Now, I’m in an extreme minority here, because for some reason shopping is said to be more of a women-only sport – of course, having two older sisters taught me about the pleasures of shopping at an early age.
Since I was a cynic from my earliest years I’ve found myself suffering from depression more than once. Shopping has always been a great cure for those “blue” days.
When I was a teenager, I didn’t have that much money to spend, so a trip to the mall to find something worth buying was an all-day event. I would flit from store to store scoping out things I might want to buy. I would compare prices from one shop and then race across the mall to a competitor to see if I could get a better deal. At the end of the day, my mood was elevated and I was able save a small bundle on lots of things that I didn’t need, but really wanted.
When I got older and money became more ready, but I was working a third shift job, so this made shopping a little difficult for me. Working hours that kept me from seeing sunlight tended to make me a little more bummed than usual. On nights when I got home and didn’t have to work the next night I would head down to the mall just before they opened. It wasn’t too crowded yet and I could grab a coffee and donut while waiting for the gates to come up. As soon as they did, I would make sure I hit all of the record stores, the video store, and the software stores. I would drop about $150 and walk out with enough entertainment to tide me over until my next “day” off. By the time I got home I was extremely tired and usually had to put off playing with my new “toys” until I woke up.
Now, I’m married, but my job causes me to be out of town quite a bit and nothing depresses me more than being away from my wife for so long. So, to cheer myself up, I still enjoy shopping but the mall is no longer an option – fortunately, we’re in the twenty-first century where we have flying cars, personal jet-packs, and a network of millions of computers loaded with stuff to buy! I can go online, find some nice items (usually for the wife) and have them mailed to her in no time. It always makes me feel better knowing that a random CD, book, movie, or even a bouquet of flowers will cheer her up. I guess now I’m not just shopping to take away my blues, but hers as well.
It’s amazing how a simple exchange of money for goods and/or services can improve one’s mood.