So I shopped. Am I happy yet?

I do want to be a good consumer. I do want to drive the economy. I do want to give Third World labourers something to keep busy. But most of all, I want to experience the endorphin rush of purchasing shoddy goods at low, low discount prices. I hear it’s quite the thing. So last weekend I shopped.

“Can you buy the thing for Whozit?” my wife asked. (I can’t say what the thing is because Whozit might read this.)

“I’ll do it now,” I said and went on a website that used to sell mostly one type of thing but now sells many, many different things, and I searched for the thing.

Wait: you thought I left the house to shop? Are you crazy? People got killed last week shopping for low, low discount prices. I prefer to consume in the same way I face most of life’s challenges: with minimal effort and in my slippers.

Shopping from home doesn’t mean no stress, though, simply less exposure to physical violence and stirrup pants. For example, I quickly found the thing I was looking for. But did I want the thing with the extra thinginess or the other thing with the free thing? And even though the thing on this site was quite cheap, how could I be sure the thing wasn’t even cheaper at some other site? It’s like those dreams I keep having of driving lost in the city, and all the exit ramps keep turning into steep waterslides. Except it’s probably nothing like that.

Either way, there was little satisfaction in clicking the little shopping cart icon, except the satisfaction of knowing that, unlike real-world shopping carts, this one probably wouldn’t give me scabies. I felt no endorphins. I did feel a tickling around my ankles, but that was just the cat putting the moves on my slippers.

Clearly what I needed to achieve bliss were more outrageous bargains, so I clicked on the tab that declared “1000s of books on sale!” (Fine: the site where I bought the thing sells primarily books, and now I’ve likely ruined Whozit’s surprise. I hope you’re happy!)

There were indeed hundreds of discounted books, most of which I had never heard of. I scrolled through to see if there were any my wife might like, maybe all of them, possibly none of them. I mean, do you go for the shirtless hunk or the slutty vampire? What if I was aiming for romance but ended up with erotica? And is there a difference? Without pictures, how are you supposed to tell and, quite frankly, what’s the point?

amishAnd that was when I stumbled upon a sub-genre that stopped my scrolling in its tracks: Amish romance. Book after book of women with bonnets on their heads and lust in their hearts.

I was amazed that such a genre exists. While I doubt that Amish romances are especially smutty (“Is that a butter churn in your buggy or are you just glad to see me?”), it made me wonder whether any genre is safe from being eroticized. Erotic horror, erotic fantasy, erotic sci-fi. Erotica is everywhere, although probably not erotic humour. I mean, imagine a comic love scene involving one of the parties wearing fuzzy slippers and a case of mistaken identity on the part of the cat. That would stop being erotic in a hurry. Just saying.

I didn’t find anything for my wife, but I did remember some books I’d been looking for, and – ooo! The New York Trilogy is on sale! Mind you, everything was on sale, but not for long, or at least not until the next time, which is, what, Black Christmas Eve? Boxing Month? Slush-Grey Wednesday?

I added the book to my cart – really it was three books for the price of one, so I’d be crazy not to buy it – and felt pretty smug for having spent just enough to get the free shipping.

Bring on the endorphins.

Are endorphins supposed to feel like guilt and remorse? Oh, wait, now I see why: I had been sucked into consumer hype and I had Christmas shopped for myself. Shopping had made me a terrible, terrible person, and now I can’t stop thinking about Amish erotica.

They sometimes refer to shopping as “retail therapy.” Maybe I just need plain therapy.

About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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36 Responses to So I shopped. Am I happy yet?

  1. colemining says:

    Thank you. I had a good head of steam going this morning as I struggled against the tides of people loaded down with shopping bags (already! What time do these stores open?!?) and the glitz and tinsel in all the shop-fronts… Raging against the consumer machine and the mindless pursuit of ‘stuff’. Your opening paragraph made me laugh and pressed pause on the Grinchly ranting. Perspective- and knowing I’m not the only one bemused, befuddled and beyond exasperated by the pressures of holiday shopping- is a good thing.
    But now I have to go find some of that Amish erotica of which you speak. Saucy!

