Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Joy of Shopping

Photo by Durell Godfrey

There is nothing I can say about this picture that lovers of the marketplace don't know already. This is one happy lady. Why is she smiling from ear to ear? In the doldrums of winter she has scored two giant bags of treasure. Fortunately I was able to contact her— it helps to know the photographer who knows most everyone in town. The "she" is Randie, aka the Ultimate Shopper, and this is what Randie found at the East Hampton (NY) Ladies Village Improvement Society mid-winter sale:

"In the bag were... a beautiful vintage (mint) long black cashmere coat, a short Andrew Marc puffy red coat with fur hood, Tommy Hilfiger oxblood red riding boots, a luggage-color Faconnable tote bag, a luggage-color Cole Hahn tote bag, matching suede-like gloves from Henri Bendel made in France, a black Ralph Lauren v-neck sweater, black leather snakeskin Stuart Weitzman loafers and a cute leopard collar perfect for a black velvet jacket! All for $134.00!!!" 

I would consider any one of those alone reason enough to venture out. Very few things these days, other than the usual obligations of work and groceries, are luring me away from the heat vents. A good sale would be one of them.

Weather extremes are sometimes a boon to shopping. A hot summer day and a sub-zero outlet mall are right up my alley. Sudden downpour + no umbrella + 99 cent store? No problem.

Wish I were this organized

I've convinced myself that shopping at thrift stores is doing a good thing to help others. No finer example is a woman I met who loves to shop and works near a mother lode of charity resale boutiques. She shops on her lunch hour for blouses and tops she then donates to Dress for Success. She says it relieves stress and gets her outside for a little walk. I call that the gift that keeps on giving.

Shopping is not always fun— like when you have to find something in a hurry. The other day I searched high and low for a space heater. Walmart, Target, Lowe's and Home Depot were all sold out. The local hardware store (wooden floors, nails sold individually) had plenty. And plenty of other stuff, too, I discovered.

Finding a dress for an event you don't want to attend is not fun. Never mind that 90% of the time you end up having a lovely evening.  Replacing a pair of favorite shoes that are plum worn out is frustrating as you can never find the same ones again. There are thankless items like trouser socks, jeans one size larger, a bathing suit.

Not everyone loves to shop. I don't understand it, but I acknowledge it. For serious shopping I prefer going solo. But I do have happy memories of friendships sealed with a shopping trip no matter what else we did that day. It's the joy that binds.

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