Friday, November 19, 2010

Shopping is Good for the Soul

By Mary Alford-Carman

After music and writing, I have to confess that shopping is high on my list of things I enjoy with the exception of when I was fitted for a bra as discussed in my essay “My Cups Runneth Over.” Going to the grocery store becomes an adventure because I’m never sure of who I’ll meet or who I’ll talk to. I’ve had some of the most memorable conversations with complete strangers and sales clerks. Some of these moments are like little snippets of my life history -- like the time I bought diapers, a girl’s pair of shorts and Geritol from the local Wal-Mart, and the cashier and I wound up talking about how busy life is with children and how many different directions you can get pulled in, especially considering the vast age ranges between my two children.

One thing leads to another and you start to share, not just your circumstance, but sometimes even your innermost feelings. A lady was in front of me purchasing a black dress at the department store and it was evident that she was crying. I pressed a tissue in her hand and we wound up talking about the loss of her mother. Having lost my own Mama, we had an immediate connection, however brief, but just as powerful as some from a lifelong friend.

What does shopping do for you? Have you ever walked out of a store thinking it turned into more than you expected? Is shopping a social event for you? I think I’ll go shopping and see what happens today. Wanna come?

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