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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