Shopping Season

I’ve been shopping. Imagine that. And it isn’t just Christmas shopping, either.

In addition to the other pratfalls in my keystone cop tour of New England, I seem to have lost about 30% of the wardrobe I brought on the trip.  It went missing somewhere between Maine and Massachusetts.  I am sure the jeans, three blouses, two bras, and one sock are enjoying their extended vacation in one of the many lovely inns we frequented in our travels.

I think it was probably all that moving from one hotel to another practically every day.  Despite my best intentions and organization techniques, it doesn’t surprise me that some of my clothes did not find their way back into suitcases.  As I pointed out in my blog on October 17th (http://www.terrilabonte.com/2018/10/twenty-two-and-a-half-winks/), I am not a great sleeper.  Max is an even worse sleeper.  We are both even more inept at it when we are on vacation.  Neither one of us slept much ‘during our New England trip.  Nearly every morning, we had to pry ourselves out of bed in the wee hours to get ourselves and our luggage ready to board the bus.  This meant functioning (or disfunctioning) on about four-and-a-quarter winks on a pretty regular basis.  In my sleep deprived and harried state, I am sure that some clothes that I intended to transfer from my overnight bag to a laundry bag in my suitcase just decided to stay in bed.

I am not going to dignify the disappearance of the single sock with a comment.   Heaven knows, I lose single socks regularly in my own clothes dryer at home.  The fact that I lost one in New England barely ripples my radar.

The other missing articles of clothing are a bit more significant.  The loss was a bit disconcerting, but the up side was that I had an entirely acceptable excuse to go shopping. Replacing the bras was not a huge problem.  It was pretty easy to walk into one store and simply buy the same size, style, and brand I lost.  The jeans were tougher.  The missing jeans were not new or particularly expensive, but they fit really, really well.  I am mourning that loss a little.  Sure, I could walk into any department store and buy more jeans, but finding a pair of jeans that actually fits my bizarrely shaped backside is rather like hunting the elusive unicorn.  I have learned that I cannot really hunt for a pair of jeans like that.  I must be patient and wait for the jeans to find me.

I have been out shopping several times, maintaining the fiction that I am only trying to replace the three blouses that got lost on vacation. However, I find myself running into the same problem again and again.   As I roam the department stores, my eyes keep lighting on true autumn clothes.  I keep pulling sweaters, jackets, and corduroys off the racks.  As I view myself, in the safety of an air-conditioned fitting room, draped in cool weather weight fabrics in fall foliage colors, I have a hard time not purchasing those garments.

It must be a conspiracy.  It is freakin’ Florida. There is no autumn.  Why do they even display such items?  Probably because I am not the only one who hauls out the cozy the instant the mercury drops below 90 degrees.  I have lived in Florida almost four years.  You’d think I’d learn my lesson. Florida may be in the same time zone as the Northeast, but it is certainly not in the same clothing zone. Yes, it may get cool enough to don a sweater for an hour or even a day, but the weather is just teasing.  By the next day, the mere thought of wool will be enough to send my sweat glands into overdrive.  I have numerous articles of clothing in my closet that I have worn only once or twice because the climate in Florida just won’t cooperate.  Just because I am no longer sweating while actually in the shower does not mean it is sweater weather.  By the time we have our eight days or so of winter and it is chilly enough to justify something heavier than a t-shirt, it is usually January or February.  By then, autumnal-colored clothing doesn’t seem quite right either. 

At least, before I went on vacation, I could tell myself that I could at least wear those seductively cuddly clothes in New England.  Now that some of those clothes apparently decided it was too hot to return to Florida, I truly have no excuse to buy a rust-colored corduroy skirt and three sweaters.  Yet, I did.

Heavy sigh.  Please, somebody stop me before I buy yet another article of clothing that it will never be cool enough to wear.  I clearly have a problem.

What do you feel compelled to buy that just isn’t practical for your lifestyle?  How do you resist these urges?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.com.  

Have a warm and cozy day!

Terri/Dorry

Extra, extra… read all about it!!!  My book, Changing My Mind: Reinventing Myself In Retirement  is a suitable gift for all occasions.  Besides being entertaining and informative, it is rectangular and easy to wrap! Perhaps you would like to visit https://secure.mybookorders.com/orderpage/2076 and order a copy or several.  If you use the promo code terri , you will get a 15% discount.  You can also order at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com, but the promo code will not apply.  

