I am taking a deep breath as I write this, to say that yes, I am going to do the one-year shopping challenge. I know! I know. No new clothes for a whole year, starting retroactively August 1. Can I do it? I don’t know, but I’m going to try.
I will say this: if you tell people that you are going to go clothing-store-free for a year, the reactions will be threefold. First, the people who aren’t really shoppers, but are highly enthusiastic and supportive of your venture. Second, the people who ARE shoppers, and who say that they could never do that themselves, but yet are highly enthusiastic and supportive of your venture. And third are the people who passive-aggressively say that they sure hope you can make it through this struggle and difficult time, princess, and is your tiara a little too tight? Your diamond ring too heavy? That’s tragic.
Oh, people of the internet. Never change.
I am making a few exceptions to this challenge: clothing makes perfectly acceptable Christmas and birthday gifts, and I will still ask for items for those occasions. I am not a monster. Also, I will buy myself the following clothing items as needed: winter driving gloves, a bra, socks, and underwear. My current pair of winter gloves is in a sad state, and this is more an item of necessity than anything else. I have also needed a new bra for quite some time, since my – ahem – size has changed. However, it could be another year before I buy one because, as my husband said, I have to actually a) go to the mall, b) go into a store, and c) have it fitted. I am definitely an online shopper, versus a mall shopper, and so I will probably put that off as long as I possibly can. Socks and underwear are self-explanatory. I am not going to skimp on those things.
Anyway, just because I am not shopping for myself doesn’t mean I am not shopping at all. This week, I did some back-to-school shopping with the kids; mostly supplies, but also new running shoes. People, they wear men’s sizes now and I can tell you that things have suddenly gotten expensive. Hoo boy. Shoe shopping with children is always a hellish prospect, but when you know that the end result is going to be the loss of your sanity AND a large sum of money, well.
Speaking of hell, last night I was grocery shopping at Superstore while the kids were at karate. It is very convenient, since I have an hour to kill and the store is very close to the dojo. Sometimes I zip through the store, finding everything I need and feeling happy and satisfied. Other times, like last night, I feel like I have literally descended into hell. It was madness, madness, I say. Shelves were half-stocked or not stocked at all, there were piles of random items in baskets at the end of every aisle, all of the aisles have been changed around so that not only was it difficult to find ordinary things, but the shopping experience was kind of gross because of it. I mean, cereal should not be right beside cat food. Tofu and other vegan products should not be beside the live fish and crab tanks. Sesame oil should be in the “international” aisle, not with the ketchup. I am always very tired on Thursdays, but last night I was completely frazzled and exhausted by the end of it.
I know, I know, princess problems.
The upside of shopping at Superstore is that there is always something entertaining and interesting going on, either in the store itself or in the parking lot. Right before the Canada Day weekend I was walking through with my giant cart, and a man was going back to his car with nothing whatsoever except an economy-sized package of toilet paper and a plunger. No bag, no cart, just those two items. He walked tall and proud, and I salute that man.
Last night as I was going into the store, a fellow drove by slowly with a 1970s-era convertible Corvette. He must have noticed me looking, because he gave me that nod and smile that is the universal code for “How YOU doin’?” Still got it, baby. But as he drove away I noticed his license plate: 4KROOZIN. Again, I salute you, sir, for embracing who you are with no apologies.