The Cure for Shopping

This is the first of a series of blogs that have nothing whatsoever to do with fiction writing.

I had a really weird moment in Bed, Bath and Beyond today. BBB

I remembered the cure for shopping.

The moment I stepped inside I had a flashback to Sembach AB (air base) in Germany. I spent a year there, working as a cocktail waitress in an NCO club. (Quite a story in itself!) We had a small commissary on base but that was it. If you wanted anything bigger you went to Ramstein  PX which specialized in solid gold watches and gigantic music delivery systems – stereos (I hear turntables are back in now) with speakers the size of Volkswagens. Finding necessities was a challenge and, eventually, I quit shopping altogether. We ate on base, and I  wore a club uniform. No need to buy anything. Talk about a cure for shopping.

Then we came back to the States. Wow. Stores, groceries, clothes! I spent all the money I saved in Germany in a few months.

Today, after nearly two years of being unable to make it through any store bigger than a Walgreens, I stood at the entrance of housewares heaven, suspended between then and now. I felt, for a moment, as if I’d just returned from a stint overseas. Everything looked so strange and alien, but so wonderful. I took the first steps in shopping recovery today, wandering down the aisles, gawking at the insane bounty of an American store.

Now I just have to remember the cure for shopping – don’t do it too often.

What is your cure for shopping?

Oh, yeah. Revision is still in progress. Plot holes and opportunities for literary greatness abound.

Shopping Victories – Truck Shopping

Yes. I’ve decided this is a series. Shopping Victories.

Too Big
Too Big

Ok. So I had to wait on the new jeans. I had to buy a car instead.

My  purchase was a small pickup truck, the third one I’ve owned. I feel safer, bigger and badder in a truck. People treat you differently on the road. When I drove my Nissan minivan I could almost hear mutters of other drivers as they passed me. “There goes some pokey woman in a mini-van.” Little did they know my van had a V6 and could go from zero to sixty JLT (just like that).

My stalwart mini-van lasted 160,000 miles.  It had the best sound system ever. It was comfortable.  But, after 14 years of faithful service, it became unsafe to drive so, on the advice of my mechanic – “Nancy, get rid of that van TOmorrow!!” – I did just that.

Too Small
Too Small

I checked the web, found three dealers within sixty miles and started calling. One gentleman found the exact truck I was looking for, the only one in the entire state with wheels-on-the ground, and sent me an email. I used the email to bargain with a local car dealer.   Holding my crumpled email in front of me like a shield, I stormed the castle of the American Dream…well, not really.

The internet has changed everything about buying a car. No longer are customers at the mercy of predatory salesmen. You just walk in, show ’em the paper and voilà- deal’s done! Within less than twenty-four hours I was driving away in my truck, my head swimming with new car smell.

Just Right
Just Right

Some things are easier than finding a pair of jeans that fit! And a lot more expensive. But, who cares? I’m rolling down the road in my great ride.
What was your most memorable unexpected shopping victory?

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