The Joys of Retail Therapy JoanFebruary 18, 2013Art & Culture70 Comments275 views Caution: This post contains a surprise giveaway! There are few of us, and when I say us I am referring to us fashion-adoring / shopping-loving girls, who are not familiar with the anecdotes and adventures of Rebecca Bloomwood, the central character of Confessions of a Shopaholic. And, as much as we would all want to trade places with her, at one point or another, mostly when she was meeting the man of her dreams while buying the latest Louis Vuitton bag, I’m sure we were all aware of the underlying threat of overspending and especially of overusing our credit cards. But as much as we’d like to be rational about our shopping habits, the fact remains that we are indeed living in a consumerist society in which shopping is the easiest, albeit not cheapest, solution to a lot of our 1st world, occasionally superficial, problems. Yet as I see it, there are two ways of looking at the matter. We can get on our high horse and say that shopping is not the answer, but let those who have never spent their food money on the latest issue of Vogue or who have never saved up for that perfect leather jacket throw the first stone. Or, we can simply acknowledge that shopping really is truly enjoyable, and simply give into the self-indulging. Moreover, as it turns out, according to some novel research, shopping is literally a form of therapy! It seems that the same brain chemical, dopamine, is released while shopping as when we exercise, receive a hug or even fall in love. Additionally, “MRI studies of brain activity suggest that surges in dopamine levels are linked much more with anticipation of an experience rather than the actual experience — which may explain why people get so much pleasure out of window-shopping or hunting for bargains.” * Whether we shop online while sitting in bed or in an actual store, with friends or alone, compulsive or carefully planned, shopping has the addictive effect of simply making us feel good. Thus, even if we just window-shop or actually shop, regardless of increasing credit card bills, we, just like shopaholic Becky, love to shop. So what if I told you that we can have our cake and eat it too? What if I told you there is a credit card that not only offers interest-free installments, but also pays us to shop. No, I’m not dreaming, nor hallucinating, in fact, I’m just being informative because such a card doesexist, it’s called Bonus Cardand it’s courteously brought to us by Garanti Bank. I now have my very own Bonus Card and cannot wait to use it! Hence, besides being able to buy things with interest-free installments, if you shop within the considerable partners’ network that Bonus Cardhas, you receive bonus points which you can then spend within the same shops. Also, if you think things can’t get better that this, allow me to assure you they can, as I have prepared a very special contest for you in collaboration with Garanti Bank! The only thing you have to do is to leave a comment telling us about your addiction(read passion) for shopping. And, one of the most “shopping addicted” reader will receive a prize of 1.500 lei to spend at their will within the vast network of Bonus Cardpartners! Here you can find more details about the contest: http://www.facebook.com/GarantiBankRomania Good luck and happy shopping! *The Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113382650575214543.html) Mini & I wish you… Love.