Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Shopping Stiffs

by Annette Dashofy

I am the black sheep of my family. I don’t love to shop. (Somebody catch GlamGal before she faints!)

My mom has always been a shop-til-you-drop kind of gal, however, at eighty-six years young, she drops a little earlier in the day now. My sister-in-law and nieces make a regular pilgrimage to the Mall of America each autumn. To me, most shopping is right up there with bamboo shoots under fingernails.

However, now that winter has set in and southwestern Pennsylvania rivals Iceland and wins in the coldest temperatures department, the stores have grown less crowded. My aversion to parking lots that reached its peak in the week before Christmas has eased to a tolerable level. Maybe it isn’t shopping that repels me as much as other shoppers.

My current pet peeve is those ever-popular Heely things. Kids zip through Wal-Mart on their wheeled heels (how DO they keep from falling over on their backsides?) and come perilously close to taking me out like a bowling ball smashing into the pins. What really concerns me is when they experience those near misses with my previously mentioned eighty-six year young mother with her two artificial hips. Store owners, hear me. Ban those things!

OK, so I don’t hate all shopping. Of course, I love bookstores. I love the smell of them. I love the sound of them. I even find the spot on the shelf where my novel will fit in when (not IF) it gets published. It’s a game I play. Look! There in the mystery section in the D’s. That’s where it will go.

I also love office supply stores. All those pens and reams of paper. All the office furniture and computer accessories and software! Even the aisles of paper clips and Post-It notes make me weak in the knees. And I love the hidden treasures I often find, like the pen with a light in the barrel, perfect for jotting down ideas that crop up in the middle of the night.

Then there are the hardware stores. I’m not the least bit handy with those tools, but I do enjoy dreaming about new kitchen cabinets, new flooring, new lighting. And they have the cutest bird feeders and garden stuff in there. All the better for dreaming of warmer days and springtime.

And so far, I haven’t seen a single kid wearing Heelys in any of those places.

So how about you? If someone were to give you an unlimited gift card to one store, which store would it be? Other than Mystery Lovers Bookshop…we all KNOW that would be our first choice. What’s your SECOND choice?


Joyce said...

Annette, that's a tough question!

I've spent a lot of time, and way too much money in Lowe's over the past two months (we're remodeling the bathroom from hell), so I'd pick that.

As for shopping, I like it most of the time. I browse more than I buy. I have a habit of picking something up, then talking myself out of it and putting it back.

The little monsters in the stores don't bother me, either. I have this "look" that I inherited from my mother that will stop a kid dead in his tracks. My taekwondo instructor always liked it when I'd assist with the kids' testings--I could keep them quiet without saying a word.

Tory said...

I like catalogue shopping for clothes. No muss, no fuss. And by the time they arrive I've semi-forgotten I ordered them, so it's sort of like receiving a gift, but in my size and the colors I prefer!

Joyce: I need that look!

Nancy said...

I was in a furniture store recently, and the clerks were nervously watching a slew of kids skating around the lamp department on those heely shoes.

I can almost always find something at Williams-Sonoma. Just wish I could cook!

Pat said...

Oh Bah, on you anti-heely people! I love those things, though I do draw the line at bowling down old ladies, myself especially. But I love watching those kids zoom around the gym during breaks in the basketball game. They remind me of barn swifts; so bold, so quick, so daring. Whee!

Annette said...

Joyce, I know that look well. I have one that works on Ray, but since I don't have kids, I don't know that mine would work on them.

Pat, in that situation, those shoes might be fine, but in a crowded store when the kid is rolling one way and looking another and you happen to be in the way...I've had to dodge them a couple of times recently.

Pat said...

You're right Annette, they don't belong in stores or on crowded streets and parents really need to get a grip on their free wheeling kids before they become either smashers or smashees.

Anonymous said...

Hm...If I could choose a gift card to anywhere, it would have to be a kitchen supply store. I love all those cool cooking gadgets and appliances.

Annette, I'm with you about shopping. Hate it.

And the free-wheeling kids? Let's hope it's just a fad.

Gina said...

I hate shopping, too, but there are a very few stores that I've found interesting. PharMor was one -- there were always unique things hidden away in the most unexpected places -- like giant compostable bags for lawn clippings on a bottom shelf in the food section. After PharMor went under, it took me awhile before I found another place, but now I've got one - Bed Bath and Beyond. Maybe because they stock those weirdo gadgets from the tv infomercials.

Annette said...

Oh, Gina, I agree! Bed Bath and Beyond is always a fun place to browse. And Kristine, they have those kitchen gadgets you like, too.

Which reminds me. I need a new skillet...