As a non-shopper who hails genetically from a shopper mother and, whose only off-spring I have been a mother to is a shopper, I try not to shop unless there is something I need or am looking for.  Stuff makes me feel cluttery, so why would I want to purchase more stuff. I do not readily relish even grocery shopping.  I am both equally overwhelmed and underwhelmed at shopping and stuff.

Occasionally though I need something.  More accurate would be that I have to purchase some item because what I have has been worn to death and is actually past its natural lifespan.  The reasons why I dislike shopping are varied.

For instance, I am picky.  I have a certain style I like, a certain color that I gravitate toward, a certain feel of fabric, the point of a shoe, or the way something, either clothing or housewares, appeals to my pared down, free-spirited and unconstrained ways.  If the item doesn't meet that standard, then I don't buy it.  Even, if the item I am trying to replace it with is in desperate need of retirement. 

Recently at the mall for a walk through, mostly to wander a bit in Barnes and Nobles and lust after books that I will not pay full price for, I was overwhelmed a bit.  There were row after row of cookbooks.  Books that cooks desired to have published.  No doubt they spent time and energy to fulfill a dream to make it to the shelf of a Barnes and Noble.  What set that cookbook on the second shelf apart dramatically from that large one facing outward on the top shelf?  The choices and presentation was a bit astounding. 

Compound that by all the books in that bookstore.  Shelf after shelf after shelf of published and authored books, some by famous authors and some by first time published writers.  What would make a story, a book get noticed, get read?  I got lost in that endless supply of books.  More would follow behind them taking their place as the next best read.  Exhausting all those books were at that moment.

Out in the mall itself were stores galore.  Some of those stores had certain things that I liked, ie Yankee Candle.  But really, how many candles do I need and how many times can I give one for a gift?  And did I need it to be a Yankee Candle at that?  I mean could I get by buying one cheaper somewhere else. 

I perused once again everything in the GAP, but nothing much was a whole lot different than when I stopped in while in Chicago a couple months ago, or two weeks back when we came to get my husband some new dress shirts at Macy's.  Did I expect to find something new and overly exciting that wasn't really there before?  Clothes bore me really.  I usually don't like the styles out there and end up saying statements in my head like, "There is no way in hell I would ever wear that!" as I pass by rack after rack of hideousness.

There were kiosks in abundance as it is now headed toward that wonderful November-January 1st holiday shopping time of year.  I've found that more choices don't necessarily make me want to buy more, something or really anything at all.  It just usually makes me a bit disgusted at the excess of stuff in the world.  I also don't like when kiosk operators try to lure you into their mall-hall-store with phrases like, "Can I just ask you a question?  Do you have one minute?"  My answer is always NO to both questions. 

I didn't stop in at Banana Republic even though I loved a black cardigan sweater there I had tried one several weeks ago.  Even with 20% off it was still a ridiculous high price.  I had to believe, or cling to the fact, that I could live and flourish without it, though possibly not looking as sharp as I could without it.  There would always be "some thing" out there that could convince us, cajole us into purchasing it as the end all to end alls.  Black sweaters would probably always be made.  There would be others.  Hopefully cheaper.

As I walked the mall end to end I did not buy one single thing except an order of Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets that Doug and I shared. It seemed like an eternal supply of too much and all the same sort of stuff.  Cookie cutter sort of clothes, predictable stores, stuff galore!  How much did I need?  And really, I couldn't think of anything I really even wanted.  Well, that is not exactly true, I did want a lake cottage in Northern Michigan and my Powerball ticket to be a winner.  But that was all I needed...... well, and that our kids were in marriages where love abounded in huge measures and that our grand kids grew to be great and kind people.  And, possibly that black sweater at Banana Republic.   

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