I think of myself as an ex-shopper.
I got caught up in the rampant enjoyment of shopping in the 90s especially as we lived near the new, glitzy and vast Gateshead MetroCentre.
I soon realised that the happiness gained from shopping is at best fleeting, and I stopped.
But recently my girlfriends were reminiscing about a trip we made to the Cotwolds.
“I liked Bourton on the Water.”
“Is that where Clare got the cake-icing nozzle?”
“No, that was Stow on the Wold. Bourton on the Water was where she got that pottery dish.”
“I thought Stow on the Wold was where she got that metal sign to go on her house.”
“No, I can’t remember where that was.”
I listened in silence. Clearly still more of a shopper than I realised then.
And just in case I thought I was cured, along comes Black Friday.
I meant to support “Buy Nothing Friday”. So much more in tune with my anti-shopping ideals.
But the notion that I could be in town filling Christmas stockings at a huge discount was having its effect on me. It was as if the shops were a giant magnet and I was wearing a brace on my teeth.
I whizzed in and bought five carefully-chosen items. I was nearly back at the car park when I ran into Georgia who looked impressed and said
“Wow – you’ve bought loads.”
Not really, I thought. But then, when I caught sight of myself in Wilko’s window - I could see that the two bags I was carrying looked huge. In fact, it was just two very bulky fleece blankets, not the dazzling stash of dozens of items that it appeared to be.
Oh well, my reputation as a big shopper continues……