I know there are people who enjoy shopping. They say this enjoyment stems from our ancient hunter/gatherer instincts, but I seem to have been born without the gatherer gene. Since I strongly suspect I’d make a lousy hunter as well, I probably would have been one of those tribe members who just got left behind to starve because they were useless. Which may be why my body is evolved to be so very calorie efficient.
I despise shopping. I despise it so much that it’s starting to ruin Christmas for me. If I’m not stressing over what to get someone then I’m stressing over my financial situation or worrying about who might unexpectedly get me a present when I failed to reciprocate whether out of a lack of resources or a simple inability to come up with or find something that might make a good gift in return.
I’m not even a good gift receiver. Due to my inability to shop well in return when someone hands me a thoughtful present I mostly just squirm inside, casting a light over my own desperate inadequacy in this department.
When I enter a store, whatever I am searching for magically vanishes into the ether. My husband, who is a highly skilled shopper, has even noticed this effect. If he goes out alone he can quickly locate whatever he is looking for, usually on sale, but if I come with him then the two of us shuffle endlessly between stores as the black cloud of my bad shopping Karma lingers over us erasing whatever we are looking for from consumer existence. If I’m shopping online it’s out of stock and will be backordered for months (assuming it ever becomes available again). Since finances are always tight I can never even begin most of my shopping until I receive my holiday bonus at work, which always occurs (as it did this year) five days before Christmas. This leads to days like today where the entire day is spent sitting in traffic, searching for parking, dodging cars trying to run me over in parking lots, wandering for aimless hours in stores until I finally concede that I am never going to find what I’m looking for and ask a beleaguered sales associate for help. Then of course I find out that whatever I’m looking for is out of stock / only available via their website / they’ve never even heard of that before.
The end result of which is me sobbing in my car in the parking lot while other shoppers hurry quickly past trying very hard not to notice the woman having an ugly cry in a semi-public place. Hey, at least I made it to the car before breaking down.
Of course, making it home and realizing I was so busy feeling sorry for myself that I quite simply forgot the last stop I was supposed to make at the grocery store doesn’t really make anything much better.
Lastly, after having begged not to be left alone with any of the Christmas chocolates that people insist on giving us during the holidays, I found myself left alone with them anyway and may or may not have binge-ate about 700 calories worth before stopping. It was one of those times that my anger and frustration over what is, essentially, the eating disorder that I live with led me to understand why some might be sorely tempted to just go into the bathroom and quickly reverse the problem.
If I could somehow untangle this horrendous, consumer driven shopping requirement from a holiday that is supposed to be spent celebrating the joyous birth of Jesus Christ I would gladly give back every Christmas present I have ever received.