About two weeks ago, when The Long-Suffering Wife had a day off, she went out to the huge outlet mall in Camarillo. It happens to be just a mile or so from the CAF hangars there, but in all the years I’ve been going to the CAF, I’ve never gone to the malls.
Not my thing.
She got an article of clothing for me that I had mentioned as something I might like to try. It turns out that I like it quite a bit.
I’m not a “clothes person.” I consider myself more of a card-carrying pragmatist, particularly in terms of items (such as clothing) which are a necessary part of daily living, but which I consider to be nothing more. If and when I find something that I like (i.e., it’s comfortable, fits well, and I like the way it looks) I tend to go buy a whole slew of them so:
- I don’t run out or have to bother going to find more for a long time, and;
- I don’t have to think about it or spend any time on it.
Thus it was, after a long day at the hangar, I spontaneously decided to go find that store in the outlet mall and stock up. I did so, with the sales lady at the counter being suitably impressed.
“You really want to buy two dozen of these?”
“Yes, you have it in six colors, I’m buying four of each.”
When I arrived home, The Long-Suffering Wife was also impressed, but for a different reason.
“I thought you hated shopping!”
This is true, for the most part. I do hate shopping, considering it a waste of time. I will make an exception for books, computers, and cameras. But shopping for clothes? Yes. “Hate” might not be a strong enough word.
Today I did not go “shopping.”
Today I went “buying.”
I knew exactly what I wanted and I knew exactly where to find it. It took me a couple of tries to find the exact location of the store (it’s a really, really freakin’ huge outlet mall, or rather, malls, since there are three or four of them side by side) but once there, it took me less than five minutes to find that particular rack of clothing, pick out the two dozen I wanted, and get to the counter.
“Shopping” to me implies meandering through a store or several stores, perhaps somewhat aimlessly, looking at many different options and then deciding which one you like. This may in fact require you to retrace your steps and go back to someplace you were before.
I understand that many, many people actively enjoy this process. They love to shop! I’m not in any way denigrating or dismissing the act for those who enjoy it. You will also note that I’m not making any sexist or stereotypical statements here, in particular about women. Many people enjoy shopping, often on its own behalf as much or more as the actual results of the shopping process.
There was nothing aimless about what I did, and I didn’t explore any options at all. I was like a cruise missile closing in on a target. I was “buying” something very specific which I needed and wanted, and got it from the exact place I expected it to be.
This was not necessarily “shopping,” although I can see where the two terms might be related and easily confused.