17 December 2018

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: the Non-Joys of Christmas Shopping

Shopping.  If there’s such a thing as Hell on Earth, that would be mine.  I HATE shopping!  Don’t make me go to the store!!!

I learned this aversion to shopping young.  My aunt is my first, worst, shopping influence.  She can go into a dozen stores, pick stuff out, and decide not to buy anything.  It took HOURS of shopping with nothing to show for it.  Then we had to get through her buying clothes, deciding she didn’t like them, and take them back.  Yes, take them back, after trying on everything before we ever left the store.

The grocery store is the place where I “Power Shop.”  I know where everything is at.  I can walk in, grab a cart or basket and not think twice about what I’m throwing in.  With my list in hand, I don’t slow down.  Off the shelf, into the cart it goes and out of the store I go.  I don’t think my best friend will ever grocery shop with me again, and I do believe my husband prefers to grocery shop on his own.  He will stop, peruse the sale papers, and shop accordingly.  I just want to get OUT!


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Then we have shopping with my grandmother.  This is pure torture.

We get to the store and she asks “What do you want?” or “What would you like?”  I usually don’t want a whole lot of anything.  Therein lays the problem.  She will drag me through the entire store until I pick –something-.  I end up getting something, not because I want it or like it, but because I just want to get out of the store!

The next argument with my grandmother is at the cash register.  I want to pay.  She won’t let me.  I’m younger, though.  I can swipe a card before she can dig cash out of her wallet.  It doesn’t get me any brownie points, but sometimes the scowl on her face is worth it.  I GOT one!

Shopping with my boys’ was a whole different story.  

They learned young not to beg for anything.  My first answer would be “No!”  The grandchildren have learned that lesson, too.  But if you don’t beg, I’m a sucker – I’ll get it.

The boys learned how to tag-team me.  We’d go to the store, list in hand.  I was asked frequently, marching across the parking lot, “Are they all yours?”  No, Sherlock.  I pick up stray kids for grins and giggles.

Into the store we’d go, I’d shop by my list and check out.  This is before the days of self-checkout stations.  I wish they were there 20 years ago.

We’d get home and it was the boys’ job to bring the groceries in.  They learned to grab the broom, load the grocery bags on the handle and bring them all into the house in a single trip.

They brought the groceries in, and I put them up.  That’s when I found out what they threw in the buggy when I wasn’t looking.  I was too busy keeping up with little hands to see what was being checked out.  It was an insidious plan.  Two or three would get my attention, the other brothers would plant things in the buggy that they –knew- I wouldn’t buy, given the option.  

I love Amazon.Com and Cyber Monday.  Spare me the pain of shopping and just deliver it to my door.

  We’re about to brave the stores to finish up Christmas shopping.  

Heaven help me.   


Bess Tuggle