I’m in a store at the mall hating my life, shopping for trousers, in denial about what size I am or am not and I see a painfully bored looking 30-something leaning against a wall. He looks as miserable as I am, maybe more so because I have to be there. He doesn’t. He’s glancing with contempt at the girl in the tight blue sweater 10 meters away while she picks up every. Single. Shirt. Rifles through every pair of pants on the rack.
I quickly loaded my arms, tired on a dress, three pairs of pants and two skirts. I banter with the clerk about the length of the pants. I carry two items to check out and pay. Total shopping time: approx 15 minutes that felt like eternity.
In contrast, as I was leaving, he was leaning up against a different wall, still looking miserable still watching her and waiting for Death to come through the door with his hood and his sickle and strike him down.
I can’t think of a voluntary activity I detest and avoid more than shopping. Scaling or deep root planning, you say? Nah. I sucked it up, went to the appointment, and it was over before I knew it. Shopping? It’s voluntary punishment, inflicted at your own discretion. I have long preferred my Garanimals for Grown-Ups ™ from J.Crew: I go on line, throw a couple tees and khaki’s in my cart and I’m set. Total pain time: less than 10 minutes, and I know on the other end I can grab any two items out of my closet in the dark with crusty eyes and crazy person bed hair and they’ll match. Giraffe + giraffe = WIN! Only not win, because a woman my age shouldn’t really be wearing chinos and tees with flips to work every day, should she? (See also: reason for trip in the first place.)
On the other hand, I no longer get hives when I pull into a store parking lot, and it’s been AT LEAST 9 months since a trip ended in tears. So that’s progress.
Women who don’t like to shop are inadvertently conditioned by society to feel they’re missing something as important as a strand of DNA. For me, it translates to an alternate reality – as if I’m a woman without a vagina in a gynecologists office. Any minute, someone is going to stand up, point at me and scream “What are YOU doing here? You don’t even have a vagina!”. (To which I would probably respond: Thanks for that, lady. I might not have a vagina, but you’re rocking a mustache. Kindly FO.)
There is something implied socially (which is an early BS indicator) that there is a fundamental glitch in a woman who doesn’t enjoy shopping. This time, I remembered that for each woman I saw – call it 200 – there were about 200,000 women I didn’t see.
Maybe they all hate it as much as I do.