Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't make me do it!

I hate shopping. Really, I do! Okay, I don't mind grocery shopping because I love to cook so, the shopping part, to me, is all part of that process. I hate 'other' shopping, though - to the sad and pathetic point that I will actually wear a garment or underthingie long past its viability JUST SO that I don't have to wander through department stores. For the holiday season, double the dose for how much I hate shopping.

Yet, every year, as I crawl from beneath the pile of things I have knit and things I haven't, I pout a little. Why do I have to knit all my gifts? The answer is easy. Firstly, I don't have to, I choose to. I seem to just forget a large part of why I choose to. I choose it because it is something I do fairly well and people seem to love receiving hand-knits. Also, I do it because I hate shopping. Really, I do.

So, the other night we found ourselves (meaning, the whole family including both of the parents and three tired kiddos) 45 miles away from home in a terrible storm with ice, freezing rain, and snow. Now, I realize that such an occurrence might send normal people home on the double but, we chose to stick it out a while. For these reasons.

1. The salt trucks and plows would not be out until the storm had calmed a little so, ironically, the beginning of the storm is the most dangerous to drive in.

2. Every whacko in the region will be hitting the highway at the beginning of the storm which, curiously enough, did not include us but also makes it a more dangerous time to be driving with very limited visibility and ice and such. The ones who are just leaving happy hour are a nightmare, as are the people (like myself, which is why I wasn't driving) who are scared of careening off the highway at high speed upon hitting black ice so they go 30 mph, causing the guy freshly plucked from happy hour to make dangerous passes and you see just where this is going, don't you?

So, we did what sensible people would do, we shopped. I haven't been shopping in such a long time that I almost forgot how much I hated it. We dropped the cool teen off at her favorite haunt - the book store, and the guys were headed to the home building supply depot thingie. I went next door to a few department stores hunting down some 'special' and inexpensive things to put under the tree. Which brings me to the reasons that I despise shopping.

1. When every other sane person is at or headed home in a storm, the lone woman who is unskilled at shopping pressure walking along the isles is open season for the sales clerks who, no matter how nicely they say, 'can I help you?' it always creeps me right out. I finally had to draw the line as one woman tried to sell me something while I was in a sneezing fit. She asked what colors I thought the recipient of my gift would like while I was completing sneeze #4 and I answered with one word, "tissues?". It was then that I learned that the key to getting away from clerks who creep you out is to be more creepy - they cleared the floor and I was so alone after that that I had to ring for a cashier to check me out.

2. Gullible people like myself should not believe the signs of 30-50-70% off that are pasted all over the stores this time of year. I bought 6 items on my little trip. At the first store, wherein it became clear to me that the perfume was not the cause of my sneezing but more that I had finally started to succumb to the cold thingie that has circulated throughout the house this last week, once I cleared the floor by asking for a snot wiping device, all was well. Only, I bought 3 things that were SUPPOSED to be 50% off. Guess what dopey was sneezing all through the checkout and only noticed, upon putting away the loot after returning home, that none of them were discounted at the register. Urgh. Just urgh. I don't like to have to hen peck the clerk and say, 'no that's insert sale price, here' and heckle them to go check and adjust it. And, I was sick and shaky and fuzzy headed with sneezing. Urgh. Why can't they have the right prices without the heckling?

3. See #2 for the second shop. I bought the kiddos a sweatshirt and a package of underwear. The underwear (which, if they are reading the blog when they know they aren't permitted to - holiday rules - then it will serve them right that I am pulling a 'mom' and humiliating them by mentioning their underwear to EVERYONE) were supposed to be 30% off but this time I was on my game and questioned the clerk about the lack of the discount on the receipt. She just smiled and explained that the underwear NEXT to the ones I bought must have been on sale. By then, I just wanted to grab a coffee and go home so I just let it go. Still, it irks me. How many goofies like me go in to shop through the holiday dread and walk out unaware that they've just been duped?

I hate shopping. Really, I do.

If you're wondering if I just came here to whine, then you're right, sort of. My brewing hatred of shopping did spark a deeper appreciation for gift knitting and I came up with a few quick solutions for neato gifts that we still have time to prepare. I've got mine blocking and will be back to show them to you on Monday. In the midst of having a cold that makes me feel like someone is squeezing my head, we also have a packed weekend of event attending. Ugh. What's a homebody like me to do?