Monday, 11 June 2012

Things I am not very good at: Making decisions while shopping

Shopping can be a nightmare for me. To give you just a tiny glimpse into my world, I will try and describe a typical shopping experience, that is if you are brave enough to follow me. I should warn you, it can be very disturbing...
I am in a department store in a shopping mall, searching for a birthday present for a friend. I am standing in front of a rack of the scarves.  My face is furrowed in a frown of concentration, and I am muttering to myself.
“Should I buy this one or this one? This is more expensive but doesn’t really look it, and she may never wear it, it is probably the wrong colour, or the wrong style or really when I think about it, it is just ugly and why the heck am I even standing here looking at it?”
I put down the scarf and pick up another one.
“Oh this is nice! But it’s red, does she wear red? I can’t remember, and now that I look at it, it seems a little long and is that a hole? No, but still if I thought it looked like a hole then so may she.”
I put it back.
“What about this one? It’s black, so will go with everything.  But it is kind of boring and it looks cheap and actually when I think about it, does she even wear a scarf?”
I put the scarf back and turn around and wander off and now I am standing in front of the jewelry section.
“Oh this is nice, but maybe it looks a little cheap. What about this, it is a little big, does she wear big necklaces? What about these earrings? Are her ears pierced? I think so but does she wear silver or gold?” 
By now sweat is starting to gather on my top lip and my right eye is twitching and I can feel a headache developing.  I need a coffee. I leave the department store and after several coffees and about 30 other shops, end up in the supermarket settling on a box of chocolates (light or dark? Nestle, Lindt or Ferrier Roche?) No what about a bottle of wine…that will do...but wait, does she drink red or white, Merlot or Chardonnay? "AgggGGGGGGHHHHHHHH," I run screaming from the mall, get a little lost trying to find the car, which causes even more stress and by the time I find it, I am unable to start the car as my hands are shaking so badly.
“I will buy a gift voucher," I tell myself as I finally calm down enough to head for home, wishing I had bought her the wine so I could have some to calm my nerves!

Unfortunately, this lack of decisiveness runs in the family and my son Jarred and I make a toxic combination when we shop together.  I can remember some agonising trips to the very limited shopping options for birthday presents for his teenage friends when we were living in Tanzania. These usually ended up with me wanting to strangle him, and him wishing he had come with his father, who has no trouble making decisions and would usually buy the first thing in the shop.
“What about this Jarred?” I would say.  
“I don’t know, maybe? I’m not sure. What do you think?” he would answer.
“I don’t know, maybe it’s not right. What about this?”  I would say.
“I don’t know, maybe? I’m not sure he would wear that. What do you think?” he would answer
“I don’t know either. What about this?”  I would say.
“Oh I don’t know, I don’t think he would use it. What do you think?” he would answer.
We would usually came home feeling that we had bought completely the wrong thing and Greg’s stupid comment; “What on earth did you buy that for?” did not help.

I was going to include my experience of shopping for my mother of the bride outfit for my daughter's wedding, but feel this is an entire blog of its own and you have probably had enough of being in my head for now. But as Schwarzenegger said in the Terminator, I'LL BE BACK and you should Be Afraid...Be Very Afraid!!!


  1. It definately runs in the family!
    Julie Black

    1. Hi Julie,
      We must make sure that you and I, Aunty Jan and Jarred never go shopping together, it could lead to us all having nervous breakdowns!