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Why I never go shopping (unless I have to)

There is apparently something wrong with me. Unlike 99.9% of women on the face of the planet, I abhor shopping. I don't have millions of pairs of shoes (I think I have four that I wear on a regular basis -- black sneakers, a pair of flip-flops, and then brown or black heels for dressier outfits). I have two pairs of jeans and I almost never wear jewelry. My bathroom's linen closet practically has the entire shampoo, conditioner, and body wash aisle from Walgreen's in it -- albeit in half-full bottles, because I almost never throw them away. I don't even like shopping for food, and tend to put it off until I absolutely have to. I get furious at food that spoils quickly, like milk, because then I have to go to the store and buy more.

I hate the mall all year. I don't understand how women can go into shoe stores and look at seemingly every single pair of shoes in the entire place. Do they not have any idea of what they're looking for? I also can't understand the clothing thing. I don't go shopping with my girlfriends because I just can't do it. I don't spend more than ten minutes in a store. I walk in, look around for a few minutes, and if I don't see anything I like, I walk out.

If I go shopping with my girlfriends, I get impatient and slightly crazy. They'll look through every. single. rack. They shift through outfit after outfit, humming and hawing over them when really, they all look pretty much exactly the same (at least to me). After over an hour of this (in one store!), during which I'm contemplating which object in the store can be best served with which to kill myself and be put out of my misery (a scarf? a coat hanger? what?!?), they finally pick out approximately 37 items and have to try each and every one on. And when they try them on, they have to waltz out of the dressing room for each and every item, preen in front of the mirror, turn around and say, "Cassy, how does this look?", preen in front of the mirror some more, ask me if they look fat in it, preen in front of the mirror some more again, and then finally decide they can't get it because it's too big/too small/makes them look fat/makes their boobs look too small/too expensive/the wrong fabric/the wrong cut/whatever other reason they can come up with. After another hour and a half of this routine for all 37 items, they'll then exit the dressing room with possibly 2 shirts and say they're ready to go the next store. At this point, I'm shooting them the death ray eyes. After repeating this routine in the next fifteen clothing stores, not to mention all the lingerie stores, every shoe store, and the various perfume and makeup stores, anger and impatience have abated. I'm practically in a catatonic state by then, just going through the motions and praying God, please, let lightning strike me right now and put me out of my misery.

This is why I almost always go shopping alone.

Combine that hatred for shopping with Christmas shopping (and shoppers!), and it's a deadly combination. I dread it every year.

The problem is that I genuinely enjoy giving gifts to people. I love picking something out, and I love giving it to them. I get more excited about giving the gifts than I am about receiving my own. When I know it's something that they really want, or will really enjoy, I get even more excited. So going Christmas shopping is just something I really can't avoid. And if you think that the hatred for regular shopping is bad, shopping during the holidays always leaves me with the feeling later that it's a miracle I didn't suffer a heart attack from the elevated stress levels and blood pressure, even at 23. I never say anything to anyone -- I don't get rude or mean or anything. But pretty much as soon as I get in my car, I explode. I want to get as far away from a mall as is humanly possible and sit by myself, with no other people around, and just unwind.

One major problem is that Christmas shopping seems to bring out the absolute worst in people. They're rude. They're pushy. They're oblivious that there are other people anywhere within a ten-mile vicinity. They are the only people in this mall with family and friends to buy gifts for, and therefore, are entitled to behave any way they choose, no matter how horrible. It's like the area of your brain that controls common sense, courtesy, and decency towards others automatically shuts down when you enter a mall during the Christmas season. Then there are the employees. I've worked retail, and during the holiday season too, so I can understand. And of course, there are some really great, charming, helpful people. But there are also those salespeople who quite obviously hate their job, and do nothing to hide it.

There's also the driving -- it's as if every single person in the mall parking lot fancies themselves a NASCAR driver, and everything they learned in Driver's Ed gets thrown out the window.

And the various people you encounter while shopping at the mall during the Christmas season make me want to beat my head against a wall.

There are the grazers: the people who slowly meander their way throughout the entire store with no purpose whatsoever, usually bringing with them a shopping cart and/or an entourage of every single person they've ever known in their entire life, making sure to get in the way as much as humanly possible. They block aisles, stand right in front of whatever product you just happen to need at that moment, and pretend not to notice you politely saying "Excuse me?". You end up having to contort yourself into some strange and uncomfortable position to reach around them, and when you do, they'll shoot you a dirty look, mutter something about how rude people are, and then slowly graze onto the next display or shelf.

There are the deal-chasers: the people who think that the most important thing in the world is getting the best possible deal on the planet. They'll trample you, cut you off mid-aisle, bumrush the shelf, and possibly take the merchandise right out of your hand -- all to save a lousy $0.30 on an item that's probably somewhere around $89.99. They're willing to fight for that deal, too. They'll get in your face; they'll push and they'll shove. They have no dignity and no shame, and they don't care about how rude they have to be to save that $0.30.

