I stopped by my daughter Emily’s family home last night, or at least last night from the time I wrote this column. As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed that a piece of exercise equipment was on the front lawn, with a big FREE sign on it. (Note: If you have never seen a house with a piece of exercise equipment on the front lawn, you’re not paying attention.) The kids, Emily, her husband Nick, and daughter Nahla were outside and asked me if I would like to have the thing. My first thought and reply was to ask how much laundry could be successfully hung on it. I then politely declined the machine, and we went about talking about other things.
On my way home from their house, I began thinking of the day before, when Em and I had spent some time together, having breakfast out, and then shopping. Firstly, I am not a shopper. I spent far too many years working within the confines of retail stores to want to do more of that now. (Mailmen probably don’t take long walks after they retire, either.)
Emily certainly IS a shopper, so whenever I agree to go shopping with her, I always ask how many stores she ‘needs’ to go to. If the answer is more than two, I ask her to drop me at home between visiting some of the stores.
In Emily’s defense, when she shops, she always buys things for other people. She is very generous that way. Em also just LOVES seasonal decorations, and will go to great lengths, often travelling many miles, to get a good deal on all that stuff. She especially loves getting seasonal dec’s AFTER some, (translation: ‘any’) particular holiday has passed and seems to like the clearance prices she pays at least as much as she likes the decorations themselves. Please do not be offended if you are like Emily in this way, because if you are you’re in incredibly good company. Still, I could never bring myself to buy a bunch of gift wrap the week after Christmas. My stomach just would not take that.
So, back to the exercise equipment. You see, on that ride home from Em’s family’s house last night I realized that she often seems to want things she doesn’t ‘need,’ and I (exercise equipment in mind) probably need things I don’t want. She loves shopping, shopping, and more shopping, and buying things that are just too good a deal not to get. I love avoiding ANYTHING postseason, and would, frankly, rather pay full price next year. (I know, I know, I’m a sucker. But people like me keep Disney selling full-price Mickey Mouse ears forever.)
To end all this babbling, might I just say, once more, that my very generous daughter definitely loves shopping. My opinion is that she should enjoy the seasons, and that at least she goes after good deals on the ‘stuff’ that makes the seasons magical. I do think she could ‘need’ what she wants … a bit less. In reference to the exercise equipment, maybe I could want what I need … a bit more.