Thursday, March 05, 2009

Confessions of a NON-SHOPAHOLIC

With the release of the movie based on Sophie Kinsella's book, this blog post is, I suppose, ill-timed. Those of you whose hearts beat fast and respiration rates increase at the words 'Nordstroms' and 'everything on sale' will no doubt have a hard time relating to my tale of 'woe is me', but I'm sure there are people out there like me who--dare I say it--hate to shop.

For as long as I can remember, I have never experienced that 'high' I've heard associated with shopping. Maybe because I had a hard enough time putting a roof over our heads and food on the table as a divorced mum of four with very little discretionary income left over that has something to do with my attitude towards shopping. I also have some pretty 'tight' roots in my family tree system that might account for my, uh, fiscally conservative ways, as well. (I'm learning in my Psych classes that so much of who we are and what we do finds its origins in our environment, experiences, AND genetics. Cool, huh?)

Anyway, I had been putting off a shopping excursion for some time, so yesterday I decided to 'face my fears' and tackle the beast that shopping represents. I badly needed gray work slacks since the permanent marker explosion in the dryer some weeks ago and two of my off-spring also required a trip to the city for various items not available in our small town, so yesterday was the day.

It was sunny and warm for early March and I would much rather have been walking through the cemetery (my normal pedestrian haunt) than walking the malls, but one does what one has to do.

I'm somewhat of an organized shopper. I'm very regimented and sequential. (First we go here for this and this, then we go here, for this and this, then here, then here, then HOME.) For those 'seat of the pantsers' who love shopping, but prefer a more leisurely shopping experience, I can guarantee a shopping experience that even you would hate.

We left at 11 when my daughter got off work and I drove her to the trendy, second-hand store she loves to shop at. I checked the racks for gray slacks, hopeful I might find what I needed there and my quest would be over, but the only gray slacks they had were clearly meant to be worn by an anorexic dwarf so I left her there, instructing her to 'take her time' while reminding her of the other places on my 'to-go-to' list. My son and I walked next door to Target. I browsed the books and checked out the clothes racks for gray slacks. No luck.

Once my daughter was done, (she found two pairs of black work pants, the smartee pants!) we headed to the next place on the list, the eyeglass establishment where my son's glasses were purchased. He had his glasses repaired and adjusted and we left there and headed to the mall. I immediately headed to the women's department and started going through the slack racks in search of the infamous gray slacks.

I should explain about the pants. I wear a uniform of sorts and the gray has to be just the right color of gray. Not too light. Not too dark. And while I don't consider myself overly picky about clothes, when you wear something for a ten hour shift in a job with high visibility, you want it to look nice--and be comfortable while you're at it.

My first challenge in buying pants or jeans is the length. I'm fairly tall and I have fairly long legs. And I don't like high water slacks or slacks that ride up mid-calve when you sit down. But I don't like treading on my slacks when I walk either. The next challenge is finding the right cut. I require slacks with belt loops as I need to carry a portable police radio and phone on my belt. I also have this 'thing' about anything being tight around my waist. So my ideal pants ride just below the waist and have large enough belt loops for a regular sized belt to go through. Nothing out of the ordinary. Right?

You'd thought I was looking for au couture.

First off, most women's dressy slacks don't even have belt loops. If they do, they are itsy-bitsy ones I can barely get my pinky finger through. And the ones that do have loops? They ride so high on the waist they almost come to the bottom of my bra.

So not a good look for me.

I spent precious time in the fitting room trying on one style and size after another. And what is it with women's sizes? Why is it I can wear a size 8 in one style and turn around and not be able to get even one leg in a size 8 of another style?

I was about ready to give up hope when I spotted a pair of gray slacks on the end of a sales rack. The slacks featured belt loops, although they were big and wide and looked a little too 'girly' for security purposes. I tried them on. They fit like a dream!

I checked the price tag. They were fifty percent off! I actually felt my heart flutter.

Sold to the tall, tightass, picky blonde with the two traumatized teens who will never again ask her to take them shopping.

Wow! A shopping day I actually didn't hate! Who knew?

To celebrate, I treated myself to a quick stop at the bookstore and then hopped over to check out the used bookstore. I was thrilled to find two Victoria Holt books to replace the ones from my collection lost in a flood last year.

You wanna know what time we got back home? Three-twenty P.M.

Now that is a true confession of one NON-SHOPAHOLIC.

So, anyone else out there have similar 'tudes about shopping? For those of you who can 'shop 'til you drop' how in the heck do you do it? What makes a shopping trip a success or, conversely, a failure? How often do you shop? Is the present economy having an effect on your shopping habits? If so, how are you coping? I

It's the day to dish on shopping addictions/phobias so dish away!

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

P.S. Get well, Les!


LuAnn said...

Gosh, I absolutely hate shopping. You will only find me "browsing" the aisles in certain stores.

Anonymous said...

I'm the same type of shopper. Get there, get it done go home. Used to drive my twin step sons crazy when they were teenagers at the Mall. They wanted to check out the girls, but I was on a mission. I do food shopping the same way. The only time I stroll through a store if it is a tack shop. Even though we have everything you can imagine for our horses,it never pays to look one more time LOL

Keri Ford said...

Back in the day when I was thin and living at home and had money, I could shop. I could spend hours at the mall, buying stuff all over the place and doing it in 4" heels all the way.

When I was preparing for my honeymoon (again, living at home and had money), I ordered clothes from every magazine that came in the mail.

Now, I'm fluffier round the hips, thighs, butt, waist, and arms. I shop less as I the sizes my mind is accustomed to do not suit my body. And I'm poor!

Hellie Sinclair said...

