NEW YORK CITY — My boyfriend confessed to me recently that he'd stumbled upon my diary, and was perplexed to learn that one of my New Year's resolutions from 2005, during my first year in New York, was "to chew more." (At the time, I was in pursuit of skinny-ness and macrobiotic virtue.)
When it comes to resolutions, I'm aiming higher these days. I believe that if we make better shopping choices we can streamline our existence.
It takes a certain dedication, for example, to go to 10 shops in search of the perfect pot holders (I found them at Les Toiles du Soleil, by the way). But it's worth it — shopping can limit our feelings of self-loathing, make others happy, and allow you to never be caught in the rain without an umbrella again.
Here are my shopping resolutions for 2013:
1. Remember that I am not a socialite or a jockey.
I'm getting real, and only spending money on what is wearable, really — especially shoes. It’s a shopping truth that shoes become less expensive every time you wear them. If you buy a pair for $1,000 and wear them 1,000 times, then that’s $1 per wear. Wear them only once, and that’s an expensive stroll. I may prefer to own the towering heels of designer Charlotte Dellal, who recently opened a Charlotte Olympia shop in New York, or the riding boots from E. Vogel, but before I buy the next pair, I’m going to say out loud: “Amazing. But not my life.” Instead, I'll go for for the Charlotte Olympia pussy cat flats, which I will wear a thousand times more.
2. Apply the buy-in-bulk principle to the hostess gift.
I’m always rushing around like a lunatic before every party or weekend invitation. But no more. I am going to buy 10-at-a-time gifts from S.O.S. Chefs, the magical shop on Avenue B full of unusual mushrooms and unexpected edibles where I buy honeycomb; colorful ukuleles from Chelsea Guitars; and sugar lemon soaps and candles from Fresh. These things cost about the same as a bottle of wine, but are more thoughtful and surprising. Hopefully once you’re all stocked up on hostess gifts the invitations won't dry up.
3. Find the perfect umbrella and buy 10 of them.
I’m still on the look-out for the perfect $10 umbrella because I lose them all the time. But in the meantime, I’m strangely obsessed with browsing Rain or Shine on 45th Street. If I trusted myself for a second, I would get one of their gorgeous high-end pieces, but their basic furled umbrella, lightweight, but strong and with a no-fail spring opener, at $39 is tops.
4. Stop buying sad flowers from Whole Foods.
Instead, I will head to Associated Cut Flower on 28th Street in the Flower District, where my friend David Drumgold, a majordomo of grand events, directed me. You can buy fields of flowers for half the price — and they will last twice as long.
5. Not to be tricked into buying fraudulent Manolo Blahniks from an eBay seller in China.
If it sounds too good to be true ... it probably is, and yet I pressed "buy it now." Two months later the "Something Blue" Manolo Blahnik Hangisis that Mr. Big gave Carrie in "Sex and the City" arrived at my door. It would be hard for anyone to tell the difference between these imposters and the real ones, except for the pervasive smell of glue that makes me fear I’m being poisoned every time I take them out of the box. I’ve learned my lesson about accidentally buying fakes time and time again — if you’re getting an unbelievable deal on a designer label, you’re being taken — and yet I am always taken. Not in 2013.
Victoria Floethe is the host of "Sex and Shopping" on LookTV, and the founder of The Desire Project, an interview series and website about what girls want in life, love, and in bed. She attended Vassar College and lives in New York City.