I just got back from what I think must have been my most frustrating shopping experience, ever.
You see, I had this sudden urge to reward myself with something – anything – after having spent a few weekends being cooped up in the house reading about self managed superannuation funds, capital gains tax and fringe tax benefits.
I was at two bookshops, flipping through Murakami, Albom, Hornby, Orwell; checking out Salvatore, Hobb, Pratchett, Adams; looking at Kunzru, Smith, Gaiman, Palahniuk.
I was at two music stores, hovering at countless sections; browsing through various genres; searching for particular music CDs.
I circled the shelves, wandered round the stores, covered all relevant perimeters.
Along the way, I dodged out of sight from a few recognisable faces.
(Yes, I dislike bumping into people I know – sorry, but I will not go up and say hi even if I see you. After all these years, I have perfected the art of wheeling a 90-degree turn, and of picking the right hiding spots – be it behind a long row of flowery, lacey dresses from Somerset Bay, or diving into the children’s section, pretending to be deeply immersed in Barney’s wonderful sing-a-long book.)
I was all ready to part with some money, but… I failed to find something to indulge on. Not even to keep my sanity intact.
I could not find my favourite music CDs (this is becoming such a regular affair, I wonder why I even bothered). I could not muster enough interest to pick even one book from the buy-three-for-the-price-of-two rack. I could not digest the words “sale” and “discount” although they lunged at me from all four corners.
The smell of new books – they always hold a promise of something different, something exciting. The shiny music CDs – they often lead to more melodious discoveries and auditory pleasures.
But nothing – absolutely nothing – failed to work its magic on me today.
I got home empty handed, unsatisfied and unfulfilled, feeling angry with the world.
Retail therapy? Hardly.