Sunday, March 20, 2005


A couple of weeks ago I took my three girls to town and we shopped at Gateway Mall for a few hours. When we left I was tense and exhausted and headachy and wanted nothing more than to just get home. As I drove on Interstate 5 thinking about how much I hate shopping, Emily, beside me, wiggled with glee and satisfaction and said, "I just love to shop. It’s just so ENERGIZING."

Yesterday I needed to go to town again, this time to get a pattern for Amy’s graduation dress while it was on sale. Emily wanted to go along and would have been happy to leave right after she got up (about 10:30). No no, I said. First we do the cleaning, then we shop.

I enjoy second-hand shopping once in a while if I’m not in a hurry and if I don’t have tired children along and if I don’t have to rush home to make supper. The same with garage saling.

Grocery shopping at WinCo isn’t too bad but is physically exhausting, hoisting 25-lb bags of flour or cat food into the cart, onto the counter, back in the cart, and into the trunk of the car. I shop there about twice a month and usually have a brimming cart that must weigh over a hundred pounds and just when I’ve picked up the last item on the west end (ice cream) I remember that I forgot onions and have to push my cart the quarter-mile (it seems) back to the east end. At least it's good exercise.

But mall shopping completely does me in. By the time we leave I am tired of walking for miles holding all my packages, tired of the noise, tired of seeing racks of ugly clothes, tired of the prices, tired of decisions, tired of pierced young people with empty eyes, tired of the overwhelming emphasis on THINGS.

My girls look at me like I’m not quite female when I express these sentiments. Shopping is fun and cool and energizing, after all, and how can anyone think otherwise? Thankfully Paul, at least, thinks I’m a Real Woman even if I don’t like malls. (And a few weeks ago he REALLY racked up the points when he offered to go get groceries for me. Better than flowers and chocolate.)

Fifteen years ago when we lived in the far reaches of northern Ontario, we went shopping a couple times a year, and in the middle of winter I would crave a good shopping trip so bad I could hardly stand it. Maybe someday I’ll find a balance between then and now.

Quote of the Day:
"28…28? But that’s FORWARD!"
--Jenny, in a loud, offended hiss in church when Mike Gingerich said we should turn BACK to song number 28


  1. Oy. I work in the mall during breaks from school, and it takes every ounce of my willpower to get up during the lunch hour to shop if I have to buy something. I NEVER go to the mall unless I'm working--I totally agree that shopping is an unpleasant experience.

  2. This is unquestionably weird. Here are two ladies who don't like to shop. My preconceived notions are being shattered.

    On the other hand, I love to shop, even if I don't buy anything. I love chocolate, especially expensive chocolate. I guess I am a strange man. Nothing y'all didn't know, right?

  3. PeacefulLady3/20/2005 6:35 PM

    I'm reading a book right now that has opened my eyes so much. Especially the why behind that drained of energy feeling that you describe so well. The book is: "The Introvert Advantage, How to Thrive in an Extrovert World" by Marti Olsen Laney. In short-- extroverted people often gain energy by people and activities, which is draining to some of us. We gain energy by quietness, solitude and time to process. We're just made differently. I highly recommend a read to better understand people. I borrowed it through interlibrary loan and it's the best book I've read since Dallas Willard's books.

  4. I came across a link for your blog through the By-Log through the AHQ link. I've enjoyed reading your posts and can definitely relate to your "Shopping" entry. :)

  5. It's funny how our favorite activities have a way of changing over time. As a teen and young adult, shopping was fun and energizing. I ahve now reached the point in life that it is nearly my least favorite activity. I postpone shopping trips as long as possible much like going to the dentist. Could it be that I have learned lesson of the value of a dollar and how many dollars it takes to maintain our budget/retirement fund? Might it be that my body no longer has the stamina for sustained shopping excursions? Or perhaps my scope has enlarged to realize alternate activities that bring more profound rewards.Whatever the reason I am perfectly happy to let the adventure to the people who crowd the malls. You might, however, find me at the local greenhouse with a flat of annuals hurrying home to sink my fingers into the cool, moist spring ground

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