Life in the Furniture Store

My mom is a HARDCORE shopper – and by hardcore, I mean anyone that shops more than me. And by ‘more than me’, I mean anyone willing to stay in a store beyond the absolute minimum time it takes to put things in the basket.  I believe people refer to this insanity as “browsing” – I am not a browser.  I don’t even really like to browse in bookstores.

I am not the ‘girlfriend’ that you want to take clothes shopping with you.  I have a friend that can spend HOURS in a shoe store. HOURS.  I Cannot Comprehend. I go into those wretched stores to buy a specific kind of [black] shoe (or  [black] boot), I have never just gone into a shoe store to look at shoes.  It sounds like torture.

For the good of my marriage- my husband does all the ‘big ticket item’ shopping/research. He shops like a snail. He looks at each and every item – he pours over ads – HE WILL GO TO MULTIPLE STORES.  Before, he’d drag me on these hellish missions – and I’d last about 20 minutes before the kvetching began.  I wanted to lay on the floor and scream a lot. For some reason I exasperated him.  We finally came up with a solution. He does all the prelim research, including physically going to the store(s). When he narrows it down to three options, he calls me and I go to look. However, if it’s something I don’t know anything about or don’t really care about (electronics), he’s free to make all the decisions himself.  On the upside, I get to go grocery shopping alone in the mornings. That’s only shopping I like.  And I don’t want snail-man with me.  Had we not come to this compromise, I’m sure our marriage would have ended.

I’m pretty sure this inability to shop stems from my fragile youth. Because, you see, my mother is a HARDCORE shopper.  And she’s painfully patient (slow) with making a decision. The most painful memories of my shopping-youth were visiting the furniture stores.  It took my mom SIX BLOODY LONG YEARS to buy a couch. We went to furniture stores all over Tucson and Phoenix. The same stores over and over and over and over and over again.  HOURS of my life were spent in pre-arranged furniture clusters in showrooms.  I would spend my (tortured) weekend days roaming from sectional to sectional ‘befriending’ the ceramic display animals. I’d given them all names – complete with back-stories and adventures.  That part wasn’t so bad, along with laying on waterbeds and drinking bottled water from the cone cups (which was an novelty in the 70s & 80s).

I eventually reached an age where I was able to stay home alone (THANK GOD AND ALL THE ANGLES) and I was released from furniture-store-prison. I still had to go to the maul (sic) with her when I needed non-thrift-store-quality-clothing, and that was painful for everyone…but that’s the price you pay for having kids, right? Right.

My mom still goes to furniture stores – and her husband, bless his little Viking heart, goes along with her. I think he actually enjoys it. I’m glad for Mom, she deserves to have a willing shopping companion, especially after being tortured by me all those years at the stores. Because, you see, I fully realize that even though I talk a lot about being tortured at having to go the stores with people,  I was no picnic myself.


About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Aversions, Childhood, Clothing, Family, Humor, Parenting, Philosophy, Random Thoughts, shopping, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to Life in the Furniture Store

  1. unfetteredbs says:

    I’m actually banned from shopping with my husband and daughters. How cool is that? And at the same time, very sad. Two daughters and I hate shopping … I’m like you… Tantrums and such. I stand outside the stores with the old guys as they hold their wive’s purses.

  2. lolabees says:

    I do not like shopping for clothes. I have no patience for it. There are certain friends I cannot go with. Ugh! They take forever! Anyway, this can be a problem as every season starts, and I look in my closet and complain that I have no clothes. But then again, it’s good on our travel budget. 6 years for an item would do me in too. Traumatic! 😉

  3. My idea of hell on earth? IKEA. Hands down the worst place ever.

  4. I am with you. I go in and out, with a mission and purpose. I rarely browse. Hell, it took me about 20 minutes to find, size and purchase my wife’s engagement ring. And that was before you could magically tap the machine with your credit card…ha ha.

    Grocery shopping is the only type of shopping I enjoy…so I get it!

  5. rossmurray1 says:

    Coincidentally, I spent six years avoiding furniture stores.

  6. I don’t think I love to shop as much as I love to spend. If I could order everything online and have it delivered to my door, I’d be content to never go to the maul again. 😉

  7. stephrogers says:

    Wait….you don’t browse book stores?! I could spend an entire week in my local 2nd hand book store and still not be done, seriously, I need to take a coffee and a packed lunch.

  8. Your friend who spends hours looking at shoes is the norm, not the exception to the rule. People look to fill a need or eliminate boredom with THINGS. Consumerism is shoved in our faces at every turn, but it never works. NEVER. Once you have that thing you HAD TO HAVE, it is quickly replaced by something else you thing you HAVE TO HAVE. It’s the oldest game in the book. It’s the grease that keeps the economy engine running.

  9. Lisa says:

    But we have so much fun ‘shopping’ at Savers together. Does this not count?

  10. Amy Reese says:

    My shopping is very targeted and goal-oriented. I don’t much understand browsing. It seems like torture to me, too. At least you have such a fantastical imagination, Denise, and you made friends with some statutes! Good to see you, miss!

  11. Wendy says:

    So funny! No wonder I’ve always felt drawn to you! We are kindred spirits in the shopping department. Honestly, my poor kids are still sweltering in pants right now because they have outgrown last year’s shorts and I dread going to the store. But I will. I will suck it up and hit Savers one of these days. Alone. On a mission. And I will leave with my summer bag and claim that I have done my time for at least six more months. 🙂 I don’t mind the actual shopping if I know what I am going in for and can grab and go, but I utterly detest clothes shopping. My wardrobe is pathetic. I have so few clothes myself right now that I am going to have to break down there too. Either that or join a nudist colony. 🙂

    • NUDIST COLONY!!!!!!! Oh wait – would I have to worry about extraneous hair?? That might bode ill. I think living in a perpetually cool place is where it’s at…same clothes year ’round.

      D wears shorts and tees or long pants (not jeans) and tees – so he’s easy!

  12. List of X says:

    The only shopping I tolerate is going to the supermarket for food so that I don’t starve. Everything else, I believe, is recognized as a form of torture under the Geneva Convention.

  13. There was a time here in the UK that some supermarkets offered a childminding service so offspring could be left in safety to not fill the trolley with crap and to make the shopping experience better for the fraught parents. That seems to have fallen by the wayside. I remember seeing a conversation online about how they should do the same, but for women to leave their husbands, and then someone pointed out that this already exists and it’s called “the local pub”. I agree with the idea of leaving the non-shopping member of a party in a suitable location to allow them to entertain themselves and to be retrieved when an opinion is needed or the deed is done. Sometimes, I’d want to be that person. Sometimes, I’d want to be the shopper. It kind of depends on my mood!

  14. Carrie Rubin says:

    “I go into those wretched stores to buy a specific kind of [black] shoe (or [black] boot), I have never just gone into a shoe store to look at shoes. It sounds like torture.”—I could have written those words! So much like me. 🙂

  15. MOM says:

    What you don’t understand, Denise, is that shopping was the only adventure in Tucson during
    the 70’s and 80’s. It was so boring and hot here that the stores held a fascination for me. No I’m LYING. I’m a compulsive shopper!!!

  16. El Guapo says:

    I’m with you. when I go with my wife, I bring my phone and a book so that I don’t reach critical frustration/boredom levels.

  17. Paul says:

    What!? You can’t browse a book store and you’re a research librarian? How can that be? Anyway, I’m pretty much with you on the anti-shopping attitude. I’ll join you and TD for that fancy coffeh.

  18. Twindaddy says:

    Oy, I’m with you. I hate shopping.

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