By Wendy Schreiner
There’s nothing quite like good old-fashioned retail therapy. What cures the winter blues more than a trip to the local mall? Not much that I can think of.
With today’s modern technology, one can shop in an instant. All it takes is a few clicks of a mouse, and a few days later a new outfit appears on one’s doorstep.
But then comes the trying on, to make sure it fits just right. And if it doesn’t, the hassle of a return follows, either via mail, FedEx, UPS or in person.
In the case of the latter, you will head on over to the actual store and have the chance to try clothes on – if you have time.
Today’s fast-paced lifestyle often doesn’t allow much time for the leisurely thrill and many benefits that come along with retail therapy, such as exercise (mall walking), visual stimulation (actually seeing items, not just viewing them on a computer screen or in a catalog), uplifting your senses (smelling perfumes, candles and spices) and personal interaction and communication with salesclerks and other shoppers.
There is even a chance you might run into people you know and haven’t seen in a while.
I will admit this past holiday season I was lured into the Black Friday holiday shopping extravaganza via an advertisement in The Buffalo News.
This led me to sit in front of my computer on Thanksgiving morning to do some online shopping for a tote bag in a paisley print that I just couldn’t live without. “Merry Christmas to me!”
For spending just a few more dollars, I got “free shipping.” This led to my husband getting a belt added to his stack of presents under the tree.
Additionally, I found myself on another store’s website ordering some cardigan sweaters to wear to work. After all, my job has me sitting at the front window and every so often a cool breeze can be felt. Other than hot cocoa, cozy sweaters may be all I like about winter in Western New York.
Several solid-colored cardigans now hang in my closet. They are organized to represent the colors of a rainbow, presenting some cheerfulness as I open the closet doors on a chilly January day.
Someday soon, I plan to visit my friend Alice in Buffalo. I will take her shopping to a local department store. We will spend a couple of hours in one store. She will go her way and I will go mine. We won’t be rushed. We’ll both gaze at aisles of items – groceries, knickknacks, accessories, clothes, purses, shoes, cards and gifts. Anything and everything that is sold in the store will be ours to admire.
We’ll meet back at the checkout with no set time in mind. When it’s all said and done, both of our backs will hurt. We will both have several items in our shopping carts. We’ll enjoy our leisurely stroll around the store with no one to say, “hurry up,” “let’s go” or “are you done yet?”
Afterward, we’ll go out to lunch, rest our feet, chat and catch up on what’s new in life. We’ve been friends since 1992, which for me is more than half of my life. Alice is going to be 89 years young soon.
I wish I had the power to stop the clock or go back in time. We met when I was only 21, when we worked together at – where else? – the Walden Galleria. We had a riot working in customer service, and I cherish all those fun times.
Hopefully soon, we’ll spend a day together enjoying some great shopping and a delicious lunch. We will savor every moment of shopping and friendship, when retail therapy comes to the rescue once more.