Shopper’s Block

I am a terrible shopper. I love the idea of shopping, but I have the stamina of a small mouse in a crowd of steel-toe-booted construction workers. IF I am with a friend who is in need of something specific and whose conversation can buffer the chaos going on around me and I can be on MISSION to find that perfect pair of black pants or that not-quite-cream, not-quite-khaki satin blouse she’s on the hunt for, then I can hang in for a bit longer than if I’m alone.

Even as I type that out, I shake my head in disbelief. How can anyone not enjoy shopping? If you were to ask me if I enjoy shopping and you were to give me money to spend, I’d immediately say YES! I want to go now. And then I would get to the mall, and the crowds would be loud, and I’d get an upset stomach and a sniffly nose, both of which I attribute to the dyes in clothes, and then I’d be ready to leave at least within the hour. Usually within twenty minutes. (annemariepace can attest to my mild panic attacks about shopping. She once took me to a mall to look for a book after a writer’s conference. I got light-headed and dizzy. At the time I blamed it on being overwhelmed with all there is to buy in the US as opposed to Brazil, but the truth is, I do it here too sometimes.)

I don’t enjoy the grocery store for many of the same reasons. Too many people. Too many choices. I don’t want to have to wait in line. By the time I get to the front, I will have talked myself out of buying half of what I put in my cart. (I waited in line for 45 minutes the other day to buy eggs. Just eggs. In that 45 minutes I removed a diet coke, a pair of exercise pants and something else that I forget from my cart. AND this was in a store that had 30 checkout counters, but only 15 or so were open.) I understand now why people buy everything — even their groceries — online. Ahhh, so much easier. Less chaos. But not possible for me here in Brazil.

So, today is grocery day. We must eat, so therefore I must buy groceries. I’m gearing myself up for it. Mentally preparing. Making a list of the things that must stay in my grocery cart. Wish me luck. And short lines.


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23 thoughts on “Shopper’s Block

  1. Oh, I hear you, Kristy! I used to love shopping, but not anymore. The hassles of looking for a parking space, dealing with crowds, the lack of service, standing in checkout lines, etc. — Ugh. Plus, most of the time they never have the size I’m looking for anyway, or the book is not in stock, so I have to go home and order it online. I think the whole I hate shopping thing gets worse with age, too.

    1. We probably did at some point. I can and do walk to the store and the vegetable market. I don’t have a little cart, though that is certainly an option. I just usually wait so long to go that I have to buy huge quantities of things and therefore need the trunk of my car. When I do walk, it’s usually with as many bags as I can fit in my hands…maybe 8 or so…four in each hand?

      1. I know. Books were the one thing I went crazy on when we got back to the States. Luckily we ended up with a good library, or I’d have been broke (er, even broker than I am, I mean. 🙂

  2. I let myself look (the monkey in me) and enjoy when I shop, but I don’t go to Malls. I prefer Goodwill. In the grocery store I used to be enraged in lines, but now I let myself enjoy it, waiting in line. I have been reading an article in Yoga Journal (not that I do yoga, but I like to read about it) on choosing joy. It helps.
    Brazil sounds fascinating.

  3. Gah! I hate grocery shopping! Halfway through my list, I want to ditch my cart on the produce aisle and head for the exit. Shopping’s so tedious! And it doesn’t help that the piped-in music is always a slow-mo version of obscure songs.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery from your (also speedy) grocery shopping trip.

  4. It can take me up to two days to pysch myself up to grocery shop.
    I like shopping when I’m a. with my sister b. skinny c. have money d. well-fed. Which happens about every leap year, but of what fun when it does.

  5. Anonymous

    Kristy, I feel your pain. I love buying new things, but shopping for clothes is about the most painful way to spend a day, especially when I have something specific in mind, but can’t find it. Or when I need a new bra! Shopping for books, on the other hand, is a completely different story!

    The worst thing about grocery shopping for me is how the check-out people bag my groceries. For this reason I will purposely go to a store where I get to bag it myself. Those places are usually cheaper anyway.

  6. Sounds like mild agoraphobia to me, lovey. Positive visualization of your family enjoying their meals might help with the grocery shopping issue. The rest of the stuff you just have do in small bits, methinks.

  7. When we were living in Venezuela, even grocery shopping was very hard for me; the convenience foods that were staples for me in Texas were not available in Venezuela. I had to learn to cook all over again. I CRAVED cheddar cheese; finally a little deli that catered to the expat community began carrying cheddar cheese, but the price was astronomical. I did very little shopping otherwise. Then when we returned to the States, I found the choices I had in the stores were just too overwhelming for me. I really hate shopping.

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