I went shopping yesterday. I needed some deer. Not real deer, just a couple small not-real reindeer, to round out my holiday decorating. As some of you know from my holiday sing-along post, circa 2014, I equate holiday shopping with the fifth circle of hell.
This year, however, I was dressing up my fireplace mantle for Christmas when I had a sudden vision of what was needed next-a metallic reindeer, about 14-inches in height, and a second smaller reindeer. When I have a vision I have to act fast before I lose the picture in my head. I don’t have time to wait for the UPS man. Visions like these, so clear and rare, require quick action (and somewhat immediate gratification). I put on my comfortable walking shoes, combed my hair, brushed my teeth, bade my family a fond farewell in case it was my last, and entered the holiday shopping fray. My goal was to keep my cart in my own lane, not trip over stray toddlers, locate the deer, make the purchase and finish the mantle by dinner.
Guess what? It was kind of a pleasant experience. I can’t believe I just wrote that. It felt good to wander store aisles and touch things. I’m a toucher, I admit it, okay? I’ve never been able to keep my hands off the merchandise. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I went to three different stores searching for the perfect deer. I went to one store twice. And then, because I found what I needed and didn’t die, I went to two more stores just for the hell of it, and bought real Christmas presents. I didn’t realize until I was in the store touching things how much I missed this. Online shopping suddenly strikes me as a soulless, lonely activity. It engages only one’s sight. Real shopping engages all the senses.
Don’t get me wrong, online shopping still has its place. Without it, the main road in my town would have been a parking lot, the parking lots would have been tortuous, the lines in the stores would have wound around the block and the shoppers would have been mean. My shopping experience was pleasant because everyone else stayed home. If you live in any state other than Rhode Island, I highly recommend it. If you live in Rhode Island, I’m exaggerating. Don’t listen to me. Hey, look, quick-is that a Toys-R-Us cyber coupon? Better get that. Go get it.
The mantle vision is coming along. It still needs something. More lights? I’m not sure. I may have to shop again.