Missing the retail madness


There was a time I used to enjoy shopping. Particularly holiday shopping. This was long before I became a hermit. Even before the burgeoning online shopping phenomenon. Yet, today, as I see more and more holiday ads, I feel a little pang. Perhaps I am missing the retail madness.

Way back when

We haven’t dusted off the Wayback machine for a while. Let’s take it for a spin. Back to the 80’s, folks!

At that time, I was a recent graduate with a mostly useless degree. The only place that hired me (after dozens of rejections) was this odd, relatively new chain called Toys R Us.

Beyond a misspelled mascot that bore my name, these were mostly fun times. I had some odd shifts during that period (including one from evening until morning).

But, I’ll not forget the press of the crowds and the bending inwards of the doors on Black Friday(s). Yikes!

Reasons to shop

Time passes. Jobs change. My move to an office position took a lot of the energy out of the holiday retail madness.

But, I made new friends. Having no “special someone” of my own, I spent more time shopping for gifts for my friends.

And family. Nieces showed up. Okay, they were born, like most humans. That offered new avenues and places to shop.

Never in a rush

I went into stores and malls with one core concept: take my time. Shopping for myself, I usually get in and get out. But, shopping for the holidays always meant strolling, to me.

That only became more the theme when I started shopping along with others. For the longest time, I shopped with a close friend of mine. I leaned on her knowledge for a lot of female gifts. Plus, it was just more fun and relaxed shopping with someone else.

Plenty to say

But, alone or together, I like to engage others in conversation. Far-fetched as that may seem to my now hermit status, I talked a lot to strangers.

Whether it was other people in line, clerks, security guards or kiosk workers, I just liked to try to break up their day a little. Especially when so many others looked so stressed about their holiday shopping list.

Missing the retail madness

Time passes again. Friends fade. Relatives grow up. Gift giving dwindles.

Because, not working means not making new friends. Living a hermit life is self-perpetuating. And buying becomes a computer event, not a people event.

It’s fine. It’s convenient. But, sometimes I find myself missing the retail madness.

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