Recently I was in a clothing store and overheard two women jokingly arguing over a shirt.
"I saw it first," said one.
"No I saw it first!" laughed the other.
A short time later, while I was in a fitting room trying something on, several women were outside one of the other rooms, talking to their shopping companion through the door.
"Let's see it! How does it look? Do you like it better than the first one? Open the door!"
Shopping by committee, I call it.
I don't shop a lot for myself, and when I do, I usually prefer to do it alone -- especially if I am on an important mission. To buy a last-minute birthday gift or new jeans, perhaps.
Sometimes, I even lie about it.
"Where are you going?" a female family member will ask.
"Uh, who me? Nowhere, really. Just a few errands," I'll reply, trying to hide my mall face.
That's not to say I haven't shopped with other people. Growing up, I was always trailing my mother to this store and that, where she would often greet a saleswoman by name and always ask if something came in a different color.
Through the years I've shopped with friends and cousins just for fun (their idea, usually, not mine). This might involve multiple generations. Someone usually is running late or ends up parking their car at the wrong entrance and by the time we've finally gathered it's time for lunch.
One time, I recall looking at wallets with my cousin. She had more opinions on wallet designs than I ever could have imagined. It had to have a zippered compartment here and a space for a certain number of credit cards there and on and on and on. This went on for what felt like seven hours.
And then, of course, there's the daughter and if I told you shopping together always goes swimmingly I would be lying. Again.
Not that we don't have fun. Occasionally, another 13-year-old comes along for the ride. They laugh at wildly high-heeled shoes. They hold up a dress I wouldn't have worn at age 21 and suggest I try it on.
They simply cannot walk by a Bath & Body Works without going inside to smell something. It makes me weak.
Now and then my friend will take my daughter shopping -- perhaps to buy her a birthday gift, or act as fashion consultant when my daughter has a few dollars to spend. On occasion, one of my friend's daughters, who are several years older than my own, will go along.
My daughter loves this. I will receive several texts with shopping updates throughout the day and the occasional photo.
The last time they went shopping, I received a photo of my daughter drinking a smoothie at the mall. And wasn't that a cookie in her other hand?
Sometime in the next couple days I have to go out and buy a couple of gifts. Maybe some new spring shoes. I'm just not sure if I'm going to tell anybody.