I’ve tried to understand. Really, I have. But honestly, shopping is NOT a competitive sport. If it was, I’m certain it would be an event in the Olympic Games this summer in Beijing.
Every so often I get stuck with a shopping enthusiast determined to hook me on the thrill of the hunt. I could just choke with excitement.
I once tried to throw myself off the roof in an attempt to break one or both legs, thinking it might save me the torture. Since I am afraid of heights, I hopped off the back porch instead.
I was forced to hop through the mall on a twisted ankle by one of those infernal shopping hobbyists who insisted it would cheer me up.
Recently, I have been afflicted by a shopping aficionado named Terry, who would be a medal contender in the bargain event, if the 2008 games had one.
A few days ago, I thought she was driving me home when we suddenly whipped into the lot of one of those sprawling secondhand stores, the commercial version of hand-me-downs from older siblings.
“Why should I pay full price when someone else already has?” she chirped.
Sweat beaded on my forehead.
I waded behind Terry through jammed racks of clothing, trying to keep from breaking out with heebie-jeebies.
“Look!” she yelped, plucking an apparently never-worn jacket from the clumped masses.
She thrust the label at me. It was Liz Clairborne or Donna Karan or some name like that.
Kobe Bryant slashing through the lane I would have got. But Lane Bryant slashed through the price tag – it’s not the same tingle.
Unfortunately, I needed jeans. Terry hustled me off to another room where racks of pants were nestled next to shelves of mugs, soup bowls, tins and broken hair dryers.
“There are some fantastic deals in here,” she said, diving in.
This event is not for the faint of heart. The jeans were sorted by color instead of size.
I closed my eyes and snatched a hanger. Too short. Another grab. Right leg length, but a waist size I haven’t seen in 20 years. I feinted to the right, spun and cut to the left. I had a pair of … Gloria whats?
“Hey,” I yelled. “Who mixed the women’s pants in here?”
“Oh, they put them all together. Difficulty points,” Terry said. “But if you stick with it, you can get a $100 pair of Rocawears for three bucks. You’ll love it!”
At least I think that’s what she said. I was hyperventilating and ran for the door. Christmas is only half a year away. Maybe Santa will bring me jeans. I can wait.
Can you imagine a shopping tournament at the Summer Games?
Competitors would line up with shopping carts. One wheel must wobble.
Track has 440, 880 and 1600 meter races. Shoppers would be assigned events of outfitting families of one, four and six members.
They would have be given a $17.50 budget and 13 minutes before soccer practice to get it done.
Bonus points would be awarded to competitors who find clothes with the original price tags attached.
Strategy would include being quick enough with one’s elbows to discourage other bargain shoppers mining the racks for the same gems.
I would start figuring out the grocery, furniture and — horror of horrors — shoe shopping events, but I’m busy looking for another roof to climb. Well, a back porch, anyway. Because maybe shopping IS a competitive sport.