I am not sure if I am the only one out there affected, but truly hope that I am not. There is a strange thing that happens every weekend when I run in to my local “Super” stores. Like most, I choose this type of store because they are designed to make the shopping trip quick and cost effective. I make a list of all the items that I need and make sure to get all the corresponding coupons prepared for a clean get-away. I enter the store with the intention of swift completion of the task at hand, and then something strange happens. I find myself looking at the multitude of choices and before I know it, an hour has passed. It is as if I have entered a time warp the level of the great sci-fi shows of the early sixties. As I push my way through the aisles, I occasionally catch the eyes of some that I feel are also suffering from my disorder. We all have the telltale look. Wide eyes, an almost undetectable bead of sweat by the hairline and a questioning, tight lipped half smile.
My ex-husband had a true fear of coming with me on these trips to the dark side, as he had been known to call them. I see these other husbands, sitting in their car, the only tether to their missing spouses reality. These car waiters use this alone time to answer emails from work and read the paper, pausing only to call their wives cell and check that they are still making progress and that they sound as if their vital signs are in tact. It makes me laugh to see “frightened” husbands in their cars. Why is it that we, erroneously known as the “weaker” sex, are the ones on the front line, having the babies, keeping the home fires burning and most impressively, daring to brave the weekly “black hole” of consumerism.
These big box stores are constantly conspiring against us by changing the location of items and throwing new end cap displays up that will catch our attention like a deer in the headlights. How do they know that I simultaneously had no idea they made a collapsible water bottle and know in my heart that my life will have infinitely deeper meaning by having one. I understand that it is true that if I, the captive consumer, have to search for an item on my shopping list, I am bound to see something I might not have seen before and throw it in my cart. What really angers me is that this ploy works on me more than half the time!
So, this is an open invitation to help a girl out. If you happen to spy me retracing my tracks, pushing a too full cart, take pity. Remove two or three items, preferably high dollar ones, and whisper in my ear that I am done.