Shopping Stress

Dad and I went shopping the other day to pick up some supplies for our family vacation. It should have been easy. We were looking for toilet paper, bug repellent, and sunscreen. Easy, right? It turned out to be both stressful and funny.

We usually purchase our paper goods from Sam’s Club, so we only  have to replenish those supplies a few times a year. We had forgotten how difficult buying large quantities of toilet paper is. I watched as Dad walked back and forth, back and forth, back and forth between two displays of Charmin toilet paper. Then I laughed as he reached for his phone so he could pull up the calculator app. He was trying to determine which to buy: 36 = 93 rolls of Charmin Ultra Soft for $20.98 or 24=108 Ultra Strong at $21.98. The engineer in him, the man who runs family seminars on how to properly load the dishwasher, finally announced, “We should get the Ultra Strong.” I was fine with either. I just won’t buy Scott.

             

Our next stop was Walmart, where we intended to buy the sunscreen and the bug spray. After deciding on a cream instead of spray, and SPF 50, it was simply a matter of comparing price and reading the labels. It was an easy decision to choose the store brand over the name brand.

The final purchase was bug repellent, because we don’t want to come home covered with mosquito and tick bites. We took off towards the skin care aisle since it was not near the sunscreen. No luck. Then we moseyed over to outdoor toys and supplies, but still no success. Finally we decided to try the camping department, which was the winning move.

This was very stressful. Several brands bragged about the amount of deet in their product: 15%, 20%, 40%, or 100%, while others touted the fact that they were “deet-free.”

Out came our cell phones to determine which was best for our precious bodies. In the end, we left the store without any repellent, determined to get to the bottom of the situation with the help of further research.

It was then that I was reminded of Grandpa’s cousin, Misha, who came to visit one year from Russia. I remember how impressed he was by the product choices on our store shelves. While I would never, ever want to live in Russia, particularly with Vladdy at the helm, it would be nice, at times, to have less choices. This is why I hate to shop!

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Never Again!

When you are young, there are so many things ahead of you, which includes all the purchases you will make during your lifetime: cars, home(s), clothes, food, vacations, furniture, entertainment, etc. As you age, the purchases decrease. I have purchased four homes, and now, I think any other home I may buy will be when Dad and I decide to downsize. Certain items I have vowed I will never spend a dollar on again. Let me give you a few examples.

Cars. As you all know, we recently had to replace my Volkswagen with another automobile after the company lied, and was subsequently caught, regarding the emissions on the cars. I told the salesman that I would rather have a colonoscopy than face the pain and the games involved in purchasing a car. Can you imagine if you shopped for food the way you shop for a car: fill up your shopping cart (or buggy as it is called in the South), and then proceed to an office to negotiate a price?

Winter Coat. We went to a wedding in New Jersey this past November. I realized I did not own a nice warm coat, so I scoured the area prior to our trip in search of a cozy coat that was suitable to wear to a wedding as well as with my jeans. I found a nice, above-the-knee coat which I wore to the wedding and then hung it in my closet when we returned. It is now the end of January, and I have not worn it again. Thus, I will probably never purchase another winter coat during my lifetime.

Soap. Dad and I went shopping at Sam’s Club yesterday, where among the items on our list, was a bottle of liquid soap from which to fill all the soap dispensers throughout the house. We all know Sam’s is about BIG, so the smallest bottle of liquid soap I could find was actually two 80-ounce bottles tethered together. One was quite large enough, but we had to buy both. So I said to Dad, “That’s it. Now we will never buy liquid soap ever again.”

There will be more “final purchases,” which is not necessarily bad. Don’t cry girls. I have no immediate plans on going anywhere. All my health issues have been addressed and I have passed with flying colors. But I hate shopping, so knowing I have three items I will never have to shop for again makes me smile!

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