#27 Going to the shopping centre and finding a parking space right near the entrance
I am one of those people who really don’t enjoy shopping. I know you must be asking yourself if I really am a woman and the answer is yes, I am – you shouldn’t stereotype, you know 🙂 I’m not saying I don;t enjoy buying or getting new things, I do. But it would be so much better if I didn’t have to go through the whole shopping experience.
And that experience, of course, begins with finding a parking space. My mother-in-law seems to think I’m the luckiest shopper alive because somehow I always manage to easily find a good parking. She would be mistaken. That’s my bluff, you know, organising beforehand with the shopping centre mafia to get a good parking just so I can impress her 🙂 Not really. Sometimes I get lucky and that usually happens when I am with someone. My normal shopping run would consist of driving around for ages looking for a parking, anywhere, within the centre. And end of month is the worst. Bleugh! What a pleasure it is when I do manage to find a decent parking, quite near the front, especially when I know I’m going to come out loaded with shopping bags 🙂
Then, when I have finally managed to squeeze my little car (and this is THE ONLY TIME I actually like my crappy car!) into the tiniest parking ever, the real fun begins.
For some reason people who are probably quite pleasant and mild-mannered on any other occasion, morph into shopping ghouls when in a busy shopping centre. And it only takes one of these ghouls to turn everyone around them into ghouls as well. Then, like the spread of a highly infectious disease (which can be airborne, passed on through touch or, in some instances, even through eye contact!), each of those ghouls turn a further circle of innocent shoppers into ghouls. Until, eventually, every single shopper in the centre has become one. And these ghouls walk around, scowling at each other, bumping into each other, pushing past each other, huffing and puffing, sighing, clearing their throats, growling and grumbling, grabbing and snatching, culminating in the ultimate of bad manners, bulldozing everyone out of their way. Now, I am not saying I am an exception to this. On the contrary, I am most likely the to be that first one to turn.
I get irritable in a shop quite quickly and I really don’t enjoy all the elements there are in a shopping outing, including finding a trolley (and somehow I ALWAYS manage to get the one with the broken, squeaky, mind-of-its-own wheel).
Then there is the walking around for hours because every time you go there, someone has decided it would be a really good idea to move absolutely everything to a different place, especially the items you regularly buy (for example, it took me ages to find the sauces which, in my Sainsbury’s, are stacked in rows on high shelves above the FROZEN FOOD stuff!!!).
After that comes the browsing, which is closely related to the walking around for hours point as browsing is half the reason you walk around for hours. After all, it would be madness to walk into a shop, pick up the first thing you see and walk out, wouldn’t it? Browsing consists of an intricate process of looking for whatever it is you need, whether its written on a piece of paper or embedded in your brain (personally I prefer the former. There’s nothing worse than getting to the till and realising you have forgotten something), checking prices and especially price per weight or pieces or whatever it is, comparing brands, checking ingredients (okay, admittedly I don’t do that very often), thinking about quantities and finally choosing an item. That in itself is tiring but it’s still only a small part of the shopping experience.
Other elements include:
- Getting knocked into by other trolleys, especially ones whose wheels like to grab at your heels. I have actually had all of the skin on the back of my heel removed because of an overzealous trolley shopper.
- Waiting. A lot of that is done during one’s shopping outing and includes having to wait patiently for that other person to do their browsing so you can start on your own browsing and waiting for that group of people to finish chatting (somehow shopping makes some people want to talk to everyone they come into contact with, including people they have never seen in their lives before) and for some reason have decided that the best place to have that chat is either in the middle of the aisle which then allows for only one trolley to get by at a time and, depending on the length of the conversation, can actually cause quite a backlog of irate trolleys, all ready to nip at heels 🙂 or against the shelves that you want to get to. And why is it that when you do eventually get the courage to ask the chatters to move (in your most polite, yet very annoyed tone) that they give you a look – like you’re the one doing the wrong thing?! Then, of course there is the waiting at the checkout. That’s the worst of the shopping-waiting because somehow long queues seem that much longer after an exhausting trolley run. And, I don’t know about you but somehow I always manage to get into the wrong queue, the one that seems shortest or fastest but has the person who has forgotten something and has to quickly run off to get it (I must say that I never do that, how embarrassing!) or the person’s card doesn’t work or they are getting their pensioner discounts, etc, etc.
- Packing bags. This is always one of my personal pet hates of shopping and not because of the thin bags that threaten to tear apart if I put anything heavier than a bar of soap in them and not because of the look the cashier gives me when I say I need bags because I am not environmentally friendly and did not bring my own bags along. Rather it results from the pressure of being able to pack bags at lightning speed whilst still ensuring that the chosen products stay in their designated groups (ie: perishable foods together, laundry stuff together, tinned food together, etc) and of course bread and eggs on top so they don’t get squashed then getting all the bags into the trolley without having to balance too many on top of others precariously. All the while the teller is chatting or looking around whilst mechanically swiping item after item oblivious to the mountain building up at the end of the checkout counter.
- Getting back to the car. Finally, and with aching back and feet, I have finished my packing and paying and can push my wonky trolley to my tiny car and, with some difficulty, pack all the bags into it (more often than not, forgetting the bread which ends up at the bottom getting squished) and I’m on my way home.
- Unpacking. UGH, as bad as the entire shopping experience all rolled into one. Why? Because I am a tired, grumpy shopping ghoul who really doesn’t feel like unpacking all the stuff that it took me hours to get in the first place. But I have to because my brain will not let me rest until everything is in its correct place!
At least at the end of this whole thing I get to sit down to a warm cup of tea 🙂
So why don’t I just buy my groceries online? It is far easier than going through the whole shopping at the shops thing. Well, because at least when I go to the shop, I can buy what I want whereas when I buy online (yes, I have done it) and they don’t have whatever I ordered, either I will get a random substitute or I won’t get the item at all. And that is far more frustrating to me than going into a shop and choosing the goodies for myself 🙂 And so the shopping wars will continue 😉
Happy shopping, shoppers 🙂
Copyright © 100612 by Karen Payze