Tuesday, December 18, 2007

St. Dick

It is a week before Christmas,
And all through my house,
Not a present was purchased,
I am such a louse.

I have always hated shopping. I think that is an accurate statement, although I guess I remember going to the Gap with friends in high school and not exactly loathing the experience. Earlier, when we lived in Saudi, we used to come home to the States once a year, and during that lone month, we would power shop for clothes for the following year. That was always fun, I guess, as you collected a bounty that you modeled for your friends upon your return. But since I was old enough to have to spend my own money, I just don't really enjoy it.

I am not a browser (of the IE, Firefox, or even Opera variety). I don't enjoy window shopping. I don't enjoy malls whatsoever. There is something about the fluorescent lighting that just knocks me on my ass and makes me want to get out of there as soon as possible. When I go shopping, I usually know exactly what I am looking for and I plot my course accordingly. I hit Nordstroms for makeup related stuff and clothes, Banana Republic for clothes (no need to try them on - they have reliable sizing), Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table for kitchen stuff, Restoration and Pottery Barn (and a local place) for furniture. I am not an impulse shopper, unless I am deep in retail therapy, and usually, if I see something I want, I noodle it for a few days.

Which brings me to Christmas shopping. Hate doesn't begin to cover it. B did ALL of our Christmas shopping throughout our relationship. I am, quite frankly, terrible at it, partly because I hate it, but mostly because I never get it the though that B did. He once picked out a gift for my (then) best friend that she raved and raved about for its thoughtfulness, but to this day, I never told her that B picked it out. Family and friends? B did it all. He had that ability to look and shop for a particular person. I am more of the "stumble across something and think that so-and-so would like it" kind of buyer.

If I were a more organized person, I would employ this strategy year round and just store the goods until the holidays. I suspect I will never actually become this person, but a girl has to have goals. Now, I find myself in a familiar position - a week before Christmas and absolutely no presents purchased. None. Nada. And the odds are, I won't get it done in time. Again.

Last year, I saw a w00t off (woot) and bought everyone a Roomba. That was easy. This year, I have been derelict in my online shopping and have no "one size fits everyone" gift. A few years ago, I bought everyone my favorite book of the year. I liked the idea of supporting both the author and giving everyone a great read. I may try that tonight, as I have Amazon Prime shipping and a few more business days for shipping. But not everyone wants a book for Christmas, and I just haven't taken the time to really think about gift-giving. Keegan's wedding, year-end matters, absolute self-centeredness and apathy have intervened.

My mother asked me last night if there was anything I wanted and I had to think about it. A divorce, I thought - no complications on the 31st and finality, freedom and independence. I thought a little more and said a ipod Nano or a cast iron skillet, or just a GC to Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table. Truth is, what I want cannot be purchased. I want a new direction, a happier perspective, and a little more inner peace. I want better relationships with friends and family and a sense of satisfaction that has eluded me. I want better judgment in friends and lovers and to regain my confidence in those judgments. I want my dog to lighten up and not be so fearful of other people. Hell, I want a little of that for myself.

I will likely make the obligatory weekend run to the hell that is downtown shopping and buy a bunch of crap for my family and friends that will involve little thought in the purchase. I saw something on Tumblr, from a very unlikely source, that made me think. I wish my family maintained a community Tumblr, where we randomly posted shit that interested us. I find that so fascinating and interesting and hope I can set it up over the holiday.

All I want for Christmas is peace of mind and heart. I don't think it is coming in the next week, but a girl can hope.

1 comment:

Talix said...

I have nightmares throughout the year that it is Dec. 23rd and I've bought nothing. Nightmares! Good grief.

I've encouraged the half dozen people that I buy for to get Amazon wish lists so I know I'm getting them something they want. (It's so great now that you can buy practically anything there.) My dad and step-mom don't have them so they get GCs to nice restaurants.

In general, it seems like everyone I know is trying to consume less, de-clutter, and focus on time rather than stuff. Why not give everyone a coupon for a block of time and the activity of their choice? (And maybe a bottle of something to tide them over while you're scheduling.)