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Friday, May 13, 2011

Shopping and Spas

While on my second involuntary trip to the local mall with my daughter in less than a week, it occurred to me that I must be a very unusual representative of my gender. Why? Because I hate to shop, and I refuse to go to a spa, get my nails done or get a massage.

First, the shopping. I don't mind grocery shopping, and if I'm some place new, I do enjoy browsing the shops featuring local arts and crafts. But ask me to go to the mall and I am filled with a sense of dread. I have never been someone who goes to the mall just to browse, or to hang out with friends, which is a popular pasttime of teenage girls these days. If I need something from the mall -- a new blouse or a pair of shoes perhaps -- I will go, but it most definitely is not something I enjoy.

I approach trips to the mall much as I suspect the Navy SEALS who recently killed Osama bin Laden approached their military operation -- get in, get what you went for, and get out. I simply do not enjoy wandering through racks of clothes, trying on things I will never buy. If I can avoid going to the mall completely by shopping at a stand-alone store, I will. Or if I can order what I need on-line, so much the better.

I remember once during high school, a friend and I took the train to downtown Chicago. I tried on a striped number that had both of us laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes. So at least once, I had a good time shopping. I don't know what happened to change my attitude toward this all-American pasttime, but change it has.

Now the spa thing. I don't like strangers putting their hands on my body, so the whole idea of a massage or facial repulses me. I have been going to see an occupational therapist for several weeks, and she uses her hand to work on a tendon in my shoulder for several minutes every visit. That I can handle, since it's part of a medical treatment. But a massage? No way. It's too creepy.

And I can do my own nails, so I'm not going to pay somebody $25 plus tax and tip to apply nail polish. It seems like a huge waste of money to me.

My daughter, on the other hand, loves to shop. She can spend hours at the mall. And she loves to get her nails done, something she pays for herself. She also had a massage a few months ago. I was able to get a 1/2-off deal at an Albuquerque massage parlor, so I took her for a 1-hour massage. She loved it.

I don't mind getting my hair cut (although I dislike the chit-chat that seems to be expected), but you can keep the other hands-on stuff.