Are You A Good Shopper?

Jun 24


I’m not.

As one of those I-want-what-I-want-when-I-want-it types, I have little patience waiting for sales, digging through piles of messed-up merchandise desperately seeking bargains, or buying cheaply off season to squirrel away for later. (What personality type, I wonder, are squirrels?)


As we all know, men hunt, women gather. (Squirrels, apparently, do both.) Men know exactly what they want. They go to the store, find their size, and buy the damn thing. Women go forth and troll for goodies. Look at that purse! These shoes are cute! There’s a sale on sweaters!

Women go forth frequently, and men hunt very seldom, a chore to get done as quickly and efficiently as possible. For women, it’s a sport.

But not, as the song goes, for me. I hunt rather than gather.


BathingSuitChoiceIt’s summer again, and I wanted a new bathing suit. I hate shopping for bathing suits, as all women do. I wrote an entire blog about this a few years ago, and trust me, it hasn’t gotten any easier. So there I was, faced once again with the dual demons of bad lighting and three-way mirrors. This reality is a little too stark even for the bravest of us. If you kept this image in your mind, you’d never eat another Snickers. Or leave the house.

Not only was the experience traumatic (you expected less?) but I ended up with two bottoms to one top, and when I went back to the store to return one of them, I didn’t have either the credit card I had used or the receipt (life is like this a lot these days), except that when I got on the bus I discovered that I DID have the card. It just wasn’t in my wallet, but buried in the deep recesses of my purse.

So I delved into the deep recesses of my mind, and knew just what I had to do: I did not pass GO, but went immediately to my local neighborhood bar and had a drink. In the afternoon! I shocked myself. Oh come on, it was only a little wine. And actually, I should have had the drink before I went shopping. I do much better that way. Yes, I might buy a dud now and then, but I do that sober, and it’s so much smoother when you’re well-oiled.

My favorite shopping scenario is this: a martini at Pete’s and a quick trip to Club Monaco where I try on everything in my size and buy as much as my wallet and conscience and ability to carry home will allow.

My least favorite is going to discount department stores like Daffy’s and H&M, where I get hives just walking in the door. These places have bargains, true. But they are not for the likes of moi.

Whirlwind is what I like. . . .

BloomingdalesAnd places that have my size. Like the Not Your Daughter’s Jeans department at Bloomingdale’s where I found a pair of white jeans (so in this year) —on sale even! See, maybe I’m not SUCH a bad shopper.

Meanwhile, my cleaning person sees the jeans on my dresser and notices the label. They are the same brand, AKA “famous maker,” that she had gotten for $12 or something at some discount store on Union Square. I couldn’t understand the name, but I think it was Bulletin.

I have a bulletin for her: she’s a good shopper, I’m not. If I were, I’d march right over to Bulletin or whatever the hell the name of the store is, buy the jeans there, and return the original pair to Bloomies, which charges a hell of a lot more but has a very liberal return policy.

Everybody Loves A Bargain

But the thought of rutting around at some cut-rate store (the name turned out to be Burlington) and trying on stuff on in some ratty dressing room (probably communal) then trudging back to Bloomies to return the jeans. . . I don’t think so.

Some people are good shoppers: they get all the bargains and the bragging rights that go with them. And then there’s me.

The way I see it, “Those who can, shop. Those who can’t, write blogs.”

Personally, I’m very happy to be in the latter camp. I think life is too short to worry about how much I money I’d be “saving” by buying things I don’t need and may never use.

Chip_ClipOn the other hand . . . they were having a half price sale at the 99 Cent Store, where nothing is actually 99 cents but what the hell, and I decided to stock up on cheap birthday cards and other assorted goodies. When I got to the counter, I realized I didn’t have that damn credit card I’m always forgetting (changing purses is the problem), but I did have fourteen dollars and 32 cents in cash.

So I told the clerk to keep adding up the items until I was out of money. I left with a lotta cards, a cute  pink chip clip (gotta keep those Lays fresh), a plastic juicer, a superfluous corkscrew, yet another notebook, a few cents change, and a big smile on my face.

I may not be a good shopper, but I can’t help loving that bargain of mine. .  .

One comment

  1. Amazing. How do you do it?

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