Good news Tuesday night on the economic front. The stock market is back to its pre-nose-dive level of exactly four years ago this month. Housing prices are heading back up, unemployment is down, and the meteor missed us again. Life is good.
Let’s go shopping.
Shopping is America’s way of supporting the economy.
I used to enjoy wandering the aisles of antique shops, seeing the furniture and trappings of an earlier era, imagining the stories they might tell. There’d be no crowds, no neon signs urging me to eat when I wasn’t hungry, no background music I didn’t want to hear. It was as though I’d crossed over a threshold into another era, out of my own time. I liked that. Then.
I don’t stop at antique stores so much anymore. My interest began to wane the day I found them selling the Bakelite radios and Hall pottery I grew up with. The antiques I had so long enjoyed perusing began to appear only old and very, very dusty. I stopped dropping by antique stores.
These days, I love the chance to stop at an IKEA store. I get to do this a few times a year, actually, when I make a ten-to-twelve hour drive to visit grandchildren. On each of these trips, there are no fewer than three IKEAS en route for me to choose from. I like to stop over lunch when the IKEA cafeteria’s gravlox plate for $4.95 calls to me, sometimes from forty miles away.
Whether in an antique shop long ago, or an IKEA store more recently, I like to shop slowly, leisurely letting my mind wander to “how might I use this?” or “wouldn’t this look good with …” or even “I’d never pay that! One-third, of that price, max.” I love to try things on, to imagine, to dream. Often, I leave without having bought a thing; but I’m loaded down with new ideas. My husband calls this “women shopping,” his play on “window shopping.” To him, window-shopping is good only if one is in search of a window.
My husband does not shop in a leisurely fashion. He calls it — not his most creative self here — “man shopping.” Whether he needs a screwdriver or a snow blower, he goes to the appropriate store, heads directly to the appropriate counter or department, picks it up or out, buys it, and comes home. He takes pride in that, too. Really.
What do you think? Is he on to something? Or just on something?
How do you shop? Are you a window shopper even if you aren’t looking for windows?
What’s your favorite shopping experience?
What’s your preferred method of supporting the ecomony of your country?
Most of the time, I shop like Woody — know what I’m looking for, know what I want, go in, get it, go out. BUT, don’t turn me loose in a hardware or electronics store (or a Lowe’s/Home Depot) cuz then I “woman shop”, to use Woody’s term.
However, more frequently than I care to admit, I often run into this problem. I need a new sport jacket or suit. Walk into a men’s store (or department) and from 30 feet away spot the jacket/suit that I want. Invariably it’s the most expensive one in the store and way more than I want to spend. If I don’t rationalize and buy it, I then go to several other stores and never find something that appeals to me. Go home empty handed. Only days or weeks later will I either buy my first choice or shop and “settle” for something else. Would Woody call this “wuss shopping”?
He most definitely would not, since he’s been known to do the exact same thing. Even worse, he actually bought the jacket (rationalization: didn’t want to look like a farmer at all winter events up here) expecting it would arrive (custom made in California) by Valentine’s Day. We’d go out, have a nice dinner and he’d feel quite posh for the rest of the winter. Now it’s March and the jacket still hasn’t arrived! Fortunately, he feels adequately patriotic. Maybe this was the purchase that led to those elevated economic reports just out. Yes, that’s probably it. Cheers.
Thank you for sharing content that was something good about what’s going on in our Country. This is the road we need to stay on…encouraging us, positive wavvvvvves. Jay is working on my site, so don’t stop by, just yet, but in a few weeks, I also want to contribute content supporting our Country with love, not hate. Thanks for all you do in WANAs!
Hi D.J. How nice to find you here. Thanks so much for your comments. I think my best blogs are the ones I just sit down and write, usually in reaction to something that strikes me — like the news reports Tuesday night. My three-month Blog plan is sitting taunting me with very rude remarks. Glad you hear you’re also using Jay for your technical issues. He’s great!
I think you have chosen a very interesting topic. I remember you buying those winter caps for your grandchildren. They were so cute. As far as men’s shopping I think most of them just hate shopping. Even Duman, 11 years old, says me “I can’t understand why girls spend so much time shopping”
Hi Gulzhahan, I’m so glad to find you here. Duman is 11. Has the time gone so fast? Say hello to all your family for me.
Hi Janet! (a better late than never comment…)
I once heard an explanation…explaining the difference between men and women and their shopping habits. It all relates to our pre-historic times.
Men were hunters and would go and hunt one or two animals to bring back to the family or social grouping.
Woomen were gatherers. They went and gathered as many different plants, etc. as possible…(maybe in case the hunters were not successful.)
I am a gatherer when I go to the grocery store. I buy whatever I think I might need in the days to come. My husband goes to get one or two things.
Hi Abby, Welcome. And thanks so much for your post. I’m always fascinated to hear of genetic links to behaviors we think are so personal. Woody got me started; he’s a big E.O. Wilson fan. Reminds me of a one-man show I saw years ago in Philly, on its way to Broadway. Called Defending The Caveman, it was a humorous but well-researched analysis of the difference between men and women. “Focus, focus.” My favorite line, said referring to men — and reinforcing this one-item mind set when they shop. So glad you weighed in here.
Hello Janet!!!I loved shopping with you.Actually I don’t like shopping but when I was in the States I wanted to see real huge supermarkets.Also when you travel you want to buy something for your family.When I was leaving to America my father asked to bring fishing rod from America.Remember you helped me to find it.You are a good adviser.When I brought it home he said it was made in China not in America. By the way, do you remember bazaar”Baraholka” where we bought a shawl for your mother.Does she have it still? I always enjoy shopping with you. I hope one day we will go shopping again in the States or in Kazakhstan.
Gulzhan, Hello. It’s so good to find you here. Welcome.
I too remember shopping. I remember those shoes you bought in Boston! I’ve since bought a pair of them and I can’t wear them at all. As for the fishing pole, it is getting nearly impossible to find anything here made in the USA. So many of our factories have closed and the work has moved to China and other countries with very low wages for the workers. It’s a real problem. I am trying now to stay true to the “buy USA” idea, but it is hard. I don’t htink I even thought about it then. And, yes indeed, we still ahve your shawl. Although it is now in my dresser. When my mom moved into her tiny house she lost a lot of storage area. So, I “lucked out.” (idiom: got lucky). Everytime I wear it, I think of you and shopping at Baraholka. Today is raining again; it canceled my bonfire party for the summer solstice. Oh well. The sun will come out tomorrow.