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Rock goes with roll. Ham goes with cheese. And a woman goes with shopping. That’s just the way it is.

I’m not certain of the exact age when the shopping bug takes over, but I’m confident it’s when we’re young—very young. I was officially initiated by my mom and my aunt. The month was November, and the day was Friday—Black Friday, of course.

Most men can’t begin to comprehend how important shopping is to most women. I tell the ones I’m close to that it’s like watching the big game on a huge, hi-def flat-screen TV with a keg of beer and heaps of cholesterol-laden junk food close by. I have golfers visualize playing under par every hole on a crystal-clear, 72-degree day.

I feel the stress exit my body. My palms begin to sweat as I float to the car, checking my wallet for cash and credit cards along the way. I fire up the ignition, my racing pulse settling into its happy shopping rhythm.

I plan my course of action while I’m driving: What Main Line shops should I hit, and in which sequence? On this day, I decide on a shoe store first, as finding the perfect pair in my size is difficult.

I hone in on my first retail target. I’m in. I look, I stop, I see, I drool. I hold my breath as I pop the question: “Do you have these in a five-and-a-half?”

“Why, yes. And, by the way, they’re on sale.”

I came, I saw, I conquered.

My first victory well in hand, I’m off to the next store. My fashionista friend told me about this one. I open the door. I stop a few feet inside and, in a surreal moment, everything slows to a halt. I’ll be spending some time here. In fact, they may have to throw me out.

I glide from rack to rack, table to table, my choices draped over my arm. A helpful employee suggests a dressing room, and I follow. Piece by piece, I try it all on, my rejects strewn about the dressing room.

Alleluia! I found the outfit to match my beautiful new shoes. My work here is done.

Before I know it, my shopping excursion is over. I retreat to the parking lot with my prized possessions and head home. I feel so good that no words will suffice—though “euphoria” comes close.

So, ladies, do something that’s sure to lift your spirit—shop. Get yourself out there. Better yet, bring some friends. That way, you can tell each other how fabulous you look. Have lunch—maybe even dessert. And don’t feel guilty. Think of all the calories you burned walking around and trying on all those outfits. (Who says exercise can’t be fun?)

When my kids were young, I’d plead with my husband to watch them while I did my thing. He’d sigh heavily in an expression of discontent, even having the audacity on occasion to suggest that I bring them along. The look I offered in response convinced him he was better off letting me go alone.

Smart move.

Joanne Cannon is a local freelance writer, the proud mother of two teenage sons and a confirmed shopaholic.

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