Retail Therapy?

Have I ever mentioned to you that I HATE shopping? No, I don’t mean just the weekly grind of buying loo rolls, cleaning detergents and a bit of food to sustain the family. I hate all shopping – clothes, shoes, make-up….all shopping.

At the beginning of our marriage, Chicken Man mentioned that I was really bad at shopping. He started waxing on about PI labels and cost per kg/ml/portion. You have got to be kidding me? I look for the tastiest food, the prettiest labels and the products that have exposed themselves to my sub-conscious the most through TV/radio/internet/print adverts. His glib comment however did end up being advantageous to me. I do not do the grocery shopping. That has become Chicken Man’s weekly Hypermarket by the Sea nightmare

I am not adverse to popping into My Spar and getting a few odds and sods. If the odds list goes beyond that which I can take through the baskets only/20 items or less check-outs – I lose all interest and add the items to Chicken Man’s Saturday shopping list. Surely Gladys (my 2 x a week cleaning lady) can clean the house without Pledge and Handy Andy until next week? Why she needs so much of the stuff and what she does with it is still a mystery to me.

I have to admit that I do rather enjoy a jaunt to Woolworths every now and again. Their fruit & veggie section is mouth watering and they have so many yummy, luxurious delights all over the store. A lot of the ingredients on their shelves are completely foreign to me but some, once discovered or recommended, are on the must have list e.g. Woolies Danish Style Feta and their Basil Pesto. Num, num.

I have suggested it but Chicken Man refuses to go clothes or shoe shopping for me. How thoughtless. Does he not realise how traumatic these once or twice a year shopping excursions are for me? Does he not know that shop attendants in clothing and shoes stores are trained to ignore frazzled looking customers by running around trying to find stuff to pack back onto the racks? I actually asked an assistant if they were trained to ignore customers. She looked horrified at the suggestion but I substantiated my claim by saying that I was one of three other customers and I had counted 6 sales ladies and not one of them was helping a customer. “Sorry Mam” was her surly response. You try go shoe shopping when you take a size 9 shoe. The experience makes you feel like a freak of nature and being ignored just makes the whole experience more traumatic.

The Alien is in need of some new clothes. The thought of re-living the last episode of us shopping together fills me with dread and fear. So, I am thinking of setting the Alien and a few of her tjommies loose at a shopping mall without me so that she actually gets to survive until her 14th birthday. The added bonus? Sweet revenge on all the shop assistants that have ever ignored me!

At least I know why they call it Retail Therapy. I need therapy after exiting every retail store I walk in to.

4 thoughts on “Retail Therapy?”

  1. O Alma, this is funny! I use to be in the same boat as you, but (even if I have to say so myself) I have become pretty good at finding good deals in non-mall stores. The ultimate compliment was when a friend asked me to shop for her 3 teenage girls on a very tight budget. Love the hunt for a bargain! My rule is never to pay full price for anything. Want to send your pretty Alien to aunty Helen for some serious shopping? : )

  2. Alma, has wine club this week numbed your brain? You have two besties who have two sons each and are deprived from shopping outings, and, they are SERIOUSLY talented at shopping, AND, they offer their services FREE. Send the Alien with Lynette or Jax!!!! I have already used Lynette's services and got her to help Kath (me) choose a dress for a dance she was going to earlier this year. Carol and I plan to enjoy lots of grape juice and send our aliens with Jax & Lynette when they need dresses for their own dances. That way, aliens and Moms stray friends(ish), and Carol and I bond. Love Lauren (and my alien)

  3. Thank you Helen and Lauren. You have come up with the perfect solution. I was about to book the alien a flight to Texas, Helen, until Lauren's comment made me realise that there are 2 willing victims right here in Durban. Thanks for the offer though.

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