Today's Topic

Friday, 24 January 2014 00:00

The Writing vs. Online Shopping Problem

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Many are the days I would rather shop online than write. I have written so much in the past five-plus years that I’m unable to put to use. The mystery is eluding me and I know as a writing instructor that preaches this stuff that I have to be patient; it will reveal itself when it’s properly cooked. It’s been marinating forever; it may be over-tenderized. What if I’m a one-trick writer? Oh dear, the critic is loud today. Perusing the reams of unaffordable, yet breathtaking, boots on the Sundance site can take up a good half hour. I glance at the top right-hand corner of my computer screen and notice the time. Oops, gotta run; so much for today’s writing time.

It’s not just my writing time that is swallowed by looking at the pretty pictures of stuff that will not make me a happier person. It’s a go-to when I’m feeling stressed or lonely. Anthropologie, J Crew, oh the meaningless costly time we’ve spent together. Boden, why do I keep ordering things from you that I never wear because they don’t look good on me; they look great on your models? As a newly minted (ha!) woman of a certain age, am I supposed to be more sensible and turn my gaze to Garnet Hill? Nevah!

When I was an unsupervised girl with loads of unstructured time and no homework in the 1970s, my friends and I would go through every single page of the Sear’s or Penney’s catalogue. The game entailed that we each had to pick one thing from each page that we would like to have. It didn’t matter if we turned to the weirdly plastic men’s underwear pages or the small appliances pages. We were forming our boxers versus briefs opinions and brand name preferences. Boxers. Sunbeam. This made-up game has probably kept our nation’s economy chugging along, this want, desire, and need to have stuff, more and better stuff has had me by the throat since childhood.

This is a huge topic that will have to be re-visited, but duty calls. I did not proceed to check-out today. One day at a time. One word at a time.

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