I hang out with a lovely group of confident, single women.  They’re normal girls with careers and hopes and dreams, much like me.  We do normal things together like watch movies, go out to eat, and shop for clothes.  The conversation is funny and sharp, and I love these girls.  But, I have to confess, I feel like an outsider when I’m with them.  I mean, they’re normal girls if you know what I mean.  They like normal girl things, which I appreciate to a certain extent. 


However, sometimes I have to be a little more mainstream than usual if I want to spend time with them.  This weekend I found myself with nothing to do on a Saturday night, so I called them up. (Well, I texted them up.  Who calls anyone anymore?) Turns out they wanted to do dinner and a movie. 


They’d decided to see the Jerry Bruckheimer extravaganza…Confessions of a Shopaholic.  Say it with me: Ugh


But, I decided to go anyway because I figured a night out with the girls would be worth the two hours and $10 spent on inane fluffy normalcy


And this is why I ended up in a dark theater tonight along with a herd of women.  I rather felt like an anthropologist examining leisure rituals of another species.


What can I tell you about this movie?  Well, the previews were fantastic!  (Monsters vs Aliens? I am so there!)  I know, I know, I’m just kidding.  


All joking aside, I have to confess (another confession!) that this movie had a very different effect on me than what I was expecting.


It began predictably:  Vivacious and Beautiful Girl whose name escapes me ( Vivacious, Beatiful Girlplayed prettily by Isla Fisher) revels in her life as a small-time journalist in the big time city of New York.  She admits to being a shopaholic and she can’t keep her credit card from the big leagues.  Think Burberry, Prada, Barneys, and Yves St. Laurent.  Her dream is to work for a huge fashion magazine called ‘Allette,’ which is the name of  the founder and chief editor (played exquisitely by Kristin Scott Thomas).   


Oh no!  Vivacious Beautiful Girl loses her job!  How is she going to support her shopping habit and pay down an incredible $16,000 in credit card debt?  Wait!  Hugh Dancy to the rescue. 


Ok.  Now I’m paying attention.  Hugh Dancy can get my attention any day.


What was I saying?  Oh yeah, sorry.  This movie sounds rather predictable and formulaic, non?  Let me assure you: it is just that.


However, why did I find myself shrinking lower into my badly padded theater chair?  Why did my shoulders hunch guiltily at certain moments throughout the movie and why did I leave with an overall feeling of slight shame and the need to justify certain things about my own life? As it turns out, Vivacious Beautiful Girl and I have more in common that I would ever admit to anyone but you, dear reader.


Of course I don’t buy Kate Spade bags and Gucci….stuff, but I rack up my own kind of credit card debt. Nerd Credit Card Debt.


What does NCCD consist of, you ask?  Hah!  Don’t look so innocent.  You know very well.  Dig deep and let’s examine it, shall we?


books 1. Books.  Ah, the most difficult to escape — the most pernicious and persistent participant in my credit card bills, if you’ll forgive my alliteration.  Books are for smart people. Books hold knowledge and epic sea battles between sea serpents and pirates instructions on how to better myself! Books contain recipes for food to eat while I’m entertaining guests at my latest Settlers of Cattan party! While Vivacious Beautiful Girl in the film justifies her purchase of insanely hideous purple cashmere gloves by telling herself that it’s winter and ‘she has hands,’ I will justify my purchase of the complete works of Ray Bradbury with a much weaker argument: it’s bound up paper with page numbers.  How awesome is that?  I mean, is there anything better than the smell of a new book?  A used book?  A cook book?  Nothing.  There’s nothing like it.  …. 


Uh, sorry.  I had to gaze at my bookshelves for a minute.


2. DVDs.  This one is a tough one because horrible conniving retailers have conspired against us.  They’ve made DVDs so freaking cheap!  How can I feelDoctr Who Season $ boxed set guilty for dropping a mere $7.99 on a new version of Bill and Ted’s Excellent AdventureAttack of the Killer Tomatoes?  The latest season of The Big Bang Theory? And what about the Mel Brooks movies?  Even Vivacious Beautiful Girl would have to concede that one to me.Can’t we consider DVDs an investment? 


I’ll have you know that when I comb Amazon.com for the possible release of the 3rd season of Perfect Strangers, I’m only thinking of my children. Yes, I know I don’t have children.  I’m talking of course about my future children!  Because of my foresight they will enjoy Bill and Ted long after I am dead.  They will revel in the high jinks of Doctor House with their own children and remember me with love.


"Thank goodness mom loved us enough to own every movie and TV show on DVD.  We don’t even need Netflix."   Yes, they will think that. 


3. Various Craft Paraphernalia.  In my case, this is yarn. I do need to alpacamake my 3rd cousin’s new born baby a hand-knit romper out of purple alpaca fleece that costs $17 an ounce.  I do!! Don’t give me that look.  Like you needed to quilt that alarm clock cozy for your best friend last month. 





4. iStuff.  It doesn’t even have to be iStuff.  It could be Microsoft Stuff, LG Stuff or Samsung Stuff.  But all I know is that it’s shiny and new and iPod touchsmall….and it now comes with a feature that will help me discover the cure for cancer.  No, I can’t wait until it goes down in price.  Yes, I will wait in line for it.



5. Video Games and various Consoles and Accessories.  Hah, game consolesdid I hear you making fun of me for waiting in line?  What about that overnight you enjoyed in the Wal-mart parking lot last year when the Xbox, Wii, whatever came out?  As you can tell, this isn’t my particular vice, but I know that it is for MANY of you.  You know who you are. 


Can we sit by and make fun of Vivacious Beautiful Girl for her addiction to Prada when we slink so guiltily to Best Buy or Barnes and Noble three times a week? 


Hm.  Well, yes.  We can.


However, my snickering doesn’t change the fact that I am at the mercy of Doctor Who, Peter Jackson, the JRR Tolkien Estate, the BBC, and science fiction/fantasy authors everywhere.  I spend too much money on the junk food I eat while I watch, knit, read and otherwise enjoy all of my purchases.  I scrape together the funds to pay for my Internet connection so I can continue to spread the nerdy joy, read the nerdy blogs, and add my important opinion to the nerdy discussion forums.  It’s all very necessary, wouldn’t you say?


Guess what, Vivacious Beautiful Girl from the movie? — I’m a shopaholic too.  Maybe they’ll make a movie about me one day.