I don’t like to shop. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as shallow and materialistic as anyone else in my generation. After all, I did grow up in the 80s, when Americans fully embraced the virtues of “buy now, pay later.” Look out, because I’m about to contradict myself. I don’t actually like having a lot of stuff. The vast majority of all my current worldly goods fits in my tiny bedroom. I think that takes a certain amount of talent. There are certain items that I like having and often desire to have when a new version comes out. Some electronics fall into this category. Multiple… so many… books definitely come into play here. Movies used to find their way here, but thanks to Netflix giving me a plethora of options, I often think, “What’s the point?” when I see an ad for a movie on DVD or Bluray.
So I don’t like to shop. More accurately, I don’t like to spend money. I’m kind of stingy that way. I wouldn’t describe myself as greedy. It’s not as if I feel it’s my sole purpose in life to make as much money as possible only to hoard it away in a Scrooge McDuck style money bin. I don’t even like to swim in water… can’t imagine mountains of coin making swimming any more appealing. Since I don’t like to spend money, I avoid shopping unless absolutely necessary. I’ll only buy a new pair of pants if I lose a pair to a tear in an embarrassing spot. And in that case, I’ll check a thrift store before I go for something brand new at full price.
But I did some shopping before Christmas, as people so often do. In that crazy, pre-holiday shopping delirium, I found myself at Target. I don’t like to shop, but I love a Target. In my North Carolina days, I lived near a Super Target, which I think of as similar to a Super Wal-Mart… but way better. How way? Way, way. Back in the day, that’s where I got groceries, clothes, books, DVDs… If the Super Target didn’t have it, I obviously didn’t need it. I know there are people who feel that way about the Wal-Mart. And no offense to the people of Wal-Mart, I just found the Target to be a little classier. I know that makes me sound like a snob, but so be it.
Anyway, around here, I only get to enjoy the standard sized Target. I’d love to see the Super Target make its way to my neck of the woods, but I won’t hold my breath. I rarely visit the local Target, though. And in preparing for Christmas, I remembered why. As I walked the aisles, something happened to me. I can’t explain it, but I browsed the items on the shelves and was possessed by a desire to buy all the things. Things I didn’t need. Things I probably didn’t even want. But they were there. I know those throw pillows don’t match the sofa in the living room, but they look so comfortable! I don’t know how I’ve lived my life this long without having this very Wonder Woman tumbler! I didn’t know they still made Etch-a-Sketches! I must have one! And so on…
I was able to control my mania while shopping specifically for certain people on my Christmas shopping list. I also haven’t allowed myself to return to Target since that day. I’m usually so strong when it comes to shopping. But in Target, I could feel myself slipping away. I figure, if I avoid the place in question, I can avoid the temptation. I can’t get hypnotized by that bright red dot in the center of the target.
By the way, Barnes & Noble has a similar hold over me. It’s located across the street from Target. I basically try to avoid that neighborhood altogether.