Thursday, December 6, 2007

Can I Stop Shopping Now?

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.

Are all these people unemployed?
Why are there so many people here
on a Thursday afternoon?

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.

Even Santa seems to be in pain.

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.


Marvin said...

And I've always thought that the shopping gene was on the X chromosome. Wrong again.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You poor girl. I wish I could shop for you. I am not a sport shopper but I don't mind especially if I have a list. Shopping all year just makes sense to me. You can't just go out and find something for someone just because the retailers deem it the season for gift giving. When I see something I think someone will like I buy it. Now this does create a problem from time to time. I put things away and forget them. So people have received gifts at odd times of the year just becasue I suddenly "find" something that has been squirreled away a little too long.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that could have been written by me. I also lack the shopping gene. And like you, every year I proclaim that I'll buy Christmas stuff all year long. And I never do.

I have found that Online shopping is much less tiresome and I can usually get something for everyone on the list.

However, you have it lucky. Next year you can make pottery for everyone. Make soup bowls for you mom, so they won't have to be dusted.

KGMom said...

I love to shop. . .online. My favorite type of mall--catalogs in the mail!

holly said...

I used to like to go if I got some b'day money. Just to be able to walk around with the luxury of money in my pocket, all meant to be spent on...ME. I'm not really into just wandering around or spending mindlessly (unless it's a bookstore ;) I get to the mall 1-2x a year.

For Mom - would she like a massage, or facial or mani or pedi? Gift card to a restaurant, theater production ticket or orchestra? Does she write letters or send cards? Pretty stationary, a box of cards covering every celebration (Happy Birthday, Sympathy, Congrats etc), stamps and a beautiful pen. Is she a tea drinker? A pretty teapot or cup and saucer set, with Earl Grey and English breakfast teas (and other flavors), a tea ball, some fancyschmancy buttery tea cookies. Coffee? A pretty mug, fancy coffee sampler, creamers or flavored sugars, again, some cookie or coffee treat.

Kathy said...

I so understand your feelings about shopping! I do not enjoy going to a crowded store with no idea what I am trying to buy! I want to spend the least amount of time as possible hunting down the perfect gift. The nearest mall is almost 150 miles away, so if I can't find things at the local grocery/department store, I go on-line and buy things there. Nope, I don't have the shopping gene!

Mary C said...

I have wondered the same thing about all those people shopping in the middle of the day. Don't they have a life? ;o) Shouldn't they be at work? If they are unemployed they shouldn't be shopping! I used to enjoy a little shopping years ago when the malls weren't as crowded as they are now. But those days are long gone. And I would rather shop online now.

Susan Gets Native said...

Online, baby. Online.
It saves sanity, and around here, you know that is a precious commodity.

holly said...

Ok, I have been one of those weekday mall shoppers - while gainfully employed people!!!

For a few years I worked 3-11 at the hospital. All errands had to be run during the day. When I went to day shift, my days off were Tues & Wed. When my work schedule went M-F, I used to take off a vacation day or leave early once in awhile this time of year to avoid the weekend crowds. When I worked at the Doc's ofc, we closed at noon on Wed. At the shop now, my offs are Sun & Mon. And I use my lunch to run errands too. A lot of people around here work shift work (factories, hospitals) so they have free time during the day. Not everyone has weekends off or works day shift only!!!

Kathy said...

Holly, you make a good point. I used to work the midnight to 8 am shift Friday through Monday, with Tuesday through Thursday free to do errands. If I had to shop, I preferred the times others weren't shopping. The day after Thanksgiving was to be avoided at all costs, after I tried that once and found it to be crazy out there. Seeing people fighting over the last sale item makes my hair stand on end!

holly said...

Kathy, my son is working at Walmart pt while in college, and he comes home with astonishing stories of Black Friday shoppers. About people fighting and ramming each other over carts, people who come in several times a day to inquire about Wii or PS3 (they get like 3 Wii a week in), people who swarmed a female employee cutting the shrink wrap off a pallet of small appliances until she just gave up and let them tear the plastic off and get it themselves. There is no bargain alive that would get me in a store on that day!

Kathy said...

I've heard those kinds of stories also Holly. One friend who does the Black Friday sales every year told me about people grabbing items out of other people's carts. Participating in human stampedes is not for me. Waiting outside in all kinds of weather for hours before the store opens to get a bargain isn't my cup of tea either.

Mary said...

Katdoc, I'm glad I strolled down to read this. You have me howling! I am like you. There is better things to do that waste time shopping. My daughter drags me around the malls like a ragdoll. When it comes to Christmas shopping, my husband enjoys it so I make him a list.

When it's time for me to brave the malls for Christmas, I choose to take a day off from work, be at the Mall 5 minutes before it opens on a Wednesday morning - sales or no sales!

Great post, and a very cute Mom!