Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shopping Solo

Poinsettia Tree
Columbia Mall 2014
A sure sign of the season is a solo shopping trip to the Columbia Mall. It happened yesterday. I risked car and limb by heading off to the mall to begin finding the special things on my list.

I am not a shopping kind of person. I don't mind shopping if I can accomplish the task by tapping on the keys of my laptop. But, every year I actually have to head out to the brick and mortar stores to find gifts for the special people (or person) on my list.

I feel so alone walking the mall looking into the stores. It is a bit surreal--so many thing to buy in which I have so little interest.

Them most frustrating part of the experience is that I often know what I am looking for, but cannot find the perfect gift. It is unsettling to see hundreds of offerings, but realizing that they are not the perfect item. Then comes the calculation and the compromise. The battle between price and function brings inevitable question, is this the gift for which I am searching?

I walked into one store and the staff asked what I was looking for and how could they help. I replied that I was looking for inspiration, and they understood.

I am not a huge fan of gift cards.They make the process too easy for the gift giver. Gift cards take all of the agony and decision making out of the shopping process. 

I survived my sojourn to the mall, however, I will need to make an additional trip to complete my shopping list.

I CAN shop, I just don't LIKE to.  I can even shop alone. But I like shopping on my laptop best.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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