There are the social shoppers: the people who take an entire group of friends shopping just "for fun" on the busiest time of the year, and seem to enjoy walking five or six people deep, all the way across the walkway, as slowly as possible as to block the way of everyone else in the mall and force them to walk as slowly and leisurely as they are. They seem to have no concern for the fact that not everyone in the mall has no schedule to follow whatsoever, and usually have things to do and places to be. They probably won't do anything but window-shop, either.

Then you've got the people like me -- people who just want to get in and out as quickly as possible, and hopefully unscathed, as well. I don't want to get in anyone's way. I'm not necessarily looking to get a hot deal (although I don't want to overpay, either). I just want to get my presents and go home. Newscasters are bemoaning how shopping rates are down this holiday season, but perhaps it's because there's a lot of people like me who simply hate having to deal with the hassle. It's why I never go shopping unless I absolutely have to.

Is Christmas supposed to be like this? People flocking to area malls, forgetting all commom decency and dignity in order to get the best deal, or make sure they've seen every trinket on every shelf of every store? Would it be so hard for us to show some courtesy to each other during the holidays? Why don't we try that one out -- actually remembering there are other people that want to buy presents for their loved ones as well, and trying to be courteous and polite to each other as we navigate economically dangerous terrain?


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Comments (16)

No, it's most assuredly NOT... (Below threshold)
m c harrison:

No, it's most assuredly NOT supposed to be like this - and I do shopping throughout the year, and I make gifts; I knit and crochet, and food always makes a good gift. I used to work at a large chain department store in Atlanta. This cured me of the urge to shop during the Christmas season. A coworker and I came close to getting fired one year after Christmas; two women got into a fist fight over an artificial tree. We wanted to take bets on the winner.

I shop for everything onlin... (Below threshold)

I shop for everything online, at least my UPS guy isn't a jerk.

I like to pretend I hate sh... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

I like to pretend I hate shopping because it sounds so much more efficient than the outcome. More often than not, even with a list carefully made out, I will get sidetracked by any section of the store with bright colors and "shiny" stuff. Those wonderful discount stores are no exception. The great thing about buying too many clothes is that when you forget you even have that new sweater, it's like buried treasure in the back of your closet.

You're not alone, Cassy. I ... (Below threshold)
SarahConnor2:

You're not alone, Cassy. I hate going to the mall. Internet shopping is a godsend and saves so much time.
Grocery delivery is also awesome!

The wife and I gave up cred... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

The wife and I gave up credit cards a long time time ago...we tried to tell our children if you cannot afford it..well don't buy it. However if you can afford that special thing...cool.
Our family exchanges gifts that are handmade.
The gift of creative effort means more than any Wal-Mart/China thing...
Each year...our exchanges have become more personal and complicated based on creativity...
But hey..we are an extended moonbat family who because we oppose the Bush/Cheney lie... hate America and Christmas(according to wiser people than us)
by they way...
Ask your school to become involved with this
http://www.freerice.com/

This is what most husbands ... (Below threshold)
Greg:

This is what most husbands go thru whenever we have to go shopping with our wives. There are some points when suicide _seems_ like a real option. :-) I am especially annoyed by what you refer to as the "social shoppers" who walk side by side and don't let anyone pass them.


Merry Christmas,
Greg

Gee Nogo, I must be a Moonb... (Below threshold)
epador:

Gee Nogo, I must be a Moonbat too, since I hand-make cards and give and ask for little handmade or simple gifts. (FOOD comes to mind...)

Our family exchanges ... (Below threshold)

Our family exchanges gifts that are handmade.
The gift of creative effort means more than any Wal-Mart/China thing...
Each year...our exchanges have become more personal and complicated based on creativity...
But hey..we are an extended moonbat family who because we oppose the Bush/Cheney lie... hate America and Christmas(according to wiser people than us)

Enough with the self aggrandizing, hand made pity party nogo. Go to Walmart and offer someone help across the sidewalk....anonymously.


Amazon.com has made my Chri... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Amazon.com has made my Christmas shopping much better. More time to enjoy the season.

On that note, forgive me bu... (Below threshold)

On that note, forgive me but, I need to insert a little pet peve of mine. Shoppers take out their frustrations on us employees if the store has sold out of something they "have to have" or all is lost! Or if the cashiers are to slow, or the lines are too long, or we have no idea if or when that certain something is going to be shipped to us again especially if you need it before Christmas. We're the ones giving up precious time with family and friends to serve the customers and we're on the receiving end of some pretty harsh treatment at times.

