Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Therapeutic Shopping

Image found here

On occasion, John comes home from work to find me completely exhausted. He'll ask sympathetically, "What made you so tired, hon?"

His sympathy completely evaporates if I respond by telling him that I spent an afternoon shopping. He isn't irritated that I spent money, although he probably should be. He isn't frustrated that I spent my time shopping when I should have been doing something more productive. 

No, John just can't comprehend why I would expend precious energy doing something that he considers to be as enjoyable as having a root canal. He just doesn't get it. I suppose this might be a typical male response. 

I, however, view shopping as a delightful pastime. I haven't always found shopping to be this much fun, but since my daily environment became considerably more limited, it fills lots of my recreation needs. 

I love to dawdle, and a store is a perfect place to perfect dawdling skills, with the exception of the check out lane, of course. I can make my way leisurely through the aisles, looking and this and that, and can rest while sipping a coffee or soda if needed. Even though I may occasionally misjudge my energy abilities for the day and thus end up collapsed on the sofa, for the most part shopping is an activity which allows me to participate completely at my own pace. 

There's an aspect to shopping that didn't appear until after Sjogren's fatigue made it's appearance. Before I became disabled, I didn't give a rats patootie what other shoppers thought of me. I was just another woman out there in the mall, and except on incredibly bad hair days, blended into the crowd. I relish that feeling nowadays. I am acutely aware of being just another shopper in the mob. Anonymous. No one out there needs to know anything about my limitations or abilities.

Shopping provides an opportunity to complete a quest. Friend's birthday? New baby? Wedding? Graduation? Woo hoo - a shopping challenge. I have time to find the perfect item. My gifts have become increasingly thoughtful over the past few years. At least I like to think so. 

What? You didn't like the lederhosen t-shirt, Greg? The rest of us thought it was the perfect gift. 

1 comment:

maria said...

Well, your post today hit many points today~

First, I've never been one to enjoy shopping very much, but I do like the "dawdling" component. What keeps me from going very often, tho, is the centralized-air...I don't know if I have sjogren's or not, but my eyes dry out so badly that I always look like I'm suffering from buyer's remorse before I even leave the joint!

Second, I happen to be of Eastern Bavarian roots, will be taking my daughters there for their first trip next month...and own both a dirndl und lederhosen.

Third, am able to blend into crowds a little bit better this summer (so far) as the sun is being kinder to my skin with minimal lesions. (Those are new for me)

Thanks for the post - and he better like that shirt! :D