I hate shopping, no doubt.
But every once in a while, I get a hair up my butt and have the coin in my purse to get something I’ve been admiring from afar and I go to the store.
Even when I’m pumped about what I’m getting, the majority of the time the experience is bittersweet, sour even.
Braving throngs of people to find a thing is tiring enough, without having to navigate the biases of the people who are supposedly paid to help me.
In the case of electronics and home improvement stores, I get a man clerk speaking to me like I’m an idiot, or encroaching into my bubble.
Once, in a Home Depot, one even put his arm around my shoulder and rubbed my back just to show me a PVC cutter.
In other stores:
I’m clearly profiled, feeling like I’m under surveillance every time I look up to see a creamy clerk keeping a vigilant watch over me.
Or, I’m ignored.
Or helped when I don’t need it, because gods forbid I take more than 7 seconds to make a decision and bring my purchase to the register.
Or not helped when I do need it, because clerks are flocking to serve people who aren’t even asking for their help.
All of this combines to make shopping a shitty experience for me.
The more money I need or aim to spend, the more uncomfortable I am in stores.
The longer I spend in establishments without buying something, the more uncomfortable I am in stores.
I love making stuff myself. It’s deeply satisfying.
But if I’m honest with myself, part of the reason I automatically research DIY solutions to anything I want isn’t just to save money, or thrill myself.
It’s because I don’t want to shop in person—even if I can afford what I’m researching.
I want to avoid the emotional exhaustion of being constantly reminded of how stupid or thieving people think I am.
Fuck it all.
Thank the gods for Amazon reviews and YouTube unboxings.
Yeah, I gamble a bit, by not being able to see what I’m buying in person.
But at least I don’t have my dignity trampled, while not getting the service I’m seeking.