I miss browsing in stores. I miss winding through the aisles, mentally chronicling the goods, admiring the aesthetics of the display. Purse displays are particularly elegant. I miss the bright aroma of the freshly-unpacked things (it’s probably formaldehyde) and drifting in my private reverie.
I’m sure that’s the reason I have so many shoes, never worn. They looked so pretty in the store! They look very pretty in my closet too. I visit them sometimes, and rearrange them by color or function. Although, honestly, there’s few opportunities to wear fire engine red open-toe patent leather faux-crocodile stilettos in Alaska.
Just the other day, I stood in front of my heel collection, wondering if there was a police officer with small enough feet who could wear a pair of my shoes in one of those funny charity walks. I’d donate a pair to a good cause. I’m not sure which pair I could part with (perhaps one of the Naughty Monkeys) but I don’t have to decide that right now since I don’t know any cops with my shoe size. And I’m unlikely to meet one. (Shhh! Please don’t tell. It has to be one of those magical moments of synchronicity where a cop mysteriously appears and asks my shoe size or the whole exercise is spoiled.)
Anyway, the days of browsing stores are gone. I can’t walk into any kind of specialty store without some “greeter” tackling me in the first few feet offering to guide me to what I need. If I shake that one loose, another one is five feet away. It happened again just before the holidays. I went into a sporting goods store for ankle weights. After dodging two greeters, I found a set and then wandered over to the pretty yoga mats. As I was reading the features of the different mats, a particularly sneaky young greeter sidled in beside me and started talking.
“Can I help you find something?” “I’m looking for a yoga mat.” “They’re right here.” He gestures. I know that, you’re interrupting me (I don’t say that). “Is there a particular yoga mat you’re looking for?” “That one.” I grab a box.
I hadn’t decided on it but I can’t talk and shop at the same time and that’s the point. They don’t want to give you a chance to talk yourself out of a purchase. So I come home with a 5 mm thick yoga mat that’s too short. I’m not taking it back. I’ll make do. I’ll just wiggle around during my practice getting my head or feet back on the mat with my equanimity destroyed as I ponder how I was rushed into buying the wrong mat. So there!
Mr. Spock once said, “After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true.” – Star Trek, season 2, episode 1 (“Amok Time,” 1968). He was such a wise Vulcan.
And that, girls and boys, is the reason why I now shop on-line in my jammies, a cup of coffee in hand, cruising through 28 or 56 or 108 photos per page. The department store aroma isn’t there and I miss the strolling. But the private reverie is unspoiled. And that is a pleasing thing.