Born To Shop
People who love shopping sometimes hide things because lovers, parents and colleagues at work like to criticize them for the habit.
Isn’t that a shame? Hiding something you love doing because of people you live with? First of all, it’s your money or should we say your credit card? It is nobody’s business if you max it or you become broke for life.
Shoppers drive the economy. That is why countries like Canada and the U.S. are part of the ‘free world’. Translate that into freedom to buy and sell anything. Remember that, the next time you see another shop with a big sign: CLOSING DOWN SALE.
Let’s go shopping shall we?
Elements of Shoppping
Shopalholics, the subject of many chick-lit books is a misnomer. Shopping is a thesis, or the psychological and financial research that preludes it.
It is a consultation, a gathering and analyzing of information such as dollar signs, sizes and colours, choosing what is best for the body concerned, punching the secret code on the device the cashier gives you and finally, pressing the SEND or O.K. button.
Men in Changing Rooms
Shopping takes time. The species that shops understands these basics, so it is very unsettling when another species invades such a delicate space and follows his partner around with a long face.
Certain sisters even aggravate matters by soliciting the opinion of whoever is following them . You get the answer that will not upset the relationship with a virus, especially when the winter sun goes down.
There are various reasons for shopping together.
It is trying to spend together, the little free time lovers have.
It is because of sharing one car.
It is to show the world that I have moved on, and I am no longer with my ex.
Bored Boyfriends and Husbands
Nobody has a right to tell lovers how to bond but it should not interfere with the shopping ambience. Continuously dragging him to a world he hates, does not add value to the relationship.
It also interferes with the species right to shop peacefully. Women of all ages are there to unwind, to forget boyfriends who wake up one morning and ask for time-out, by-passed promotions, younger women that upset the applecart and entice men with their upright body parts or daughters that are so rude they have become strangers.
Shoppers therefore need a mellow environment to re-group. Women in a Sandton City store in Johannesburg were scandalized when one of the species asked her boyfriend to come into the changing room.
Shoppers looked at each other and stared upwards for non-existent cobwebs. A sales lady clad in all black quickly materialised and stated store policy. It is not allowed. Period. Shopping equilibrium was restored.
Shopping Means of Payment
There was a time when men were in shopping establishments for a reason. They were there to foot the bill.
Members of the shopping species now use their own money. Indeed, it would be sacrilege if one of them said she was using a credit card that belongs to Dele or Stefan. That is a squatter, not a shopper. That is not kind of species we are talking about here.
Besides, using borrowed money usually has strings attached such as spending limit and choice of clothes. There is a fine line between wife abuse, extra-marital affairs and right to shop.
Women across the financial, religious and cultural spectrum, hide swollen eyes behind Bobbi Brown make-up, and meet for coffee in café penthouses in Rio de Janeiro, Paris or Milan. He gives you his credit cards to apologise after banging your head against the wall and tearing up your lips.
Cosmetic counters in Harrods, Harvey Nichols or Selfridges are tourist London destinations on their own, where it is common to see girls covered from head to toe in black religious clothes, sampling make-up.
Liquid Credit Cards
Shopping is more than the exchange of goods and the insertion of credit and debit cards into electronic lips. Liquid promissory notes like credit cards are important because shopping does not involve cash.
It is not buying something like milk or a light bulb from Dollarama. This store, which has more $1.50 items than dollar ones, does not take credit cards for obvious reasons. It has buyers. Clothing stores in Dubai have shoppers or clients.
The shopping we are presently discussing is of a Dubai or Bloor Street West, Toronto, Canada type of shopping. It is purely plastic-based. You look, you like, and swipe a card, which does not have a limit to avoid embarrassment.
We shall ask eBay and other online merchants to leave the room because we are discussing serious business where we push the Holt Renfrew or Bloomingdales door with a flourish and leave with five or six paper bags, full of things we like, but do not necessarily need.
Serious shoppers insist on paper bags with a minimalist store logo. I will shop at Gap if I want my new jeans stuffed in a plastic bag.
Yes, there are great deals online but there is nothing like hands-on shopping, admiring the store display, feeling the fabric, holding and item up to decide if the cut is a 36-36 or a 36 that can accommodate a 38 body. Please indulge me.
Hands-on shopping also allows you to bask in short-lived celebrity status. Who is she, sales persons ask each other. They have to because you are dressed to shop and you keep your sunglasses on, and just lift them up to see the price, not that it matters really.
Shopping and the Economy
This piece might be laced with humour, but the reality is that shopping keeps the wheels of the economy churning and women are those wheels, directly or indirectly.
Statistics Canada is a government department and hiding things behind fancy words is a government thing. Retail means shopping. Some middle class folks even talk about needing some retail therapy.
Now back to elusive government language! Let us decode some Statistics Canada information.
The July 2014 monthly retail sales report is grouped by industry. It is easy to know who was buying when you see clothing and clothing accessories.
Retail Monthly Reports
Motor vehicles and parts dealers: women drive themselves to work, play, airport, and the mall. They need oil change, buy batteries and snow tyres, so they played a part in the more than ten million dollars the industry made in July.
Furniture and home furnishings: you don’t have to be a genius to know who was buying here.
Electronics and appliances: some girls are worse than boys when it comes to computers with Ferrari price tags and torque power, mobile phones, tablets or wrist phones and toys for making bread or the perfect roast.
Health and personal care: Both boys and girls want to be well-groomed, not a grey hair in sight and pimples that distract people from what you are saying.
It is therefore important to look at shopping in context.
The species is shopping because everything else is taken care at home: Manitoba Hydro, chairs to sit on, drapes to hide family secrets, pots and microwave ovens and pet food.
Mama was a serious shopper. She bought me shoes in black, red and brown if they were on sale. The tradition continues.