Archive for January 30th, 2008

Visitors

I like to throw off the visitors at work. This morning I walked into work with my supergirl lunchbox and a trifold privacy screen. The large panel made it necessary for people to hold the door for me and make comments. You know that these poor suits visiting just don't even know what to think of me.

Shopping

I hate shopping. Or so I thought.

The idea of spending a day shopping is absolutely appalling. The evil parking lots. The crowds. The carts. The messy clothes strewn about. The capitalism. I just wanted to go hide after.

A while ago, I quit a lot of big box stores. I will not step foot into a Walmart, or Costco, or Best Buy if I can help it. I went to Fry’s the other day and it just made me want to cry. But they had the TV I wanted for less than Amazon.

Luckily, I hate spending money, so I get by with what I have as much as possible. I buy most electronics at the Apple Store. Amazon is my friend for a random assortment of things. I’ve learned about the wonders of Overstock so that I can avoid Bed, Bath & Beyond and Linen’s & Things. Hotwire for hotels and car rentals, JetBlue for airline travel. I can sit for six hours on my couch watching Law & Order, so why not in a leather seat on a plane to Boston?

For groceries, I don’t eat at home a lot, but when I do, I usually stop off at Trader Joe’s. When I can’t get something there, I visit my local ghetto Safeway. There are much nicer looking Safeways just down the street, but they are further away, always have really long lines, the parking lots are crazy, and I just can’t deal with them. The Safeway near my house looks pretty crappy on the outside, but inside is well maintained and stocked. They don’t have a lot of fancy stuff, but there is no difference with their dog food, shampoo or milk.

And then there is clothing. This is the hardest for me. I have to eat, but no one ever said I needed new clothes. And the experience is always horrible. Well, what I’ve finally learned is that paying more for clothes is worth it if you have a good experience. One of my favorite places to shop now is White House | Black Market. A small boutique type shop. They don’t have everything. Their clothing colors are black, or white, and sometimes one accent color. The clothes are expensive, but the quality is good. But one of the things that makes the experience is that the people working there are polite and helpful. If they see me carrying around a piece of clothing, they immediately ask if they can start a room for me. They don’t follow me around, but return often to bring stuff back to “my room.” I never realized how nice this small gesture is. I have both hands free. And they don’t put an upper limit on the number of items I can try on. And they bring me shoes and other suggestions. And they check in to see if I need a different size. And I don’t feel rushed, or belittled, or suffocated. I’ve had similar experiences at Ann Taylor Loft as well. The other nice thing is that the clothing at both places are made for women who have some curves.

So I’ve found that I actually like shopping, when it is a good experience. Of course this means that I end up paying more, but I like what I get much more than if I went somewhere and got a good deal. And I’m not angry when I’m done.

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