I *loathe* shopping. Mostly because I hate being around other shoppers, who seem to be getting that "high" everyone brags about, and it just irks me. Plus you have to spend mall time with TEENAGERS. There is a reason why I'm a single hermit without children, you know.

Plus I hate how bad I feel about myself after clothes shopping. (I don't feel this way after book shopping. Books always fit the size of my hand, even if they don't always fit my pocketbook.) So not only am I forced to spend time with perky total strangers who seem to fit into 90% more of the clothes than I can, I have to do this "public humiliation" of trying on clothes. And failing to find something--ANYTHING--95% of the time. And God forbid any of this shopping take over an hour, two at the most. I want to do something else, you know. Like book shopping. This better not take long.

My last clothes shopping expense? A bridesmaid gown. The bride said: "Get something in black that will be comfortable in May weather. Try not to get anything that flashes our guests, please." So I went to JC Penney's website (see, I love online shopping) and found a bridesmaid gown in black, for 50% off or more, in a style I knew I would not look absolutely hideous in. Not great, but not hideous. Ordered it in my size. It shipped and I tried it on when it arrived--and it fit! And it looks good! And I didn't have to go to an actual store! Huzzah! If it had had free shipping, it would have been perfect, but oh, well, not everyone can be I can't wait to wear it at her wedding.

Kathy Bacus said...

Oh, thank goodness, LuAnn. I thought I was one of the few 'girls' who didn't like shopping. Glad to know I'm not alone!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Yep, I'm the same way in the grocery store. Take a list. In and out. I'm good.

And as someone who still has her saddles and tack from her bygone horse era (Hey, I can dream, can't I?) I completely understand taking time in a tack store. And don't you just love the smell--all that yummy leather!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

You are so right, Keri. Shopping (especially for clothes) is definitely not what it was when the fitting room mirrors reflected a pre-childbirth figure.

And swimsuit time? So don't want to go there.

I do admit to having fun antiquing on occasion and looking for items for my home and office.

The rest? Fuggetaboutit.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Wow! Congrats on getting your bridesmaid dress online, MsHellion! And miracle of miracles: it fits and looks great! I would love to be able to buy clothes online but I've never had luck (except bad) when I've attempted it.

And I love J.C. Penney's. That's where I found my 'miracle' gray trousers that fit.

Whoo hoo!

~Bullet Hole~

catslady said...

I despise shopping. My mom use to work in a dept. store in the jr. dept. so she picked all my clothes (at a discount and on sale usually). We were never allowed to return anything and luckily she had pretty good taste. Problem is I can't do my own shopping now - can't make decisions, hate the whole process, and everything is too expensive lol.

Kathy Bacus said...

You've got some pretty valid reasons to have negative attitudes about shopping there, catslady.

I remember as a child I was hooked on fishing and every cent of allowance/gift money went to selecting and buying fishing lures. Later the passion turned to horses and books--mostly in that order back then.

Books are now my guilty purchasing pleasure. Fortunately, I can make those purchases online from the comfort of my own home.

~Bullet Hole~

Blinky St. James said...

I like shopping, but mostly for books. ^_^ I'm not much of a clothes shopper--I like shopping for clothes, but the prices are usually not what I'd pay for something, and usually stuff looks weird on me because I have a weird figure. I'd rather just make frilly stuff on my own (haha)!

Anonymous said...

The only kind of shopping I like is online shopping. For books. *g*

Terri Osburn said...

I'm not a huge fan of shopping for several reasons. One is lack of funds. Another is lack of style (12 yrs of Catholic school girl uniform doesn't exactly aid in finding a style) and the last is that things rarely fit me.

I do try harder now mostly from watch that show "What Not To Wear". You really can learn a lot from those two. I have a better idea what to look for and realize I have to try lots of things on to find the right items. Even if you hate it on the hanger, sometimes it looks really good on.

I get the high when I find a few things that fit. But I only do the big shopping thing every few months when the weather changes.

Kathy Bacus said...

Yeah, clothes just don't do it for me like they used to either, Blinky.

But like Tori, I'm always up for a book binge. Hehe.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

I've seen that show, What Not to Wear, too, Terrio, and it really does have some good advice. Where I really notice the difference in styles as opposed to body types is in jeans styles. I look (and feel) so much better in lower riding, slightly flared (bootcut) jeans.

I wish I could get away with wearing cuter footwear, but I hate wearing flip-flops and since I broke my foot a couple years ago, I can't wear the 'fun footwear' as often so that makes shoe shopping rather humdrum, as well.

It's hard to get excited about tennis shoes or shiny black uniform shoes. Sigh.

~Bullet Hole~

Christie Craig said...


I'm with you. Shopping is for the birds. And I was also surprised to find out how many of us really aren't fans of this pasttime.


Gemma Halliday said...

I’m sorry, you are all speaking a foreign language to me. Shopping is my drug of choice. Though, I’m totally with you on the tight roots in the family tree thing, Kathy. A successful shopping day for me always ends in a boast about deeply discounted everything I bought was.


Estella said...

I absolutely hate shopping!
Go ther, get it, go home.

Kathy Bacus said...

Just think of all those 'bundle of joy' shopping trips you'll get to make, Gemma!


~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

You've got a point, Christie. From the posts today, I'd say the reports of women's addictions to shopping have been greatly exaggerated...

~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Kathy Bacus said...

Here, here, Estella!

~Bullet Hole~

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Sounds like the only thing that would have made that trip more successful was if they had had more than one pair of those pants - you could have stocked up and put off shopping again all that much longer :)

I'm with you - I don't particularly like to shop just for the sake of shopping. I go into it with an agenda and just get it done.