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?