It’s no secret that I hate shopping… or rather, the act that requires me to physically go into stores and look for stuff. Online purchasing seems to be no problem, though thankfully my eBay habit lapsed a few years ago (and I have a lot of fabulous Nicola Waite outfits – which don’t quite fit – to prove it!).
As I now work a 4-day week my bank manager appreciates my distaste for shopping and would actively encourage it if he / she had ever heard of me; however yesterday my (visiting) mother coaxed me out of apartment for brunch before venturing into a few shops at nearby Bulimba and Balmoral (in Brisbane). Although, as a BIG fan of dining out for breakfast / brunch, it could be slightly more truthful to say that I suggested brunch out, in the guise of an early Mother’s Day celebration.
After failing miserably to procure anything for myself at my favourite jewelry store (but securing a Mother’s Day present for the old woman with me!) we visited a few gift-type stores… you know the kind – the ones with lots of cute little ‘things’ you never knew you needed until you stumbled across them!
More surprising than my cheery goodwill WHILE shopping, was my willingness to spend over half an hour at our final destination.
‘Coming Up Roses’ is owned by Hayley Lewis, former Aussie swimmer and current host of the The Biggest Loser here in Oz. I’m not a regular but tend to visit the store four or five times a year (usually when faced with present-buying dilemmas).
Yesterday was no different. I had been recalcitrant in buying a gift for a friend who recently had twins and, in addition, my BFF’s birthday is rapidly looming. Although I care deeply about my friends/family I must confess to being UNBELIEVABLY slack when it comes to present-buying. I don’t begrudge them gifts… it’s just the whole shopping malarkey that’s the problem. (As a result I’m a big believer in gift vouchers. Unimaginative I know, but it does save my friends/family from exposure to a more angsty Debbish, believe me! So really, I’m just being considerate.)
But Coming Up Roses saved me on both counts yesterday. On entering the store I was as overwhelmed as I was on my last visit. The array of ‘stuff’ is amazing. I find SO MANY THINGS I want to buy… but have to remind myself ‘it’s not all about me’ (bizarrely!).
As someone who enjoys writing, I salivate over the beautiful journals, notebooks, cards and paper. As someone who’s not into affirmations or ‘touchy-feely’ books I am tempted by motivational books of quotes and sayings.
I’m also ‘meh’ about coffee-table books, but the store stocks many I want to buy JUST BECAUSE THEY LOOK HILARIOUS! And then there are others that intrigue me. On both of my last visits I’ve pondered over a ‘Homework for Grown Ups’ book which apparently is a refresher for those of my *ahem* era who cannot recall what they learned in Grade 5 Social Science or Grade 3 English.
If I was more housey I’d buy some gorgeous tablecloths or bakeware or crockery. As it happens, I constantly have to remind myself that my present-buying should reflect my friends’ tastes rather than my own. (Although a recent present-buying escapade at the store resulted in some Maroushka measuring cups and drinking glasses… just cos I loved them! And quite frankly, given that my taste is so superior how could my friend have NOT have liked them!?!)
My bestie is most fortunate she didn’t end up with a faux gun that squirts ketchup, or sauce bottles with faces and eyelashes that blink as you tip the bottle. Kitsch but tasteful.
I bemoaned the fact that my niece is now a teenager because some of the kids’ toys were amazing. As well as lots of beautiful handmade toys there were those that Type A mummies and daddies can make with their kids (sewing options as well as craft and paint options). I had to stop myself buying this v.gorgeous patchwork owl which doubled as a cushion. I envisaged hiding my PJs in there (rather than tossing them on my bed each day as I dress). I’m sure kids used to store their PJs in cushions when I was a youngster!
I haven’t even mentioned the myriad of soaps, candles, jewelry, bags and the like. I, however, spent most of my time scouring through the books, giggling at the titles and resisting temptation to buy those that amused me. There were entire batches of books for cyclists, moustache-growers as well as those into knitting and other crafty things – some of which did actually appear to be serious rather than tongue-in-cheek.
I exhibit no talent at all when it comes to arts and crafts, evidenced by the chortle which escaped my mother’s mouth when I suggested I could learn to knit. (I do think she could have been more supportive when she saw I was – at least partially – serious!)
I left the store with the gifts I needed and my mother has stocked up on some as well (Christmas only being seven months away ‘n all!). Shop owner Hayley was there with another staffer and both were lovely, chatting to mum about her hometown; and us both on the merits of dining out for brunch, not to mention the meaning of life and peace in the Middle East. Naturally!
It’d been about three months since I was last in the store, so I’ve promised myself I’ll go back again soon; even just for the sightseeing and entertainment value!
And, as I’m going to a blogging conference at the end of June I may need to pop back and buy this book (left) which seems essential!
Oh, and I can’t stop thinking about that bloody patchwork owl!
Do you walk into shops and want to buy everything?
Do you wander about stores taking photographs of the stuff for sale? (Or is that just me?!)