want to my cart as if I had money to burn and then I will delete all my least favourites at the checkout- to save even more! I look good in knit dresses and knee high boots with fur trim. The dark colours set off my long red hair. And these shoes? I am just going to buy every pair I fancy whether I have anything to go with them or not. I would spend the same on one sale pair in the shops in town as I would on 7 pairs on this site and they are the exact same brand. Not to mention I am running out of make up. I need my Christian Dior. I need my Chanel. Only the best goes on my face. And why not a new lip palette while I am at it? I love you, Mac!

Virtua Retailia is smiling, her eyes are sparkling, alive with some private joke. She nods encouragingly.

While I am at it, I might as well see what bargains are to be had in the DVD department. A new TV DVD box set? I’m not one for the whole vampire thing, but I hear True Blood is supposed to be good and isn’t it made by the folks who made Six Feet Under? Well I just loved Six Feet Under. True Blood it is! Click! And it’s been ages since I checked out some Asian horror, that Hansel & Gretel looks good- click! and what about an epic Chinese war movie? 14 Blades: click! Or some French whimsy? Micmacs- click! Or something depressing and Danish? Flame & Citron, click! I can’t wait to see Arietty, the new Miyazaki, but why not Ponyo in the interim? Click! Also, I need some new books. I said I would check out that Comic Book Tattoo based on Tori Amos songs. Click! And a new vegetarian cookbook for my recent conversion to vegetarianism. Click!  And a book on the symbolism of nature in paintings- for some inspiration of course- click! Virtua Retailia is laughing softly, it is her fingers dancing off the lap-top keys, not mine! I am her vessel.

Also, I am about to finish Red Dead Redemption on the PS3. I need some new gameage and fast. Mass Effect 2- click! Borderlands- click! AC Brotherhood – click! Dead Space 2 – click!

Had better download some apps to my phone and some new tracks to my ipod- once I do that, I swear, I swear! I will stop.

Add to cart, add to cart, add to cart. Virtua is laughing loudly now. Add to cart, add to cart, add to cart. She is laughing so hard, she is practically wheezing. Add to cart, add to cart, add to cart. The refrain of her hymn rings repeatedly in my mind.

The exhilaration of my spending orgy comes to a close and I am suddenly racked with guilt. Guilt -the badge of the worshipper. The fallout from abandoned rapture! I have easily just spent a months wages and I am still trying to pay for my last spending spree. I think of my impending credit card bill and all the interest and that pain in my side which I think is an ulcer starts to throb.  I just won’t spend for the forseeable future, I tell myself. That’s it, that’s all I am spending now, enough!

But now you have so many pretty things to look forward to. Every time a package arrives, it will be like an gift from someone who truly knows you- you rarely remember what you buy anyway! So it’s always a nice surprise.Virtua reassures me.

Yes, Virtua Retailia, you’re right, I am forever in your debt.


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  1. I have been a disciple of this Goddess a few times myself. My weaknesses are books and family history documents… but the process is very familiar 🙂

  2. oh no! Can you return them? I’m serious! Thanks for stopping by my blog, btw 🙂

  3. Wow… So many worship this Goddess!!! I do sometimes…i’m just human after all. What makes one feel better than to indulge one’s self over a good cart full of stuff???? LOL

  4. Oh, likewise, I love how cheap everything is online, however I am very weary and reluctant to bow to Vertua Retailia. My sister worships this one. Seeing this hole in her pocket and the beginnings of obsession has warned me against bowing.

  5. your stories are more than current… very contemporary, we are all tied in any way with any of these consumer vices (tv, internet, money, luxury, etc)… There are real people behind your stories? I’m reading a book that says we are all mesmerized by consumerism …

  6. Hi Daniela, yes there are real people behind them. That book sounds interesting, what is it called? It is certainly true that we are mesmerised by consumerism, I would even say “consumed” by it.

    • 🙂 The book is called Mesmerization: Why We Are Losing Our Minds to global culture … the author is Gee Thompson (Thames and Hudson Ed). It is a fully graphical book with taxonomies and classifications of different ways and aspects of culture, eg describes the values of people who devote themselves to extreme work, versus those who work for a dream, those who want money fast and easy or of those who think better in the moment … I leave the link of the book
      http://www.mesmerization.com/, see you!

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