I’m a bit meh about shopping.
An embarrassing thing to admit in a forum like this, but it’s true. The idea of spending a Saturday browsing for shoes, for example, although it’s not quite my idea of hell, doesn’t fill me with the unbridled joy it brings to other women.
I’m not stingy, and I’m not a dag (I hope). If I need shoes, I’ll buy some, but normally it’s the first suitable pair I see. At the beginning of winter or summer I take a deep breath and head for the shops and in two hours will have bought everything I think I’ll need for the coming season – jeans, dresses, accessories, make-up. With a bit of luck it’ll all come from the one shop. Browsing is not my thing. My sisters think there’s something wrong with me.
Of course, there are types of shopping I quite like – stores I enjoy browsing.
Hardware. I like Bunnings, and not just for the sausage sizzle. We’re selling our house and a month ago a friend who was helping me swish it up for the photos said, ‘You know what would look great? An orange letterbox. Orange is so now.’
I Googled designer letterboxes and discovered ‘now’ coloured models cost upwards of $400. No way Jose. But, that same day I had to go to Bunnings for sugar soap and I thought, I wonder what the chances of finding an orange letterbox are and bingo. Only $109! I felt like I’d won the lottery.
After talking to the Bunnings man I reckoned I could have a crack at putting it up. I also found rust inhibitor paint, a selection of surprisingly funky storage boxes and some orange and green stripy cushions for the lawn furniture. I forgot the sugar soap but was happy to go back on Saturday because you know, sausage sizzle and all.
I’m not alone here. My friend Rachel sneaks off to Bunnings on weekday afternoons before school pickup and buys plants. When her partner notices them she says, ‘Oh that? Vietnamese basil? I potted that last September!’ I told her she needs some kind of support group. She told me she’s planning on going to a Bunnings ladies night. Apparently there’s no reason she can’t learn to hang a door.
Food. Not groceries so much, but I love a deli. The more exotic the better. A psychologist would have a field day with my attraction to dusty shop with smelly smallgoods dangling from the ceiling.
Books. I’m not alone here. I love our kindle, but a good bookshop can suck me in for hours. Even in other countries when the books aren’t even in English.
Sometimes it’s good to defy the conventions. You never know where you’ll end up or what you’ll find. With a bit of luck you’ll end up surprising yourself, possibly with a well hung door and an orange letterbox on your gate.
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Do you love something you’re not ‘meant’ to love?