When you're out in the mall or where ever next time, have a little patience with the cashier she's probably seasonal help/new or hasn't been on a break yet after being on her feet several hours straight at the register. Thank that stock boy for hauling that big screen tv out and loading it for you. Thank that floor person for running all over the store to find that item you can't find. Being nice and grateful gets you a lot further than mean and hateful.

I didn't intend for that to rhyme lol!

But hey..we are an exten... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

But hey..we are an extended moonbat family who because we oppose the Bush/Cheney lie... hate America and Christmas(according to wiser people than us)

Goddamn, can't you just let one non-political column go by without injecting your tired, overwrought "Bush/Cheney lied" tripe in it? This post has nothing to do with either, so go masturbate someplace else.

=============

I never go to malls in the Christmas now that the Internet allows me to order things in peace. I avoid even grocery shopping the week before Christmas, if at all possible.

Cassy asks, "Is Christma... (Below threshold)
Dodo David:

Cassy asks, "Is Christmas supposed to be like this?"

Cassy isn't describing Christmas. She is describing shopping habits.

You can have Christmas without the shopping, which is something that even the Grinch knows.

Why? Because Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Messiah. If you are not celebrating the birth of Jesus, then you aren't celebrating Christmas. Instead, you are merely taking advantage of Christmas.

I love to shop, but hate th... (Below threshold)
Jolene Author Profile Page:

I love to shop, but hate the mall. Thank God for the internet. Merry Christmas everyone.

From the first paragraph to... (Below threshold)
langtry:

From the first paragraph to the last, Cassie, you have channeled my sentiments exactly. Your description of your closets is so close to my own, I almost thought to look behind the doors to see if you were living in my apartment!

As for your description of shoppers, I see it everyday on Chicago's Michigan Avenue. A friend of mine calls it "Sidewalk Rage" and it comes to include the aisles of the Crate & Barrel I work at part-time. I practically want to tatoo "Bah Humbug" on my forehead by the time the season is over!

On that note, forg... (Below threshold)
On that note, forgive me but, I need to insert a little pet peve of mine. Shoppers take out their frustrations on us employees if the store has sold out of something they "have to have" or all is lost! Or if the cashiers are to slow, or the lines are too long, or we have no idea if or when that certain something is going to be shipped to us again especially if you need it before Christmas. We're the ones giving up precious time with family and friends to serve the customers and we're on the receiving end of some pretty harsh treatment at times.

When you're out in the mall or where ever next time, have a little patience with the cashier she's probably seasonal help/new or hasn't been on a break yet after being on her feet several hours straight at the register. Thank that stock boy for hauling that big screen tv out and loading it for you. Thank that floor person for running all over the store to find that item you can't find. Being nice and grateful gets you a lot further than mean and hateful.

I didn't intend for that to rhyme lol!


I remember! I worked at Victoria's Secret one holiday season, in the make-up and perfume store (in the mall I worked at, they were two separate stores). People were SO. RUDE. They would actually give us special training before Thanksgiving to deal with the holiday shopping crowd. It was incredibly hard to keep your cool, but somehow, we all managed it. I especially love when they would get angry because the prices on something were too expensive. I would just want to retort, "You know, I'm glad you brought that up, since I personally set the prices for the products in the store. Me. Not corporate. I'll go right back to the breakroom and change them. STAT." It makes me laugh now, but man, I hated it then.

I guess that's why rude employees annoy me so much... if I could get through it without losing my head, then so can you, Mr. Rude Employee Guy. ;)

This is what most husbands go thru whenever we have to go shopping with our wives. There are some points when suicide _seems_ like a real option. :-)
This is EXACTLY why I just don't go anymore!! I can't take it. I get so annoyed. When my mom was pregnant, I went with her to a maternity store. No lie, she literally filled up her dressing room with clothes. There were six hooks on the walls in the dressing room, two on each wall. She had each hook filled to the max, along with clothes hanging from the door. I wanted to die. She ended up buying like, two shirts, a pair of shorts, and a dress to wear on the cruise she was going on -- out of approximately 250 items she tried on LOL (maybe not literally 250, but that dressing room was overflowing). By the time we were finished, I was practically beating my head against the wall. So I just don't do it anymore, unless I'm shopping for something extremely specific, so I can get in and get out quickly. And I definitely don't go shopping with any women. Ever.
You are not alone Cassie. ... (Below threshold)
Shirley:

You are not alone Cassie. I hate shopping and I especially hate the "marathon shopping" my sister and daughter do, that is going from one store to another for hours and hours. However I do engage in what I call "binge shopping" That's when let's say Macy's is having a sale on suits. I go in, try on 5, buy all 5 and that's it for the year. No more shopping for suits. And like you, I almost ALWAYS go shopping alone.




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