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钟情打折货
aimar928人气3100日期08/09/08
Restless in the small hours and with research for a novel as my alibi, I stumbled across an internet questionnaire yesterday devised by a high-class rehabilitation facility. This residential treatment centre does not just cater for the more well known addictions (drink, drugs, gambling), it offers programmes for those who drink too many hot drinks, and those who feel compelled to help other people to their own detriment (compulsive helping dominant). The questions were manifold and diverse.

“Do you have a sense of increased tension and excitement when you see advertisements for caffeine substances?

Do you regularly give unsolicited advice to other people on how to solve their problems?

Do you only feel you become a real person when shopping?”

How interesting, I thought, ticking the boxes to some of the questions and laughing grandly at others for the assumptions they make about the way people live. “Have you ever rushed or skipped a meal in order to get straight to the coffee stage?” I just wasn't sure about a number of these questions. In the world of compulsion and denial, no behaviour is innocent.

I didn't seem to register too highly on the addictive behaviour graph. I do like to help people whether they want it or not, and am a little fonder of buns than is perhaps wise, but only within the sphere of normality, it transpires. I don't tend to get upset when someone close to me takes care of someone else, but I will confess I did feel a shimmer of jealousy yesterday when my sister described her Prada sale triumph.

She set the scene with relish: the inky fabric, double gaberdine of exquisite quality, the immaculate way the buttons were sewn, the lining which was matchless. “It's thin fabric, a party coat, really, but the mink collar makes it quite warm.”

“How brilliant,” I said. “Great. SO nice. You are clever.” I did not want to seem mean. Besides, if I can't have something new that's lovely and amazing, she would be my second choice. Party coats may seem extravagant, but they are so mood-altering.

But I have been neglecting my shopping lately. I'm not ashamed of the fact, though when your most dazzling recent acquisition is a stainless steel and emerald green plastic spatula, it's time to take stock.

This afternoon, at the Harrods sale, a polka dot Moschino evening dress caught my eye. Short sleeved, low cut, A-line and very dark navy with dark blue dots, it was extremely me. I tried it on, admired the large reduction and made the purchase. No matter that I have two Moschino polka dot dresses already; one is too small and the other turquoise and orange. The dress is comfortable and if anything a little large, which always feels good. And it's just quiet enough to wear to the seven book launches that I have pending.

Back home, suddenly I wasn't quite so sure. I might need a sign pointing out that the extra fabric is fabric, not my flesh. Still, a new dress is a new dress, so I couldn't help but feel pleased, and if I find myself giving my sister a ring later and describing it, at length, in quite some detail, it doesn't make me a bad person, does it?

我昨晚一直熬到后半夜还没睡觉。本想为我的一部小说做一些调研,不过,却碰巧看见了由一家高级康复机构设计的网上问卷。这个住院式的治疗中心不仅治疗常见的沉溺症(酗酒、吸毒、赌博),还提供其它康复计划,目标人群是那些饮用太多热饮的人,以及有强迫症、非要帮助他人改掉坏毛病的人(显性帮助强迫症)。问卷上的问题纷繁复杂。

“在你看到咖啡因物质的广告时,能感到紧张和兴奋程度有所提高吗?”

“你是否经常主动为他人提供如何解决他们问题的建议?”

“你是否只有在购物时才感到自己是个真正的人?”

我觉得,回答其中某些问题,并狠狠地嘲笑有些人对其他人生活方式的假设,是件很有趣的事。“你是否曾为了直接去喝咖啡,而匆忙地吃饭或者干脆不吃饭?”我对类似这样的问题不太确定。在一个充满强迫和自制的世界里,没有什么行为是纯粹的。

在上瘾行为表上,我的排名似乎不太高。但我的确愿意帮助别人,不管他们愿意不愿意;同时,我有点喜欢喝酒,或许超过了“明智”的程度,但结果表明,这还在正常范围内。当我亲近的人关心别人时,我不会感到心烦,但我要承认,当我妹妹昨天讲述她成功买到普拉达(Prada)的减价衣服时,我确实感到有点嫉妒。

她津津有味地表述了那一幕:墨黑的面料,双层华达呢的高雅品质,缝纫扣子的完美方式,无与伦比的衬里。“那种面料很薄,是件礼服,的确是这样,但貂皮领子让人穿起来会感到十分温暖。”

“好靓啊,”我说,“太棒了。非常好。你太聪明了。”我不想让人看起来很小气。此外,如果我没有可爱而又令人惊讶的新东西的话,那么,她将是我的第二选择。礼服可能看起来很奢侈,但它们很能改变人们的心情。

但我最近一直没有购物。我对这个事实并不感到惭愧,不过,当你近来得到的最“闪亮”的东西,就是一把由不锈钢和祖母绿塑料制成的调色刀时,增加库存的时候就到了。

今天下午,在Harrods减价大卖场,一条Moschino圆点花纹晚礼服吸引了我。短袖、低胸、A字裙剪裁,点缀着很深的藏青色和深蓝色圆点,非常合我的胃口。我试了一下,挺合身,而且非常喜欢这么大幅的减价,所以就买了。事实上,我已经有两条Moschino的圆点花纹晚礼服了;一条太小了,另一条是青绿和橙色相间的。新买的这条裙子穿起来很舒服,而且所有大一号的东西总会让人感觉不错。它非常文雅,我完全可以穿着它参加即将召开的7场新书签售活动。

回到家里,我突然不那么确定了。我可能需要一个标记,指出这件衣服上鼓鼓囊囊的东西是衣服布料,不是我身上的赘肉。尽管如此,新裙子就是新裙子,我抑制不住兴奋的心情;而且,如果我稍后给我妹妹看个戒指,而且详细地描述一通,那不能说明我就是个坏人吧?
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