Recently an email arrived in my inbox from an extraordinary lady; Deborah a.k.a Becky D, is the founding member of the League of Extraordinary Shopoholics. This group of ladies, and one honourary gentleman, are inspired by Sophie Kinsella’s Shopoholic series. They’ve come together to celebrate shopping, friendship and all things Rebecca Bloomwood.
Their story is so touching and unique, that we just had to tell it. Below is Becky D’s hilarious and heartwarming account of the League of Extraordinary Shopoholics. After reading this, I think you’ll agree with me, this is one of the most fabulous clubs around!
I guess it all started with the publication of the first book – Confessions of a Shopaholic!
I was on a business trip in Hong Kong and popped into Swindon Books to get myself something to read…the rest is kind of history.
Fell in love with this book and started buying copies for everyone, including my sisters and some of my clients (one in particular who would become one of my very best friends and my shopping partner-in-crime) and that would be Gail….a.k.a Becky G.
Gail and I have had the remarkable good fortune of traveling, often together, all around the world and we are both world-class shoppers. She is the prudent one and I am the impulsive and frivolous one and I quickly gained the nickname Rebecca Bloomwood. Personal correspondence, work correspondence, greeting cards, you name it…I WAS addressed as Becky and boy, did that name stick!
Gail was also buying the book and giving it as gifts to her circle of family and friends and soon we had roped in a group of crazed Shopaholic fans who were breathlessly awaiting the publication of the next installment of the Shopaholic’s Shenanigans!
The little tongue-in-cheek Becky joke started to take on a life of it’s own and provided us with so much fun and amusement, we figured we had to expand the club and soon we became known as The Becky’s…Everyone had to put their initial after Becky so we had Becky D., Becky G., Becky C., Becky A. and then we found ourselves with two J.’s so we needed to add the last name initials…in short, we are all Becky’s and we have all earned our shopping accolades and our auspicious Becky status!
8 or 9 years ago, Gail was on a trip to the U.S. and happened to be in one of our favourite stores – Nordstrom – where she discovered that, every July, they have a huge event called the Anniversary Sale. Well, it’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull…the team was small at that time so it was only a few of us who piled into a van (with designated shopping bag square footage assigned to each of us) and off we went for a 3-day junket to Detroit. Over the years, that lone van has grown into something of a convoy. Last year we had 3 separate vehicles carrying Becky’s galore (we even have an honourary male Becky in our group)! It was a banner year!
July of 2010 saw the introduction of our Shopaholic trophies…(photo below)
I should also note that we have a Becky stationed in Las Vegas and she runs our Becky Depot…many U.S. shipments filter through her warehouse.
Our Becky J (Jacquelyn) who is the Becky that was recently married, was thrown a marvelous Shopaholic Shower complete with credit card decorations, shopping bags everywhere, and a lovely letter from her good friend Derek Smeath (below). Becky A. (Amanda), her Matron of Honour, made a lovely speech and, you guessed it, shared with the entire room of wedding guests the story of our little Shopaholic club and that was quite a hit with everyone (except maybe Jacquelyn’s new husband who might have been a little nervous about it all…HAHA).
Our group consists of:
Becky J. (Jacquelyn) – recently married and the reason why I reached out to Random House in the first place…she gets credit for drawing us to your attention!
Becky A. (Amanda) - Matron of Honour for her Little Sis Becky J.
***These two Becky’s (frequently referred to as the youngsters) have been in the club for the last 4 years and have, up until this year, been known as the Junior Becky’s but after last year and this year, these Junior Shopaholics have truly surpassed their teachers so, although it hasn’t been taken to a vote yet, we fully expect them to achieve full Becky status as of this year!
Becky G. (Gail) – in fact, the aforementioned Becky’s worked for Gail previously and after witnessing their great potential, she promptly recruited them into the club. Gail is really the nucleus of the core members of our Nordstrom Shopping group. It was the discovery of the Anniversary Sale event that brought us all together and further perpetuated the whole Becky theme. It should be noted that our Becky G. has recently launched her new floral design business called…drum roll please…BLOOMWORKS, of course!!!
Becky C. (Cindy) – Gail’s sister is a founding member of the club and it is her van that has provided us with plenty of space to transport the spoils of our shopaholic adventures. Based in Waterloo, Cindy provides us with a central staging area for shopping co-ordination and is our designated driver and that works out just great cause she keeps her wits about her when the rest of us are drunk with shoppers euphoria.
Becky J.D. (Jane) – Gail’s former neighbour and very good friend who also happens to be a bank executive and we keep hoping we might borrow money from her but she keeps saying no! Recently transferred to Ottawa, Jane still drove from there to join us for the big 2012 Nordstrom Detroit Shopaholic trip and has already blocked next year in her calendar so she will not be deterred by mere distance.
Becky E. (Elizabeth) – my friend and my yoga instructor. She doesn’t make it to every shopaholic excursion but when she does, watch out!!! She can spend more money in 5 minutes than most shopaholics can in 5 hours so she makes up for lost time like nobody’s business.
Becky G.P. (George) – Elizabeth’s son and all around honourary Becky. Georgie LOVES to shop and boy he is one well put together Euro dude. George never runs out of steam and he shops for anything and everything. How could we not love him…hands down he is a Becky, through and through!
Becky A.F. (Amy) – runs the Vegas depot and facilitates and accommodates all shopping excursions from the Canadian Becky Division. She actually has an e-mail address called ‘vegasdepot’ and a designated shopaholic credit card that she uses for Becky procurement. Now that’s a friend! WE LOVE HER!
Becky V. (Vickie) – my sister, also a banker who won’t get me any money…sigh! Vick lives in Edmonton and although she has yet to make it to the Nordstrom event, she has still managed to achieve momentous Shopping distinction on her own…she is a force and a total blast to shop with! Recent obsession, all things “golf”…complete with custom-made pink flamingo shoes and Swarovski encrusted golf tees – oh and she’s taking lessons too so let’s hope that after all of these Becky-type purchases, she actually has aptitude!
And me…Becky D. (Deborah)…Frankly speaking, I should be getting Thank You cards, Christmas and Birthday gifts from VISA.
This year, we were treated to a Becky luncheon in the Nordstrom Cafe. The store manager got wind of our story and she was so taken with the whole thing, she arranged for us to be gifted our meal. Perhaps, in a world that has gone absolutely mad and with precious little to be happy about these days, the story of Rebecca Bloomwood, that little Shopaholic and her faithful devotees, gives people a reason to smile and what could be wrong with that?!?