SHOP? Not If I Can Help It! — By Gene K. Garrison

Shopping is not one of my favorite activities. Put more succinctly, I am a woman who hates to shop. What’s fun about searching for things?

Do most women have hunting genes in their biological makeup? Why isn’t it the men who like to shop? Aren’t they the mighty hunters?

I don’t understand the urge that makes women drive to a shopping center, or several shopping centers, determined to find the right stores, departments, the correct sizes, the appropriate styles and colors, purchase the products, lug them around and return home. Think of the time and energy this takes. And sometimes they do this in reverse, exchanging items. Mind-boggling!

There’s An outlet mall about fifteen miles from home. I decided that Hub and I should find out what shops are there so that if I need a product at a reasonable price I could make the trip, stride with purpose directly into the store, purchase the item and get out of there. That’s the only way I want to shop — efficiently! I want to know what I’m going after, where it is, and it had better be quick.

My shopping list on this particular day was a bedspread, bath mats and a bra.

Strategically-placed benches had been installed every little whipstitch throughout the mall. They’re there for a reason —for men who can’t hack it. I told Hub, “The men just sit there and wait for their wives to do battle. Just for fun, let’s keep score. He disagreed that it was mostly men who took up the bench space, but I ignored him and started my tally. “It’s four to nothing,” I announced at the first counting. Then “Seven to one,” and so forth. It ended up being twenty-seven to seven, and you know which was which. When the women were seated they were doing something, such as checking lists or store locations — and they had packages at their feet. The men were simply plopped there, like heavy pears, waiting. Some were eating, and others obviously girl-watching.

We were in and out of many stores in record time, and high-tailed it to the parking lot without buying a single thing. I hardly ever see anything I want to buy. On the odd occassions that I actually do shop, I often purchase something that I don’t want. Shopping wears me down, and I say, “Okay, I’ll take it.” I simply don’t want to go through an hour-and-a-half of this nonsense.

I did that on a trip. I ran out of clothing and had to stop on the way home to buy a blouse and a pair of slacks. The ivory-colored embroidered blouse was made in Turkey, and the tan pants were very baggy. I don’t want to look fat where I’m not. They were a bit long, but the salesgirl said, “They wear them turned up at the bottom.” I gave her a skeptical look, then bought them in the interests of saving time. I was not happy with that purchase. I should have selected jeans, but I didn’t see them until the clerk was ringing up the sale and Hub was handing her his credit card. I should have taken my well-deserved woman’s perrogative and changed my mind about the purchase right then and there.

Heading home I talked about various shopping methods. At least there are choices. I’m so computer-oriented that I can get to the website quickly, but it takes a long time to look for what I want. It’s that waste of time that I so deplore. For me, the magic word is Catalog, or Catalogue, if you prefer. I can lie down for that activity. As I recline in bed, propped up on a forest-green wedge pillow which I ordered through a catalog, I leisurely go through the colorful, well-illustrated publications. I know what styles look best on me, know my sizes, and have very definite color tastes. If I see something that I would like to own, I fill out the order blank, write a check and mail it. It’s so simple, fast and efficient, and I’m not worn out at the end of the transaction. It’s even better than phone orders. I don’t like finding the answers to those questions that end up with numbers. Numbers are not my thing.

I promptly forget about my order because it’s not really important to me. Then about three weeks later I receive a surprise package. There’s a little excitement for me in opening a box to see the contents, but none at all in going through the rigamarole involved in shopping.

On a Sunday evening several days after our excursion to the mall, I started working in my home office. After a half-hour or so, with a big smile on my face, I triumphantly strode into the living room and announced to Hub, “I just ordered a bra on the Internet.” He laughed.

Life goes on. New ideas surface. Ah, progress! But I still like catalogs best. There’s one more niggling thought: Do I look as though I dress by catalog?

* * * * * by Gene K. Garrison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a blog at

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