Shopping… it just me?

‘Right, that’s it! I am sick of this laptop. It freezes constantly, the battery is dead, it is too slow, the keyboard is beginning to pack up, and it is too heavy. We’re getting a new one tomorrow!’

That was the jist of my outburst. It was clear we needed a new laptop. I wanted one, my wife wanted one, and we could afford to replace it. Given this clarity, and the fact that I am not a technophobe (nor a techno geek), it should have been a simple case of going into a couple of shops, scoping out the offers, and driving home with one, shiny, new laptop. It should have been…

I don’t really understand what happens to me when I go shopping. I tend to only go when I really need something – as above. It should make things so much easier, but it doesn’t. If that purchase is tech then I nearly always talk myself out of purchasing.

This can take a few forms and the reasons for avoiding parting with my money are not many in number but powerful all the same. (Those of a casually racist bent may now wish to allude to my Scottish heritage being a factor, but I don’t think that’s it). The tech thing is particularly annoying. I am paranoid about buying something that is almost instantly obsolete as soon as I get it home. Laptop hard drives, memory, processors, screens, software capabilities and so on seem to improve so quickly that this is inevitable. I should be relaxed and accept it, but I can’t.

My second issue is the finding-it-cheaper-somewhere-else-after-I-already-bought-mine syndrome. I just hate when that happens so much, and feel so personally cheated, that I hang back from committing in the vain hope of a future saving. The stupid thing is that the saving might never come, and I am still depriving myself of the thing I have already rationalised that I need and can afford.

The third thing is more prosaic and difficult to pin down. I just don’t like spending money on things that I’d rather not if I could get away with it. (Oh aye, Scottish person alert!) The most common scenario is that after setting out, clearly in need of an item, once I am confronted with actually parting with the green stuff, I decide I can make do with what I already have or that I never needed it in the first place.

It’s not just tech, although it’s probably the most extreme example. Choosing and paying for clothes is another minefield of indecision and self-doubt. I rarely buy what I set out to get and come home empty-handed time and time again. Shoes are the worst. It took me six weeks to buy a pair of trainers after realising my existing ones were pretty much ready for the bin (I still have them).

So, is it a bloke thing? Is it a Scottish thing? Is it a me thing? I can tell you that whatever the answer, it is a very annoying thing!

Anyway, you’ll be very pleased to know that I made a right royal mess of buying the new laptop, and although I did get one, I am now not sure it was the right one or that I couldn’t have got it at a better price elsewhere. Ahem…

Now, how about choosing a Kindle? Well, there are three of them, oh, and some other rival ones, and they all do slightly different things, and they all cost about the same, and, and aaaaarggghhh!

About Peter

Peter Carroll is a Scotsman, author, musician and wildlife enthusiast.
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10 Responses to Shopping… it just me?

  1. Suzy says:

    It’s not just you. I’m just as bad.
    I wander around a shop picking up things to buy, then always end up putting them all back before leaving empty-handed because I’ve convinced myself I didn’t *really* need them.
    Either that or I’m totally impulsive and regret my purchase at my leisure.

  2. Ha ha ha! Love it! I’m the same and I’m female and American (although, I am part Scottish, so who knows?). My husband and I just happen to be facing the same dilemma with the Kindles! Enjoy your writing, Peter 🙂

  3. Sharon says:

    Interesting indeed that you can spend 3 hours debating the need for a travel kettle which would keep you supplied all winter with hot beverages in sub-zero conditions at work whereas your spring trip to Equador didn’t really involve the same amount of soul searching…..!

  4. Maureen Bloomfield says:

    its just you … i can personaly shop till i drop ! the buzz of buying out weighs all the negatives you have mentioned, … and you can always take stuff back , giving you ANOTHER days shopping!!!!! <3 <3 <3

  5. louise says:

    So you are our parents child!
    Just spend the money. It’s he-haw use unless it’s facilitating life. This from the woman who has just bought, skis, ski-boots and two holidays. Well the skis and boots are not much use in Glasgow…

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