Confessions of a non-shopaholic: One woman’s struggles

What I think I look like when I’m shopping. Until I catch myself in a mirror.

The act of shopping is one that brings joy and relaxation to both men and women throughout the world. Clothing, food, hardware — there are countless stores in which you can find countless people lackadaisically browsing the aisles, many of whom don’t even have the intention to buy anything. They just “like” it. While I enjoy the occasional romp through a Forever 21 as much as the next gal, for the most part shopping doesn’t — ahem — bring out the best in me.

The first type of shopping I’d like to touch on is the dreaded Shopping for Clothes. I know as a chick it’s supposed to be hardwired into my brain to enjoy this activity, but most of the time I hate it. Do clothing stores purposely make the temperature as high as possible so it forces people into buying something just so they can get the hell out of there?
It’s like the floor manager at H&M sees me coming and instantly runs to the thermostat, “Ange is here and she looks disgruntled – CRANK IT!” and in minutes the temperature has climbed to a stifling 80 degrees.  By the time I make it to the dressing room, the clothing I wore to the store is sweaty and hanging lifelessly on my torso, which makes me feel even worse about my lacking wardrobe and further fuels my fire to buy something, anything.

H&M: Quite possibly the hottest store ever. And I’m not talking about their clothing.

At this point in the shopping excursion my body is so swollen from the heat, ankles thick and sweat dripping from my clavicle all the way down to my bellybutton, that the site of myself in the dressing room is enough to bring tears to my eyes. Sweaty tears. I feel like I don’t even need to get into what the dressing room mirrors do to your body, because they obvi add 5-10 pounds, and it’s just exacerbated by the blaring fluorescent lights hanging over your head. The fact that I was a fatty when I was younger definitely hasn’t helped this whole “shopping thing,” as some of the experiences I had trying on dresses for school dances were truly scarring, and usually ended with me crying in the dressing room as a sales clerk politely knocked on the door: “Everything OK in there? How are you doing? Do you need any help?”

“How are you doing?”  — It’s like all of the sudden the sales clerk is your life coach, cheering you on from one graphic-tee stand to the next. Do you really want to know how I’m doing, or are you just trying to make small talk? Hmmm, how am I doing? Well, I just spent the last 20 minutes trying to stuff my ham-hocks into these straight-leg hipster pants like a friggin’ sausage link in a Cheerio, and by the time I was finished my body was covered in sweat and my self-esteem had formed a puddle on the dressing room floor. I hate this store, I hate this remix of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” that you have blasting at an insane decibel, and mostly I hate myself. I’m sorry, I meant to say: “I’m doing well, just browsing, thanks!”

Charlie the Sunkist Tuna says, “This bitch is crazy!”

After a long, hard day of trying on clothing I need to spend at least an hour emotionally eating once I get home. And you can’t emotionally eat unless you have food in your house, which brings me to the next type of shopping: Grocery Shopping. (What a segue!) As a youth, I hated grocery shopping. I mean, seriously loathed it to the point where my parents would ask me to please not go with them because I insisted on making it a negative experience for everybody involved, because if I had to be miserable, dammit, I was going to make everybody else miserable. I spent many Sundays watching my parents clip coupons from a circular, file them away in that little coupon-holder thingy, and then spend hours going up and down the gray, desolate aisles of our local Price Chopper, looking for the buy-1-get-1-free cans of Starkist Tuna in water.

In a surprising turn of events, as I enter my adults years grocery shopping has turned into one of my favorite and most relaxing activities to do while stoned. What’s funny is now that I have the freedom to pick out anything I want with nobody to tell me something “has too much sugar and is going to rot my teeth out,” all of the sudden I’m super healthy in what I buy. No chips, no ice cream. Only veggies, wheat pasta, and 1-2 different types of meat that I can gross my vegetarian roommate out with throughout the week. In the past, I would roll my eyes as my mom thoroughly investigated her receipt to make sure that the store hadn’t ripped her off. Now I’m the one watching with dead eyes as the cashier rings up my eggs:

Me: Uh, I think those eggs are supposed to be two for $5.00.
Cashier: Hmm *pulls out circular* Nope, I don’t see them.
Me: Well, I know they’re two for $5.00 because otherwise I wouldn’t have bought them.
Cashier: … … …
Me: … …  Hey, what’s that over there? *Runs out of store with all my groceries without paying*

“I… just… can’t… pick… one!!!”

The last type of shopping that has left its memories emblazoned in my mind is Shopping for Books or Movies. Of course, with this whole “Internet thing” and the use of Rokus and Apple TVs, this isn’t very applicable now. But growing up I have very distinct memories of taking trips to the video rental store on Friday nights, ready to peruse the aisles and pick out whatever obscure Ethan Hawke movie I could find — (Full disclosure: I spent a lot of Friday nights during my childhood staying inside and watching movies alone or with my mom. This is because I didn’t like hanging out with people my age and instead chose to ostracize myself. Now that that’s out of the way…) — when it would hit me: The stomach ache. I cannot be the only person that has this happen to them anytime they’re in a high-pressure rental scenario such as the video store. There’s something about wandering a movie or book aisle knowing your parents or friends are waiting on you to make a selection, that twists a person’s bowels into knots. Not my bowels, of course, because girls aren’t born with any internal organs that enable the act of pooping. Namely buttholes.

Well, now that I’ve ranted and raved and alienated every single person reading this, I guess my work here is done. Remember, the moral of the story is: Not all girls like shopping, but all girls don’t poop.

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Comments

  1. OMG.. peeing (not pooping, of course) my pants. You KNOW I hate shopping so clearly inherited that from me. “You’re so funny!”

  2. One if the funniest, bravest people I know.

  3. Well said pang! You’re living your life in NYC being social out n about and now I’m the one that stays home! Funny how the tables turn your Carrie Bradshaw;). You’re such a great writer:)! Xo

  4. thanks for the love, ladies!!!!!!!

  5. hilarious as i’ve come to expect from you. my self esteem is definitely scattered along the floors of many a nj department store.

  6. seriously feel exactly the same way and hate it when ppl give me that “you aren’t a real woman” look when i say i don’t like shopping. i mean f* you. i’m spending my money on important things like weed!

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