For reasons I can barely begin to comprehend, going shopping for things like clothes is one of the most draining tasks that can be undertaken. After a few hours of trailing from shop to shop my normally loose back is tight and sore, my feet feel like they’ve run a triple marathon uphill, emotionally I feel like I’ve got nothing left to give, I’ve long since forgotten why this trip seemed like a good idea and I’m ready to drop dead to get out of doing any more.
My approach to shopping is rather militaristic. I normally only go shopping when I absolutely need something – like food or washing liquid. I’ll write a short and precise list of what I want to get, plot in my head exactly what I’m going to do and where, and then shop in as quick and efficient a time as I can.
It’s not as though I don’t like spending money. I do. Love it. Can’t spend enough of it. Neat piece of technology or shiny bit of kit? I’ll buy it right now. No problem. Especially over the net, it’s so easy and quick. But shopping for things like clothes is an inexact thing – you can’t exactly plan what you want beforehand – so it requires more wandering around looking for the right thing… And that’s only clothes shopping, never mind going to Ikea for furniture!
You’ll gather that I spent a good portion of my Saturday shopping. My girlfriend is going away on holiday for a couple of weeks to a hotter climate so she needed a couple of bits and pieces. We were up in Scotland visiting family so my brother tagged along. It didn’t take much time before we were all completely worn out and sipping cafe latte’s at Starbucks, talking about everything and nothing. For example: having lived in England for a few years now it never ceases to amaze me what the Dundee accent is like compared to other places. People seem to say “Ken” every 5 seconds, and I’ve never heard a Dundee accent that actually sounds soft, like in the north-west – it’s just a course, harsh accent and that’s all there is to it.
I suppose there are 5 stages I go through when I go shopping:
1. Anticipation: You’re looking forward to going out and looking at things you want and some you don’t. There’s going to be loads of choice and everything’s going to fit / look right / match the wallpaper.
2. Holding on valiantly to optimism: You’ve gone around a few shops now and notice that you haven’t bought anything you were looking for yet. But you’re not about ready to give up!
3. Reality sets in: You’ve lost the plot of what you were trying to achieve and you’re walking almost aimlessly from shop to shop. You’re not even looking properly because you know that they won’t have what you want. Although you’re struggling to remember what that was in the first place.
4. Desperation sets in: You’re wiped out now. You’re looking for any excuse to get in the car and go home, but something in the back of your mind keeps you there. You sit and have a cup of coffee with your co-shoppers and all try to persuade each other to go home and try again another time, making each argument sound more and more reasonable.
5. The end of the line. You’ve all decided to go to one last shop at the other end of town (seems like a good last-ditch effort). You get there, barely look around, and head back to the car to go home. You almost fall asleep in the car with fatigue but are glad it’s all over.
Maybe I’m just doing it all wrong.