I used to love to go shopping. I would go after work, spend as much time as I wanted, and satisfy my shopping fix. Then I got married. We started saving money for the future and I had a husband who loved to cook and I loved to get home after work in order to eat his delicious cooking. I still shopped, just not as much. Then I had kids. My shopping excursions became scarce and I became the best damn online shopper I could be. Because if you ever tried shopping with twins (or even just one kid), you know what I mean. It's impossible. And you end up buying something you return because you weren't in your right mind when you purchased it in the middle of that delicate balancing act of keeping the kids happy and finding the perfect outfit while the countdown is on to tears and shrieks to return to the food court for more ice cream.
It's also tragically impossible to shop with someone who is waiting for you to stop shopping.
Which is the case with kids, and usually husbands. Basically anyone not invested in finding the cutest and most perfect sandal you have in your head and are determined to find. Even if it takes three hours. Which, let's face it, is not your kids, is not your husband, and is really no one but you.
This is why I believe that whatever needs to be done -- hire a sitter, cancel a playdate, make hubby stay home -- it needs to be done so a woman can shop alone. It's just way too frustrating to shop with a ticking time bomb (the kids, the husband). I still love online shopping (no lines! from the comfort of your couch while in your sweats!), but being able to touch, feel, and even try on some clothes is kind of a dream.
And you can't let too much time pass between shopping excursions. When I went to the mall the other day, after leaving the kids to have fun with grandma, I bought a shirt with a pull in it and a gift from my niece that was the wrong size. I clearly was out of practice. I had no idea what to do with myself or where to go first. When I went back a couple of days later, I had a much more satisfying experience. I found a top on sale for $6 along with the same shirt without the pull, and I returned the too big outfit for my niece and bought something even better. I tried on five pairs of shoes at DSW and ended up not buying any, but I did get to try on five pairs of shoes -- something that would have never been possible if I was there with the kids or my husband ... if I wanted my kids and my husband to be happy.
So in order to keep me happy with shopping, it's got to be a solo thing -- a solo thing every woman deserves. It's my Zen.
Do you prefer shopping alone?
Image by Wonderlane/Flickr