The Norman Transcript

Columns

December 28, 2013

Tales of a serial shopper

(Continued)

NORMAN —

You’re selling a cheerful and cheap rayon scarf that matches earrings I own? Gimme that schmatte before somebody else grabs it.

Handmade soap scented with fennel and wrapped in organic papyrus? I guess so. It’s made locally? Sold. My friend laughs at me, but I point out that it’s nicely packaged. I only experience disappointment when, upon unwrapping it at home, the cat immediately attempts to push it into her litter box

My friend would never have bought the soap. She has focus. She has a mission. She wants only what will make her happy every day. Impulse buys, reckless spending on frivolous items and point-of-sale transactions are anathema to her.

You can imagine what a sucker I am for the stuff next to the register, right? I’m the kind of person who only has to see “ChapStick” while I’m waiting on line to decide that my lips are actually now so dry they are falling off of my face and that I must immediately get three balms (not a word used without causing confusion these days; insist to the guy next to you “Hand over the balm” and he’ll alert security). Usually I rip open the package before I reach the cashier; I am unable to contain myself.

I’m just retail-incontinent.

At least I’m not one of those poor souls addicted to shopping, the sorts who roam through malls with predatory if undefined tendencies and often travels in packs. I do believe that shopping can be an addiction, but since I also believe that checking Twitter, watching “Mob Wives” and talking about the benefits of kale can be addictions, perhaps I’m not a good judge.

Yes, it’s true that my friend and I have fundamental differences. I believe tomorrow is promised to no one and that we should all make hay while the sun shines, even if the hay is not quite the right texture or color. She believes life’s too short to surround one’s self with the ersatz, the makeshift or the slapdash — and that the sun will come out tomorrow.

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