- The Washington Times - Friday, February 13, 2009

This weekend’s romantic comedy “Confessions of a Shopaholic” — about a girl who moves to New York City to work as a financial journalist, fall in love and shop, shop, shop — obviously was written before the economic meltdown. But let’s take the long view of history:

1. Marie Antoinette — So profligate was the 18th-century French queen (houses, clothes, jewelry, the standard fare) that she earned the nickname “Madame Deficit.” As the French say, plus ca change …

2. Dennis Kozlowski — Shopaholism is not, let it be noted, the exclusive preserve of women. The former Tyco CEO’s spendthrift ways ($6,000 on a shower curtain!) were nothing short of scandalous. He’s behind bars.

3. Wallis Simpson — The American parvenu whose relationship with Prince Edward led to Britain’s abdication crisis of 1936 was known for shopping binges in the United States. This while the United Kingdom was under wartime rationing restrictions.

4. Mary Todd Lincoln — All eyes nowadays are on her husband, the bicentennial of whose birth we celebrate this year. Low on the list of the savior of the Union’s problems back then was his wife’s notorious shopping habits — which, in fairness, probably owed much to mental depression and the loss of two of the couple’s four children.

5. Sarah Palin — You can take the governor out of Alaska, but you can’t take the governor out of Neiman Marcus. Or something like that.

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