Shopping Around

I am a recreational shopper.  I enjoy going to malls and trying on clothes.  I love going to home décor stores.  I get super psyched by specialty shops, farmers’ markets, and craft fairs, especially at Christmas time.  I practice shopping the way some people practice their golf swing.  To me, shopping is entertainment, a leisure pursuit.

When Max moved in with me after we dated for several years, I made him promise that we would keep “dating” and go someplace fun at least once a week.  Shopping counted.  It worked out pretty well because Max is a very tolerant shopper.  He actually enjoys trailing around behind me in a mall or craft fair. He is a good fan and cheers me on when I make purchases.   If he does tire of waiting for me to try on potential new outfits, he sits on a chair by the fitting room and surfs the internet on his phone.  All in all, he is a very satisfactory shopping companion.

The only thing is, he really doesn’t get my concept of “museum shopping.” He doesn’t always understand that I can like things I see while shopping, but don’t necessarily have any desire to own them.  For me, shopping isn’t really about the acquisition of things. I certainly do my share of buying and continue to do my part to keep the economy strong, but the real pleasure in shopping is just seeing new things in different surroundings.  I get exercise while I watch people, admire the merchandise, and appreciate the store’s environment and decoration. It is almost like observing a microcosm of pop culture.  Max always seems vaguely deflated if we end a shopping expedition without purchasing anything, as if he has somehow failed in his mission. For me, the absence of multiple shopping bags digging into my arms does not mar my appreciation of the excursion.

One of the reasons I think Max doesn’t appreciate the whole “museum shopping” thing is that he takes gift-giving very seriously.  Once he has allocated money into his budget for my Christmas and birthday presents, he is like a meerkat protecting the mob (yes, that is what a group of meerkats is called; I looked it up on Wikipedia).  Every time I admire something, he pops his head up and suggests that he buy it for me for the next gift-giving occasion on the docket. That money burns a hole in the present budget until he can purchase something. Then, once he has purchased something, he budgets money for the next gift-giving occasion and the process starts all over again.   Because of this propensity of his, I think I will be opening my Christmas present for 2020 this year.  It mystifies him that I can be so excited over whatever I am admiring, but still not want him to buy it for me.  I just always want to keep shopping.  You never know when there might be something better or somewhere better to buy a gift.

Speaking of a better place to buy a gift, I don’t really consider a trip a vacation unless the activity schedule includes shopping.  I usually don’t buy a lot of souvenir things, but I do like to buy “regular” stuff while on vacation.  If a buy an article of clothing or piece of jewelry or Christmas ornament or home décor item while I am on vacation, there is the added benefit that I will always remember that experience when I use the item back at home.

Then there is online shopping. My mother was Amazon.com’s best friend.  It was a rare day when she did not receive multiple boxes from the Big Box Store In The Sky. Max likes the purchasing without benefit of human contact that online shopping provides.  I’m not a huge fan.  Because of my poor visual reasoning skills, I have a hard time converting the pictures and descriptions on a website to what an item will actually be like in real life.  In regular stores, I can look and listen and smell and touch to my heart’s content.  Yes, my mother did teach me not to touch, but it didn’t take.  I’m careful, but I always touch.

I do appreciate the efficiency and cost effectiveness of online shopping when I know exactly the item I want.  I regularly order hard-to-find protein bars and the Costco brand of over-the-counter sleeping pills from Amazon.  Cyberspace buzzes between Amazon and my kindle on a regular basis.  However, I find that online purchasing misses exactly what I like best about shopping… the exploration (that visual reasoning thing makes searching for items online unsatisfactory for me), the exercise (I don’t really call rhythmic keystroking exercise, do you?), the sensory experience (you can’t touch the merchandise in online stores) …. and, for the most part, the excitement.

I’ve just written over 800 words about shopping.  They say everyone needs a hobby when he or she retires.  I think I’ve decided shopping qualifies.

Do you think shopping qualifies as a hobby?  What hobbies are you pursuing in retirement?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.com.  

Buy yourself something nice today!

Terri/Dorry 🙂

REMEMBER: You can order your copy of Changing My Mind: Reinventing Myself In Retirement by visiting: https://secure.mybookorders.com/orderpage/2076

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