I make a big deal here on the blog about not being a pedestrian shopper, in the modern sense. I grow a little bit of my own food in the summer, I have a farm share, and I buy most of my groceries from local farmers. I’m a big consignment shopper for clothes, always on the lookout for another Pendleton 49er or a new old apron. Yard sales? Every once in a while, of course! And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the finds Handy hauls in. Why, just tonight I made a delicious ham salad in a Cuisinart Pro Classic food processor destined for a landfill.
Handy saved it.
But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like a bright shiny new something every once in a while. And occasionally, I do go to a traditional grocery or drug store. I dread it, but I do it.
There are certain retail chains that make me a little dizzy and I try to avoid them completely because they attract large mobs of frenzied shoppers. I’m talking about “craft” stores. Just driving into the parking lot of a “Jo-Ann” makes my palms sweat; same story at A.C. Moore and Hobby Lobby.
But the worst of them all is the Christmas Tree Shops, or CTS for short. Look, if you like to go there, fine, but for me, it all seems a little too much like the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Merchandise is absolutely everywhere and the approach to the registers is tiny and crowded; all the shoppers funnel into this small space. What if I lose my footing and fall? I’ll be trampled or gored to death by a shopper’s heel.
I know what my readers are thinking:
“CTS are a specialty chain. They sell nothing required for life and living. Why is she complaining about them?”
Reader, you are so right. It’s a first world problem of the greatest magnitude, meaning it matters to no one but me. There is no reason whatsoever that I should ever be compelled to darken the doorway of a CTS. I’m not planning a boycott or an embargo. But the most wonderful time of the year is bearing down upon us like a steaming locomotive and I don’t want red or cranberry ribbons on my holiday wreaths, ok?
This year, I’ve decided on a silver, blue, and gold holiday color scheme for my wreaths and apparently, no florist in the Lewiston/Auburn area carries floral ribbon in those colors. Oh, I tried to shop local and I was willing to pay a slightly outrageous price to have the nimble fingers of a floral arranger create bows for me because weaving ribbon is just not my bag.
But my requests for silver, blue, or gold bows were met with that “we have nothing for you here, please leave” look that really brings me down. One overworked floral associate was kind enough to whisper “try the Christmas Tree Shops” under her breath as she shooed me away from the store.
And so that’s where I found myself during a drive with Handy, sticking my arm into this Jenga-like ribbon display to find what I “needed” for my decorating vision.
Of course, the display was near the register, jammed into a tiny space. As I stuck my arm into the display for the last time, to grab a roll of blue ribbon on the bottom of the pile, I heard the sound of someone nearby cutting a loud and low fart.
There you have it. My confession. Justice has been meted out.
See what happens when you break your own shopping rules?