There’s something about living overseas that makes me appreciate American shopping so much.
The air was brisk as I walked through the clear glass doors into the bright white store. It was afternoon outside but overcast and gray. The large door mats were blue and gray and welcomed me in from the cold to spend the next few hours browsing her shelves.
I quickly grabbed a cart and navigated to the place I always start, accessories. Socks, fuzzy and bright. Scarves hanging on a rack, hundreds of bottles of candy-colored soaps, lotions and sweet-smelling perfumes. Small square boxes of glittering costume jewelry. Spinning racks of reflective plastic-framed sunglasses. Rows and rows of fake leather handbags, stuffed fat with wads of crumbled tissue paper.
My cart already loaded with a few choice items, I make my way over to the scarce shoe selection. Tall boots, short boots, suede, leather, wool. Flats, heels, patent, canvas, fur. Picked over shelves prove unseccessful except for a pair of knee-high black leather boots with a casual heel and a vertical braided accent. Score.
Dresses, sweaters, blouses, jeans, skirts, pajamas. My cart is piled high as I head back to the dressing room. 3 trips back to the tiny particle-board cubicle. Stepping out of shoes and jeans, into new dresses. Dresses with ruffles. Dresses with bows. Dresses with spaghetti straps. 4th one tried is perfect for this year’s Christmas party.
I return more to the associate than I stack in my cart but it’s still a fruitful trip. A few glances in the kid’s clothes and toys and I’m off to the housewares.
This is a whole extra hour for me, at least. The kitchen gadgets, gourmet coffees, spatulas, aprons, boxed note cards, holiday themed knickknacks, discount cookbooks, plush towels, flannel sheet sets, candles and picture frames. My cart is laden with treasures, at prices too good to ditch back to the shelves.
After paying, I load my cache into my trunk, knodding my head at my success. Another day, another dollar, another few hours spent in retail therapy. Better than any $200 an hour therapist if you ask me.