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Shop Till You Drop

I have always loved to shop and yes, to buy. But I hate clutter. Shopping is my love and clutter is my nemesis.

I never liked to window shop - I want to buy. "Never leave home without a list" is my motto.

When I drive by so many closed stores I feel guilty as if I had let them down. But like so many other people I have had to change my shopping habits. When I do load the car the thrill and satisfaction is so much more than when I call and order something I've seen on television or the computer and have to wait for the delivery. It just isn't the same. Oh it's good but not as good.

Times and customs have changed. I remember when I was young and single. Most lunch hours I'd hop on the loop bus and go to some store, if only the dime store. I always had to have something to bring back. Every 2nd Friday (payday) I'd buy a new dress. I was always in a rush.

I remember one Friday lunch hour I was trying on dresses and in my hurry walked out of the store in my slip. (To those of you who don't remember, slips are something we wore under our skirts. No jeans in the office in those days.) As I hit Euclid Avenue it was quickly pointed out to me. I went back in, embarrassed. The salesclerks were quite amused.

When my children were young my shopping focused on their needs, household items, gifts and groceries. It was just as much fun. My friend had a large station wagon and every Thursday morning we would pack up the children (those who weren't in school) and head for the grocery store.

She loved buying as much as I did. I can't remember when we weren't collecting a dish or a pan or some store promotion. Once my children were in high school and gone all day I spent one day a week downtown with my mother shopping and enjoying lunch at places like Higbee's or Forman's. We never came home without our bag of candy and the last stop was always the Nuthouse (Petersons). Then the dash across Euclid Avenue to catch our bus.

Another day I would shop by myself, or with my daughter or a friend. We loved the malls and discount stores (and still do). The only thing is, they are too easy to overbuy. When we shopped downtown we had to take the bus and carry our packages, which helped with the amount of purchases. Now it doesn't take a full day. I drive to the store put the packages in the trunk, don't stop to eat (it only is a short drive to home) and it's done.

Do any of you remember when Sears opened a store on Carnegie with a dime store next door or when Mays-on-the-Heights was first built? These were the first hints of Malls to come and it was so exciting.

I love the television sales shows like QVC, HSN and computer shopping but the thrill of the chase is missing.

It's not just my energy and unexercised body but things have changed for most of us.

The main culprit is time and energy. We are all more involved in other things seemingly more important like jobs, continued learning, computers and of course, television.

But I still keep my lists in my purse and a copy by the computer/television. My daughters and I will call and say "quick pick up the phone this would be good but hurry before it sells out." I find I have a lot more trips to the post office to return items I bought in a hurry.

Hey there are worse things! As long as I get home before UPS and don't have to see my son just shake his head. What does he know about shopping?

I remember the late Dorothy Fuldheim once said if sofas went out of style every few years the economy would thrive. Look down on me Dorothy, I'm doing my part. At least until they take me to the poor house.

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