Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Let’s Go Shopping

I was thinking about the weekend, how my daughter tried to pass off her desires as those of the children, how I was reluctant to call her out on it, and the eggshells I seem to have permanently attached to the bottoms of my Birkenstocks where she is concerned – and making coffee, feeding the dogs, wondering if I were codependent, wiping up the counters, when I picked up a flyer from Stein Mart http://www.steinmart.com/ announcing an additional 20% off for “preferred customers.[1]” That’s me, preferred customer. You too can be a “preferred customer” merely by making purchases. The more frequent, the more you will be “preferred.”

Recently, I’ve been focused on decluttering my home. I’ve become interested in Feng Shui, mostly when I read Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston http://www.spaceclearing.com/ As a result, I’ve cleared out a great deal of clutter, in the attic(s) – yes, I have TWO attics! I’ve cleared out my closets (again, two!) Linen closets, cabinets, and am currently working on the storage sheds, of which I have, not one, but, you guessed, two.

I tossed the Stein Mart preferred customer card in the trash. There is nothing I need that they carry. They sell clutter. I’m not buying any more.

I harkened back to my first foray into the land of Stein Mart in 1990, right after the release of Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman.

I reported a conversation I’d had with a clerk in the home décor department to my sister and mother, a conversation similar to one Vivian had with the woman in the dress shop. The store manager overheard, asked me about the clerk, and asked me to stop by the guest services department prior to leaving the store. When I was prepared to leave, he’d seen to it that there was an onyx egg in a wooden stand gift wrapped for me. For years, I kept that hideous egg on my desk to remind me of what bad customer service looked like.

So, this morning, I was thinking about Stein Mart, shopping in general, and why it was so utterly important. I realized that shopping was what we did because my mother and my sister used it to fill the hours that we were together. Instead of sitting face to face, and really talking, we deluded ourselves into believing we were spending “time” together. What we were really doing was wasting time and spending money. There were a million things we could have been doing, physical activities, but no, we couldn’t do anything physical because we all had to stop and smoke countless cigarettes. Moreover, doing anything physical would get us all winded, and remind us of how out of shape we were. So we shopped.

I quit smoking in 1997. I quit shopping ten years later, in 2007

[1]Does this qualify as a run on sentence, or what?

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