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Emotional Shopping 101

I am an emotional shopper.

Having recently gone through the break-up of a 4-1/2 year relationship, which continues to be followed by silly crushes (big and small, all of which cause a roller-coaster of emotions) I find myself getting urges to go to the mall. All of the shiny new things and hip clothes make me happy. I enjoy looking at them, pretending that I can buy them all, and finally settling on the few items that are within my budget. My emotions are usually bigger than my budget.

I hate perpetuating stereotypes- but you know me, it’s something I do well. The truth of the matter is that lots of gays work in retail. Lots. So I have to admit that the newly single, flirtatious me sort of enjoys that element of shopping as well. I love flirting with the cute gays that are working in various stores. When they flirt back and give me the special “Fashion Valley gay discount” it boosts my self-esteem, which takes me back to the emotional shopper thing. The whole experience makes me feel just so good.

Since shopping is on my mind (I went three times this past weekend) I thought I would share some of my favorite shopping spots. Of course, the “ultimate” shopping experience in San Diego is Fashion Valley. Sure it is a great mall, but even better, there are just so many gays there! Everywhere you turn there is a gay, plus all of the hot foreign men who work at the little carts in the middle of the mall. They aren't necessarily gay, but their sexy accents have swayed me into buying so many things I do not need.

Some of the gayest stores at this mall include: The Mac Store, Armani Exchange, H&M, Express, and Abercrombie & Fitch. It is fun to go into these stores and see how many gays are working there (remember: “Fashion Valley gay discount”) and how many other gays I can eye shopping. My new favorite store at the mall is called Cotton On. It just opened last week and there are only two stores in the US at this time. It's an Australian brand and has some great styles for really cheap! Sort of a smaller, but even cheaper H&M. I bought a lot of things there this weekend and it made me happy.

Aside from the mall, Hillcrest is of course, always a shoppers paradise. With the great shops along Fifth Avenue and others scattered throughout the ‘hood, who needs the mall? Buffalo Exchange, Flashbacks, Luigi Vera, and Urban Outfitters are just a few of the stores along Fifth that offer great fashions for pretty reasonable prices. There is even a cool candle store called Cathedral on University, a few doors down from Column One, where you can find some great fountains and really gay statues. Further down University is Obelisk, which always provides the perfect pick-me-up spot as I browse through the fun gifts, magazines, and videos. And ACE Hardware Hillcrest is just about the gayest hardware store in town, where you can find great wine glasses next to the drills and screws.

Other fun places to shop in the county include the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista, Plaza de Americas Outlet Center in San Ysidro, the funky shops along Coast Highway in Encinitas, and if you want to take a drive up to the OC there is always South Coast Plaza.

Certainly, I don’t recommend emotional shopping. It can be dangerous to your credit health and bank account balance. My credit cards hate me but my closet loves me! See you at the mall!