Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shopophobics anonymous.

Axiom of the shopping God (Goddess??).
I am a female. Females like shopping. Therefore, I should like shopping.

Unfortunately somewhere in evolution progression, there was a genetic misfiring and an anomaly was born. A female who doesn't like to shop. Me.

I know that I am risking being expelled from the female species, but malls give me the heebie-jeebies. The thought of going to shop, rather than giving me pleasurable feelings of excitement and giggly glee usually gives me anything BUT that .Especially on Saturdays (which is the only day I realistically get to shop). The sheer swarms of people grabbing clothes and shoving each other makes me want to dig a hole and pull the cover right in after me.

My desire to own any piece of clothing is inversely proportional is to the exact same replicas present on the rack behind it. Somehow, it’s difficult to imagine how it will be humanly POSSIBLE to avoid meeting people wearing the same clothes.

Look at the odds…

(Clothes on rack X No of branches of mall)

(Number of female population in city/ Price of clothes)

Almost everyone in your likely social circle has a great chance of wearing EXACTLY the same thing as you are wearing.

And the trial rooms – I object on ethical grounds to mirrors which flatter only to deceive– slimming mirrors in malls if you please! One looks at the mirror and see a becomingly attired, comely version of oneself staring back – and then one goes home and God alone knows where the person in the mirror goes. Bah!

I know women who can spend hours and hours just browsing and trying on clothes – what is the POINT of Window shopping? For a few minutes you delude yourself that you are the owner of something? The whole effort of standing in queue for hours to get into a trial room and then try it on, only to not buy it because you really weren’t planning to in the first place strikes me as an inexplicable form of dementia.

And holiday seasons – Diwali, Dusserah – all that burden of buying! The exhibitions and the bargaining – I am completely unequipped to bargain, experience has taught me that looking at shopkeeper beseechingly just does not cut any ice.

Its not that I don’t like possessions – I love new things as much as the next person. But it’s the process of acquisition which I find excruciating.

And these days it’s so complicated – the whole mix and match thing. Heck, if I could mix and match, I would have been a fashion designer. Indians are NOT DIY kinds. We want simplicity. We want things which come with instructions – otherwise it’s just too much pressure to figure out the right algorithm. Does one go for coordination or contrast? Are these fabrics compatible? WHAT kind of occasion does one wear it for – with this trouser it’s formal, with this it’s light casual – so many decisions, so much stress!
And I believe that it’s the whole mix-n-match movement which has resulted in upside-down shopping behaviours. I know I have taken to picking up dupattas first and then trying to figure out what goes with it. I even had a distant relative who picked up petticoat first and tried to match a sari with it.

The whole anxiety of consumerism is starting to get to me now. I have people coming and looking at me as if I was an alien when I say I don’t like shopping. Colleagues are scandalized at how fast I decide I don’t want to buy anything in shops and bolt out for air. Wedding shopping is an agonizing punishment – after a point I am like the proverbial Nandi bull just nodding my head at anything which is shown to me.

So I have taken to lurking in small stores on weekdays with a list (like a grocery list) of things I ABSOLUTELY DESPERATELY NEED to buy.

I was contemplating the personal shopper phenomena one day, under the happy illusion that I could completely outsource the whole exercise. Until I was disabused by someone who told me that one needed to actually accompany the personal shopper.

They really should start my kind of personal shoppers – the ones who will actually buy the clothes that you want (the right look and color), in the right budget (if one can euphemistically call it that – sighhhh) at the right time- without me moving out of my house.

Any takers?


ad libber said...

The same clothes part is scary. And yet true. This year, a friend and I shopped separately at the same shop and ended up with the same clothes we made the mistake of wearing at the same time for three days in a row.
I have possibly two pairs of jeans I wear everywhere, from college to social dos. No one seems to mind. I will never understand those horrible newspaper columns who tell you how to buy the perfect pair of jeans which lets you end up with 17 different ones.
I will never be a woman.

Kraz Arkin said...

This is why I serenaded you all that while. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

wow.. a girl who hates mall and shopping.. may your tribe increase...!!! :))

Cynic in Wonderland said...

ad libber - join the gang..and i am fashion challenged as well. just dont have the energy to figure out whats in.

Kraz...why, why u should have serenaded harder no. I waited so long in my balcony ..sighhhhh

anon..i am guessing ur not in the retailing profession!

Adi said...

talk abt a blast from the past

how've you been?

galadriel said...

Oh sweetheart, ur a woman after my own heart. I'm such a minority among my sex, I thot I was alone.

I abhor shopping. I absolutely dread going from shop to shop. I'm repelled by the indecision of people being shown mountains of dresses, sarees, whatever...and end up not buying anything. AAARGH!

I endured Diwali shopping last weekend with my dad and sisters. Had to...I was the driver... dragged along.

Aiyo! Foot pain happened. Dehydration set in. It was a bloody energy-sapping experience.

My ideal shopping experience happens in an outdoor market where i'm buying vegetables and fruit.

Other than that, shopping I consider a nightmare. The biggest mall in South East Asia is about 5 mins drive from where I stay, but i've been there a grand total of twice, this year.

My ideal shopping expedition lasts probably abt 30 mins to an hour (on the extreme outside). Anything above that is a freakin punishment.

Rather be peeling a tubful of onions. So there! Now, can I join the SA Club?

Cynic in Wonderland said...

et tu gala?