As a teenager, there was nothing I enjoyed more than a day at the mall. Now, I get anxious just thinking about it. I am queen of running to the mall at lunch for essentials (makeup, a birthday gift, etc.), but the idea of spending more than 45 minutes there is just downright frightening. I don’t know why. I have never been attacked by a mean sales girl and I haven’t lost a child in the clothing racks (yet). So why do I hate shopping so much?
I don’t recall exactly when my mall phobia began, but I think it may have been when I moved to San Diego. We have several very nice malls here, but they are all ridiculously crowded, ALL THE TIME. The economic downturn was never evident in the parking garages or checkout lines. They are packed, 24/7. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but in addition to being a bit anal, I’m also more than a bit impatient. Crowded malls are hell for impatient people.
This is why I turned to online shopping. I shop on my couch, things are brought to me and if I don’t like them, I can drop them in a UPS box, rather than waiting in yet another line. So if online shopping works, why do I care if I can’t stand the mall? Because I sigh every time I look in my closet!
When you shop online from the same few stores, you end up with very little variety. When I click on to Gap or other stores’ sites, I first navigate to the sale items (I never pay full price), then filter it down to my size, before buying clothes that are similar to items I already have, just in different colors. Piperlime does a great job putting together stylish outfits on their site, but it’s hard to buy a whole outfit without trying it on first.
I get InStyle magazine (yes, I realize the irony, but my mom bought it for me as a gift), but every time I see something I really like in there, I look at the price and it’s a $200 top or a $400 pair of shoes. So I go back to Gap and Target, tail between my legs, and buy something sensible.
Avery’s teacher told me this morning how cute her clothes are (I buy them online), and that other parents have even commented on my stylish child. A few more years and Avery will be embarrassed of me.
For nearly four years I was either pregnant or nursing a baby, so I didn’t want to spend money dressing a constantly changing body, but those days are behind me. It’s my turn to look cute again. I realize I’m going to have to invest both time and money in this effort, but where do I start? Does anyone have a cure for my mall phobia?