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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Buying stuff

You know what?

I hate shopping.

I really, really, hate shopping.

I know that, being female and all, I'm supposed to love shopping.  Apparently, the sight of a sale somewhere and spending money is supposed to give me near orgasmic pleasure.  I'm supposed to have closets full of clothes, a different pair of shoes to match each outfit, and be totally gaga over jewelry.  According to our modern culture a day of going from store to store, blowing wads of cash, is even supposed to be therapeutic.

Nope.  Not me.

First off, I hate spending money wastefully.  There are very few things I'm willing to throw a few extra ducats at for the sake of quality.  Even less because I just really, really like it.  I might splurge on a higher quality ball of yarn perhaps, but I'm perfectly willing to score some cheap yarn at the Salvation Army, Goodwill or the Reuse Centre.

When it comes to shopping, though, the more I actually need to get something, the less likely I am to actually get it.  Especially if it's something for myself.  Still, even the most basic of shopping trips is a whole lot of stress and frustration I'd rather not take part in.

Take grocery shopping.  I don't shop with a list, exactly.  It's more like "I need meat, fruit, veggies... let's see what's on sale and what looks good."  Whatever I end up getting, that's what I make our meals with.

Let's start with meats and the like.  Beef is the one meat all four of us like - except for ground beef, which thoroughly disgusts one of us.  So that limits making things meatloaf, burgers, lasagna, spaghetti and meat sauce, etc.  Three of us like pork, but one finds it disgusting.  Two of us like dark chicken meat, one prefers white, while the other prefers to avoid it at all.  One of us won't eat anything with bones, even if I debone it first, because there always manages to be a piece of something that gets missed.  We have one person that likes seafood, the others don't care for it, unless it's wrapped in bacon, deep fried or lobster in a restaurant.  Three of us likes pork, while one finds it stomach churning.  Two of us likes to try new foods, though one is significantly braver than the other.  One would rather not eat than try something new, while the fourth is really, really uncomfortable trying new foods.

On it goes.

What about fruits and veggies?  We like fruit.  Nectarines, apples, plums, grapefruit, oranges, bananas, pomegranates, pears... yum!  The problems?  Discovering that the lovely fresh fruit we just bought is disgusting.  Whether it's biting into a luscious nectarine only to discover green mold growing in the pit (that was a recent one), peeling an orange only to find it's got weird, hard patches and no taste, biting into what was supposed to be a juicy, tart apple and finding it mealy and gross.  It's got to the point that I'm loathe to buy fresh fruit, no matter how good it looks, because I've too often had to throw them out.  As for veggies?  Touch and go, there.  Sometimes they are fine, but sometimes we'll pick up some fresh looking broccoli, only to have it turn yellow within a day or two.  Or a bag of potatoes goes moldy in no time.  I've lost track of the number of times I've tried to find a good bag of carrots, only to find bag after bag with slime on the bottom.  Forget about lettuces!  They don't last at all, though at least with lettuce, we can plant some on our balcony.

Oh, and just to make food shopping even more fun, I'm the only one in the family that isn't lactose intolerant.  Which sucks in a family that loves cheese.  Well, 3 of us do.  We cut soy quite some time ago, and now we find that one of us can't do wheat.  Only one of us really enjoys rice, while the rest have been riced-out considerably.  One of us likes barley and lentils, while another claims to like them but when they're served, never seems to eat them.  Another doesn't care for them, while the fourth finds them revolting.

On it goes.

As you can imagine, it makes grocery shopping a challenge.

Then there's other shopping.  Like clothes.

Ah, joy.  Not.

I used to have a hard time finding clothes because I had such huge breasts.  Now that I've had them lopped off, I've discovered that apparently, fat women aren't supposed to be small breasted.  We're also not supposed to be apple shaped, only hourglasses.  Oh, and our height is supposed to increase exponentially with our weight.  We're also supposed to be narrow at the shoulders.  Being short, big bellied and with the shoulders of a linebacker, it's quite nearly impossible to find clothes that fit, never mind ones that look good, too.

I'm not the only one with this problem.  While we all have different body shapes, all 4 of us have broad shoulders and wide feet.  No chance of accumulating a collection of shoes in this household; we're lucky if we can get a single pair that fits, and it's not unusual for us to keep wearing our shoes long after they've started falling apart, simply because it's so hard to find replacements that fit.

Which reminds me.  I'm going to have to throw out my hiking boots.  I've been wearing sandals all summer, but when it cooled down enough that I thought to dig them out, I discovered they're split wide open across the top.  The joys of having to buy men's shoes for a woman's foot.  Because they're designed for a foot that bends in a different place, they tend to split rather quickly.

What about non-personal items?  Like household needs?

I'm not much better there!  When we moved out here, some 6 years ago now, I left behind most of my baking supplies.  Most of them needed replacing anyhow, so I figured this would be a good time to do that.

I still haven't done it.

I've got some loaf pans, a couple of cookie sheets and a big roaster.  I've got an oven-safe frying pan with a missing handle I use for a small roaster.  I need some in-between sized pots, but every time I look at them, I walk away because I can't justify spending the money.  The only reason we've now got muffin tins and a glass pie plate is because of a friend's moving sale.  I need a new frying pan.  Actually, I need a couple in different sizes.  I just don't buy them.  There are a few things I was able to get, only because I had accumulated enough loyalty points to get them for free.  There are far more I really need to get, but the money is needed elsewhere.

Even if money weren't something I needed to worry about, I'd still hate shopping.  I dislike the entire experience.  The crowds.  The noise.  Wandering through shops, trying to hunt down staff when I need them, or peeling off the aggressive salespeople when I don't.  Searching for the things I need, and never being able to find them for one silly reason or another.  Of course, there's the shear pain of it, as my feet and knees click, clack and pop in and out of place, which happens much more frequently when the seasons are changing, as they are now. 

All in all, it's just a really horrid experience, and I truly don't get people who find shopping fun.  Me?  I just don't enjoy buying stuff.

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