Wednesday, 13 June 2012
27. Shopping anyone?
Every December, Matt turns to me and asks, “What would you really like for Christmas and your birthday?” He asks because that time of the year is especially gift-giving-busy in our household because its his birthday, then Christmas, my birthday, and then our wedding anniversary. Its no wonder he wants to roll it all into one. Anyhow, for the past 5 years or so, I’ve struggled to give him any sort of helpful tips to help him. Why? Because there is nothing that I really want or need. Plus, I loathe shopping with a CAPITAL ‘S’ – especially if its for me!
So, just a bit of background. Friends often tease Matt about how he enjoys shopping so much more than I do. The fluorescent lights, the endless racks all look numbingly similar to me. Add the overpriced merchandise and disinterested shop assistants and you’ve got a runner in me! Oh! And the newest trend where lights are turned down so low you cannot properly see what you’re buying AND music turned up nightclub-loud so you can’t hear the shop assistant explaining what you’re holding up?!? I’m not sure who is behind that ‘bright’ idea (pun intended!) but simply put: REALLY?!? Need I go on? But it only takes an hour or so before I start feeling sick. And yes, I actually get physical symptoms! First comes the headache, then the black spots and nausea, and then the dizziness and sore feet. And yet, I am official ‘present shopper’ of the family. Go figure.
Anyhow, all 5 of us were at the mall on the weekend, looking for white dress shorts for Matt because they were on his Father’s Day ‘wish list’. Mind you, the list was not very long. Just the shorts (but I have a couple of surprises up my sleeve!). Shop after shop, we walked in and out – wandering about quite aimlessly (in my opinion). After the first few shops, I suggested we saved time by asking the shop floor staff if they stocked white shorts. Matt was horrified by my suggestion. “But that would ruin the whole experience of shopping!” I stopped. Confused. “But, isn’t that the quickest way to get what you want?” Apparently not the point when it comes to shopping. By asking for help, I was in danger of reducing the “possible pleasure” I might experience from ‘discovering a find’ all on my own! Okaaaay then. Time to make a quick exit!
My approach to shopping (when I absolutely have to go) is more like a military operation: quickly in, a brisk scan, a speedy visit to the change rooms (but only if it cannot be avoided!), payment, followed by an instant exit – and NEVER with husband or children! Even so, Matt has been at me to buy myself a new pair of running shoes for the past 6 months but I keep putting it off. Maybe I am just waiting for a sale so big, I simply cannot refuse! Meanwhile, he’s threatening to frog-march me into the shops..
Let’s face it, shopping is really not my thing. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy buying presents for people and I can work up quite a passionate enthusiasm for grocery shopping – what can I say, I like gifting and food! In fact, whenever we are travelling, I make a point to go into the local supermarkets to browse through the aisles. But traipsing to the shops to buy something for me (be it face cream or a pair of shoes) is akin to visiting the gynaecologist or dentist. I fare no better when it comes to Internet shopping – although I will confess that many a moment have been frittered away ‘window shopping’ at some inane time in the dark of the night. I’ve even gone as far as ‘putting’ a few items in my ‘basket’. But come time to press the “buy and pay” button, I get buyers’ remorse: “What if it doesn’t look as good in ‘real life’?” “Hmmm, do I already have something similar?” “How often will I wear/use it?” And then after a while, I just lose interest and shut the ‘window’. I know. I would hate to shop with me too. And yet, I have friends who swear by it.
Maybe I just need more time to discover my inner shopping demon. Or maybe I should just accept I am what I am (ie a girl who has a strong aversion to shopping) and Matt is happier for it!