I have kept this secret long enough. You might as well know the truth about me. I was born without the shopping gene. I absolutely HATE to shop. I get no thrill from sales, markdowns, or stalking the wild bargain. I can't stake out a pair of pants and then visit them daily, waiting for them to go on clearance. I go clothes shopping twice a year, only because I have to. I usually find a pair of pants that fit, then buy them in 4 different colors. If that happens to be the day they are on sale, so be it. As far as I can tell, every day there is a sale.
I recognize that a certain amount of shopping is necessary for life - food, clothes, dog toys, the odd present. But, shopping as a sport? Ugh. The crowds, the noise, the prices, and the overwhelming amount of STUFF that the retail industry insists we can't live without - it all makes me crazy.
Oh, I like shopping well enough when I am in some funky little place and I see something that would be perfect for a friend or relative (or me!), but to deliberately go out to stores to buy something specific - I would rather have root canal. At least with oral surgery, you get an anesthetic.
This year, Christmas shopping is particularly difficult. I have no idea what to buy my mother. (Mom, if you are reading this, please stop now.) She doesn't want "anything she has to dust." She has a super-sensitive nose, so candles, potpourri, and any scented bath products are out. "What stinks in this store? Oh, it's the soaps and lotions." Every year I buy her a sweater. I think she is sick of them.
I asked her what she wanted. She sent me an e-mail that said: "Eight gifts. Two pair black socks, two pair white socks, two pair navy socks, two pair tan socks." Mother. That is not 8 gifts, that is one gift called "socks." (I have a good mind to buy 8 pairs of socks, take the pairs apart, and wrap them in 16 different packages.)
Today, I was off work, it was a sunny, clear day, and I wanted to go birding. Instead, I went Christmas shopping. Again. In a mall. Again. Pass the Novacaine.
This trip, the main goal was Kenwood Towne Center. As malls go, this one isn't bad. It is two stories tall, with multiple arms extending from the central core, it is far from my house, and it is currently undergoing construction. But, at least it is full of expensive stores where I can't afford anything.
So far this month, I have been in 2 malls, 2 books stores, 3 hobby/craft stores, 2 bath/linens stores, 4 (?) music stores, a feed store (twice), 1 pet store, and 6 or 8 other assorted department and specialty stores. I have gotten gifts for my sister, my staff, and my dogs. And for my mom? Socks. (MOM! I told you to stop reading!)
I swear, next year, I am going to Christmas shop all year 'round, rather than doing this again. As long as the stores provide analgesics, that is.