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04/10/2014 11:20 am ET Updated Apr 14, 2014

The 14 Emotional Stages Of Shopping A Blowout Sale

Whether you're out on a planned trip or happen to find yourself walking by a favorite store by chance, sometimes we all fall victim to shopping a great sale. That enticing, glorious "additional 50 percent off sign" in the window fills us with hope and fantasies of an updated wardrobe.

But it's not always all fun and games. As anyone who has ever attempted to take on a huge sale can tell you, it can be quite an emotional roller coaster. In fact, there are precisely 14 stages we experience on a shopping trip. Keep your hands and legs safely inside the shopping cart because this is going to be a bumpy ride.

1. Initial Attraction

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You see the store. The store sees you. Your heart skips a beat at words like "final markdowns" or "additional percent off."

2. Hesitation

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You know you don't really need anything, and you probably don't have room for anything new in your closet anyway, right?

3. Temptation

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"I wonder if that dress I saw online last week is on sale? It wouldn't hurt to look ..."

4. Joy

You're in! And there are racks on racks on racks of discounted clothing! Where to start? What to look at first? Maybe rethinking your outfit -- something stretchy would have been way more effective for this activity.

5. Thoughtfulness

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You get started on making your way through the goods. Nothing is TOO interesting, and your arm is starting to hurt. You're starting to wonder if you should just leave when ...

6. Shock

The dress you saw online IS on sale! You know you have no choice but to try it on. But if you're already going to get in a dressing room and take your clothes off, you might as well pick up a few other things, too.

7. Overheating

At this point, you have piled things so high on your arms you're starting to sweat. It's time to find a dressing room -- pronto.

8. Discouragement

You find yourself at the end of a treacherous line. And you're still sweating. You're about to leave the clothes right there on the table next to you, but something -- either the crippling desire of wanting to see how that dress looks on you or the guilt of knowing a sales associate is going to have to clean up that mess -- keeps you waiting.

9. Excitement

You finally get to the front of the line to realize you can only bring in seven things. But you have 10 things! You hesitate to leave the rest out there on the rack for all the other sale-crazed vultures to pick at. But you have no choice, and the salesperson has a kind face. So you do it.

10. Horror

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You get into the dressing room and start to take your clothes off when it hits you -- you have to pee. HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO TRY THINGS ON WHEN YOU HAVE TO PEE?

11. Stamina

You start going through the pile as quickly as possible. Hangers fly, shirts are inside out. You mean business. And you still have to pee.

12. Thoughtfulness (2)


You stare at all the things that you've tried on. You calculate how much everything would cost and then stop to think -- do you really need another black shirt? No, you do not.

13. Accomplishment


You leave the room with your selections in hand and make your way to the register and/ or bathroom, whichever comes first.

14. Defeat*

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You get to the cashier and realize the line to pay is even longer than the line was to try the clothes on. This time, all regard for others has escaped you and you drop everything on the floor, making a beeline for the door. You can buy this stuff online when you get home anyway.

*Admittedly Step 14 varies on just how badly you want whatever it is you end up finding. But if you make it through all of that, you need to go buy yourself an ice cream. You deserve it.

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