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  • Writer's pictureCet

As If Shopping Isn’t Stressful Enough

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.

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