  2. pinklightsabre says:

    We could go on about Amish erotica. Now you’ve figured me out. Was I “Whozit?” Be honest. Some joke about the Amish girl wanting too many men-a-nite.

  3. Twindaddy says:

    I need to check these books out…

  4. I’m intrigued by the idea of erotic humor. Quite a challenge! Maybe the erotic part could be implied, or the humor part. Or maybe an erotic “play within the play” sort of thing, about a sexy Amish girl who… Never mind. Too derivative.

  5. candidkay says:

    Avoidance of stirrup pants. That makes you eminently wise and tasteful. But you knew that already, right? 🙂

  6. Wait – you PASSED UP Amish Erotica? That makes no sense whatsoever. And I like a cat that is amorous with slippers…and a special channel…and a funicular. I hope you got me one for Green Night Thursday or Slushy Gray Wednesday. I have a place in my yard for it already.

  7. Letizia says:

    Amish romance novels, hee hee, love it! What will they think of next? Calendars of naked Canadian authors? Wait…

  8. cat9984 says:

    We still live in a backwater from what I can tell. We have a main street with distinguishable shops. A lot of the stuff is one-of-a-kind (assuming you know someone who would like it – sometimes there’s a reason there’s only one). I feel really guilty if I can’t find something I want or need to return something. And I have to carry bags around. 🙂

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Isn’t that a weird guilt when you leave a place empty-handed? If you could just sneak out, but no, you have to pass the cashier. “Nothing today?” “No, sorry.” Sorry? Get some decent stock!
      I think I would like your backwater.

      • cat9984 says:

        It is very nice here. The best store is the one with the hand-made chocolate. Haven’t made it out of there empty-handed yet. And sometimes i even buy for others.

  9. Lily says:

    Lol I’m gonna have to use that butter churn line on some unsuspecting man.

  10. YES! Bonnet Rippers, as we call them in the biz. (Instead of bodice…get it? Bum da bum!) I am from Amish Country in Pennsylvania so I have a special place in my heart for these books. I mean, I’ve never actually read one, but I am happy to know they exist, you know?

  11. Elyse says:

    Myths and complains that I am hard to shop for. So thank you: he can now just fill up the cart with Amish romances.

  12. Day's Lee says:

    I can’t bring myself to shop online. There’s something Indiana Jones-like about braving the crowds in the mall, hunting for that One Thing that will bring awe and admiration from your friends, and emerging the victor against all odds. Maybe i just need the right pair of slippers…:-)

  13. I feel your pain. I made several cost-effective purchases on Black Friday, all of them for myself and none of them being things that I needed.

    It started as a joke. My girlfriend had to work at 5 am on Black Friday, so I joked that I would wake up with her and go shopping when she left for work. Needless to say, having someone else dragging themselves out of bed at such a miserable hour with you is a text book example of “Misery loves company.”

    With my college football team on the verge of their first BCS bowl appearance in the “Tickets are too damn expensive” Bowl, I’m re-thinking most of my purchases.

    But hey, I got Scattergories and Trivial Pursuit for a steal, so it can’t be all bad…

    • rossmurray1 says:

      “Let’s not play games.” – your girlfriend

      The book I ordered came in the mail yesterday and I have to admit I felt pleased with myself holding it in my hand. I don’t think I would have felt the same if it had been an e-book, but that’s a topic for another time.
      Thanks for the comment.

  14. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Christmas shopping for me includes me as well. I try not to feel guilty about that. Online shopping has an addictive quality to it, but at least I don’t have to stand in line to do it. It’s almost too easy. Wait, it is too easy!

  15. ddupre315 says:

    Hey naughty Amish might be good, kinda like the quiet Catholic girl tends to be the dominatrix in the bedroom?

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