Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The past is another country....

Who was it who said that before me? Anybody know?

Well it was certainly true of today! A dear friend and I went shopping to a shopping complex called Teesside Park at Stockton on Tees. As I stood in front of a large Marks and Spencer superstore, poised to enter, I thought, "I don't really want to go in here!"

When we got inside we had a quick coffee then parted to do our shopping, arranging to meet three quarters of an hour hence by the escalator. I wandered around, pushing my trolley, looking at all the ladies rifling through the racks of clothes and all the men sitting on chairs looking bored stiff and it was as though my mind was an absolute blank. I had asked to come here to shop for a few winter clothes; now I was here I barely knew what I was doing.

I wandered around and finally bought some slippers, some pyjamas (satin and very slippery, my friend remarked I would jump into one side of the bed and slide out of the other!) and a few jumpers for the cold weather. I was back at the escalator ten minutes before time and was delighted to find my friend there early too. Before long we were out in the fresh air both saying we had really gone off shopping.

In my teaching days my previous husband and I would go into the town on a Saturday morning specifically to shop. We would look at furniture, fittings, clothes, household goods - and buy anything we fancied - comparing prices, wandering back and forth and really enjoying the "Shopping experience."

So what has changed? Well, I am older and less agile. But it is not just that. Maybe it is living out in the countryside as we do, well away from any shops, out in the beautiful scenery and what is more - in the quiet. But there is something else too. As I have got older I find I am less acquisitive - there is little I want and even that I can barely be bothered to shop for.

So - are you a shopaholic? Do you like wandering round shops for the sake of it?
Or do you, like me, just want to have a purchase in mind, go in, buy it, come out and go home? I shall be interested to know.

21 comments:

Totalfeckineejit said...

I love you Weaver.

Crafty Green Poet said...

The Past is another country (and they do things differently?) LP Hartly in The Go-Between?

Tramp said...

As rather a reluctant shopper I try to go food shopping at times when the supermarkets are least crowded and treat it as something of a "hunter-gatherer" experience.
However I am really at my best in second hand bookshops, one of the best places to be on a rainy day.
...Tramp

Caroline Gill said...

Tramp has it in one - though I also like craft shops, galleries and coffee shops!

angryparsnip said...

At this time in my life, I really don't need anything in fact I am trying to get rid of all the extra things I have.
I don't have a job outside of my home studio so I live in work clothes.
With the loss of mobility I really get tired so I am very careful with my time, I shop early, avoid crowds and children with runny noses.
I save the fun "just looking" shopping for when I visit with friends.
Bookstores, Garden Centers and Museums are the best !

cheers, parsnip

HKatz said...

So - are you a shopaholic? Do you like wandering round shops for the sake of it?

I love browsing for books. Even though I don't buy every book that interests me, just the feeling of wandering among shelves and discovering new books is great. Also, when there's a sale on DVDs, I love browsing through those too :) Sometimes I'll find great classic movies at good bargains.

willow said...

No, I'm not really a shopaholic, as far a clothes are concerned. I buy a lot of them online. I am very fond, however, of browsing second-hand bookshops and flea markets! Oh yeah.

Gerry Snape said...

I find that I don't want anything special for presents at birthdays or whatever, but I want easy "happenings and gentle doings!" I love old book shops and charity shops and just poddling around rather than franticly "needing" something I didn't want anyway!

MorningAJ said...

I love Christmas shopping. Lots of silly things that you wouldn't buy any other time. But not clothes, food or any other essentials!
Bookshops don't count as shopping. Honest.

steven said...

weaver i visit a shopping mall once a year, or even every two. i love little shops, especially those that remember me when i walk in, and i remember them. i like researching and buying things off the internet. particularly items that are entirely unique. i was so understanding your perspective when you looked around you and had that "what am i doing here?" moment. steven

Dartford Warbler said...

I do enjoy wandering around our local market town. The small shops and the book shop are fine and I enjoy the unpredictable treasures that can turn up in the charity shops.

I share your feeling about the large stores and shopping malls. I rarely go, and when I do, I often feel overwhelmed by the unnecessary amount of choice. Shopping as a hobby? A very strange concept!

Arija said...

Somewhere, probably in the subconscious, we realise as we grow older and are happy to be who we are, that we have to leave these worldly goods behind and the acquisition of even more becomes boring.
Personally I hate shopping with a vengeance, even for food with only one exception: the Saturday 7 a.m. expedition to our local (30 miles away) farmer's market with DD (Darling daughter) and one or other or both granddaughters. Last time I bought a hand full of mixed salad greens but enjoyed th regular chat with the stall holders. The cheese man sent me one of his delicious product to cheer my hospital stay. When you are an early bird and a regular it becomes a social outing and great fun and you can stock up on organic produce for the whole week and know where and how it has been grown.
The last time I shopped for something new was for my brother's funeral and then only because I was bloated with water and could not squeeze into anything iIhad.

Von said...

Na, mostly hate it and go when I have to.Enjoy the Farmers' Market, mostly but even that is a trial sometimes.These days I'm usually in work clothes for cleaning out goose sheds or gardening or at the ballet so the need for a variety of clothes is limited.

Feltmaker said...

I like to shop in small market towns - where the shops are independent and interesting (not the homogenised big city centres)

Fx

Marianne said...

Since we moved to rural Suffolk last year, shops seem to play little part in my new life, so when I do get the opportunity to shop, it's a treat, but I much prefer small independents to big chains. Shoppping works best for me when it impromptu and I find something I didn't know I was looking for, if you see what I mean. Nice to meet you.

Phillips said...

I don't like shopping in Marks and Spencers because I associate it with my mother and cardigans. I like small shops like In Diss, near where I live. I like to buy expensive clothes sometimes as a special treat for myself but do not get pleasure wandering aimlessly around shopping centres, unless I need to escape from something at home.

Derrick said...

Should I be worried, Weaver? I take heart that some of your readers like smaller, independent shops but am discouraged by the number saying they don't like to shop. My livelihood depends on customers!
I might have imagined you'd want winceyette for the winter?!

Mac n' Janet said...

I hate shopping malls, hate trying on clothes, hate crowds. What shopping I do I do online, better variety. But except for craft items and books I don't even do much of that.

Hildred and Charles said...

I have never been a 'window shopper' so not much has changed. I shop for necessity, not for pleasure, - with some exceptions. The usual of course, - book stores and second hand shops!

freerangegirl said...

I totally agree with you Weaver - we used to have a giant M and S near us and when you got into the middle of it, it was like a forest, you couldnt work out which way was out! I used to get lost regularly! small shops are definitely better - much more personality and personable.

Leilani Lee said...

Several years ago my brother dropped me off at a huge department store with instructions to "buy yourself something nice for your birthday." I wondered around feeling helpless for quite a while before I finally found something that I liked. It was a horrible experience. I hate shopping.