TRAVEL HERE: WOMEN SHOP ON VENUS WHILE MEN SHOP ON MARS
In most families, it’s the wife that’s addicted to shopping, but not in this one. I love to buy things, but that’s a completely different thing than shopping. My husband makes such a production of shopping that sometimes, by the time we actually purchase an item, I’m already thoroughly tired of it.
Shopping for Our First Car
I was still an unsuspecting newlywed when he asked me, “If you could buy any car out there what would it be?” He quickly made it clear that he wasn’t about to make my childhood dream of a 1966 Jaguar XKE convertible come true. He wanted my choice to be luxurious, but practical. “Well, if the Jag is out of the question, I’d say either a Mazda 929 or a 626.” Thus began a two year pilgrimage. We visited every car dealership in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex and whether you believe it or not, he would actually drop into dealerships for test drives when we were on vacation. In the end, he spent all day one Saturday haggling with some Mazda dealer in the mid-cities. He’d bought exactly the car I’d described to him two years before.
Building a House
If buying a car took this kind of effort, imagine what I went through when we built our house in California. I’m not lying when I say it was a six year shopping spree. Amazingly we visited the Central Coast for a look-see and bought the lot in a week, but it took three years to build the house. I really can’t blame that on Bill. The building process on the Central Coast of California is excruciating, but I felt like we spent every waking hour of the three years shopping for building materials and finishes. It actually got to the point where I was embarrassed to walk into one of the local tile stores. We went there every week for at least a year before we bought so much as a bag of grout. He knew all the sales ladies and we spent many afternoons with them, redesigning the kitchen, the bathrooms and the entryway.
But the shopping wasn’t over when we moved in. There was landscaping to do, window treatments to buy and home theaters to finish out. And when all that was done, we had a wine celler to fill – one carefully considered bottle of wine at a time. If I’d ever had any interest in shopping for anything, by the time we sold the house and moved back to Texas, all my desires for retail therapy had been wrung out of me. (In Bill’s defense, the house was gorgeous and we made enough profit when we sold it to pay for our home in Texas, but that’s another story.)
Now I Need a Camera
After these and other experiences, I do what I can to avoid creating a need to shop, but when we decided to go to Oregon for our vacation, I knew the point and shoot camera we’d used for the last few years just wasn’t going to cut it. I started making noises so Bill would realize a major purchase was in the offing. We dropped by several big box stores and then a local camera shop. After about an hour of education at the camera shop, I thought Bill was sold on the need for a real camera (read that SLR). Even he admitted the salesman made a good argument for investing in the Nikon D3100, but he was going to check the internet…and go back to the big box stores and then visit another local camera store and…
The next thing I knew he ordered a point and shoot from a website. OK, I’m not crazy, I completely get there was a gap of several hundred dollars between the camera he bought and the camera we wanted, but if we were just going to have a point and shoot, I didn’t see what was wrong with the one we already had.
The new camera arrived and Bill started his sales pitch. He worked hard to convince me I was going to love this camera – but as he told me all the wonderful features it offered, I pointed out the old camera already had them. There were only two reasons I wanted a new camera – an old fashioned viewfinder and more speed, but neither was available in point and shoot. Bill huddled over his computer for a few days, but before I could discover the verdict of his research, guests for a huge family wedding started arriving and they were arriving with SLR’s.
I may never find out about his research, because after a few days of snapping shots with his nephew’s SLR the point and shoot camera was shipped back to the website store. As soon as our house guests were on the plane, we were back in the local camera shop buying the Nikon D3100 and a new camera case. A few days later we returned to get a zoom lens. Hello Oregon!!
Pride of Ownership
Bill retreated into his computer again. He haunted websites and watched videos. Then he printed out the manual. Now he’s busy turning down the corners of pages, highlighting phrases and attaching sticky notes. We’ve taken local photo safaris to practice all the stuff he’s learning. Too bad he doesn’t write a blog, because he’s discovering some amazing things about our camera.
Meanwhile, I put it on auto-focus and use the knob to choose the symbol that most closely matches the kind of picture I want to take. I’m getting some great pictures.
Here’s the bottom line, I love my new camera. Mostly, I love having a REAL viewfinder. Though I don’t use the screen for taking pictures, it does provide great information and reviewing my pictures is a snap. And speed – there’s none of that waiting for the last picture to go away before you take the next one. I’ve been a real stick in the mud since photography went digital. I didn’t even want to take pictures, because it only led to frustration. I leave for Oregon soon and I’m gonna be one picture-taking fool.
So confess – who’s the shopping freak in your family – you or them – and what are you shopping for right now?