Confessions of a Hopeless Shopper | HumorOutcasts

Confessions of a Hopeless Shopper

February 1, 2014

Paper stuff that you use to exchange for other stuff.

Paper stuff that you use to exchange for other stuff.

I can’t walk into any retail establishment and come out with only what I intended to buy. I must have inherited this trait from my father, because all of my immediate female ancestors were great with money, even frugal. My maternal grandmother thought that she was splurging if she bought her bread fresh instead of a day old. My mother would never buy more than a dollar’s worth of gas at a time for the car. (This was miserly, even in the 50s.) My father’s mother once repaired one of my broken sandals by sewing it up with her own hands. It didn’t look very good, but it held the shoe together.

My father, on the other hand, knew what money was for – to buy stuff. Buying stuff on impulse made it more fun. It was I Love Lucy in reverse. Instead of the woman being the one who was scatterbrained with money, it was the man. I take after him in this, with just enough influence from the female side to feel guilty about it.*

My typical shopping trip goes something like this:

It’s early evening. The subway train pulls into my stop, and I get off and take the elevator down to the street (it’s an elevated stop). “Ooh!” says my brain, “I’m out of toothpaste. Better stop in Walgreens.”

The Walgreens store is next to the subway, so I push my way in through the door marked “Out.” I take a shopping cart, not because I need it for one lousy tube of toothpaste, but because I can lean on it while I push it around. I do the same thing in supermarkets.

The toothpaste is all the way over on the other side of the store. I now have a shopping cart and many aisles to pass by or go through to reach it. What happens next is inevitable.

By the time I’m finished, the cart contains a bucket of soft peppermint candies, a bottle of Softsoap Spa Radiant Body Wash, four bars of Irish Spring bath soap (on sale, saving me a whole dollar and twenty-five cents), two bottles of chewable acidophilus, two pairs of white diabetic socks (so comfortable because they are so loose), two pairs of black diabetic socks, four deodorants, and, finally, TWO tubes of toothpaste and a big bottle of ACT mouthwash (because I can’t remember if I am running out of mouthwash or not and I don’t want to take a chance).

On the way to the cashier, I have second thoughts. I put the black diabetic socks back. I have so many pairs of socks at home that I have to fight to get my sock drawer closed. I never wear most of them.

I need three bags to carry home what was supposed to be one tube of toothpaste.

After many years of this, I have finally come to the conclusion that I am a hopeless case, and I might as well just give up and enjoy my bad shopping habits. Life is too short to spend it without those extra bars of Irish Spring soap.

*But not guilty enough to stop doing it.

Kathy Minicozzi

Kathy Minicozzi is an opera singer turned aspiring writer, who lives somewhere in New York City. In other words, she's weird, but harmless. She is the author of "Opera for People Who Don't Like It," in which she turns the world of opera and its performers upside down while, at the same time, making it understandable to non-opera lovers and making everyone laugh.

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6 Responses to Confessions of a Hopeless Shopper

  1. February 3, 2014 at 12:29 am

    At least you remembered what you originally went in for. I’ve made that mistake.

    • Kathy Minicozzi
      February 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Hah! Sometimes, after I have filled my cart (or just my two arms) with miscellaneous stuff, I have to stop and ask myself what I came in for. Usually, I will remember after a little more wandering around.

  2. Bill Y Ledden
    February 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Irish Spring soap is the best of the soaps due to its Irishness! You heard it here first!

    • Kathy Minicozzi
      February 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you for the vote of confidence. 😉

  3. February 2, 2014 at 10:53 am


    • Kathy Minicozzi
      February 2, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      Well, I agree that I am a hopeless case, and that I probably have more fun that way. I’m glad that you agree with my agreeing. 😉

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