This week I was reminded of the value of proper shopping. You know, not the pressing a button and getting it delivered kind, but proper, driving into town and walking all the way to a particular specialist shop, choosing something then bringing it home, sort of shopping.
I’m a geeky type, albeit an old ‘un. I was all grown up with a house and a family before t’internet was born. And let me tell you this now, and in no uncertain terms, I think the internet is GREAT. Ok, there are definitely some caveats to that, but life is so much easier these days. We have on hand, in our own homes, without actually moving from the sofa – a source of information, friendship, jolly silly stuff, and of course shopping opportunities its just, well, GREAT. But saying that, it does have its limitations. Apparently, it seems, almost infinite choice is one of them.
We wanted a new lamp for the sitting room, and wasted hours looking through endless pages of them on various websites (Wayfair has thousands!) but were still not able to find the ‘ideal’ one, that being a mother and child type, you know the sort, the ones with the little reading lamp and the uplighter. Trouble is, they all looked the same and pretty uninspiring.
‘We could go to the lamp shop’ I said
‘What lamp shop?’
‘You know, the one at the outlet’
‘Ugh, that’s a bit of a drive and it’ll be packed on a Saturday morning’
‘Yeah, but you never know..’
So off we trotted. It’s only a little lamp shop, but it glittered with bling so brightly you could probably see it from space. We had to blink quite a bit to acclimatise but managed to resist the temptation to don our sunglasses.
We’re not blingy people. Don’t like sparkly stuff and doubted that we’d be able to find anything amongst the chandeliers and ‘diamond’ encrusted fixtures that covered pretty much the whole shop. Still it was fun, icking, yucking and ‘definitely not’- ing our way around. Then we found it. The one. Standing quietly in a corner. Understated without a bit of bling it was an upper class piece of totty amongst the chavs. Just tripod stainless steel legs and a white pleated shade. Smart, modern and understated, and of course, nothing like what we’d come to find.
Readers, we bought it.
On the way home we agreed that we’d probably ruled out many of its sisters while we were browsing, but online you can’t see proportions properly, or the soft glow of the light (enough to read in, but not too bright) so we would never have gone for it.
I think I’ve learned a lesson from this, yep the light has come on. It is, of course, ok to buy stuff on-line (though I still hate my self every time I use Amazon… which I do… frequently), but when it comes to aesthetic requirements, it’s got to be better to see the choices in the flesh, as it were, before you purchase, because sometimes, a picture just doesn’t speak to you the way the real thing will. 🙂
Convenience has its limitations–I too use Amazon too much–but there are numerous times when I want to see how something looks, feels, or smells and find that it is hard to make such a determination on line. Sometimes too, it is fun to see what else catches my eye when shopping in person that was totally not on my mind and could not have been offered up to me by any shopping algorithm on the internet. I used to have a similar feeling when I would use an old-style hardcopy card catalogue in a library and would be intrigued and distracted by the cards of other books that were in the same general category as the one for which I was searching.
Mind you… I probably save money by not going out to the shops – what I didn’t mention in the post is that we ended up with two lamps, having taken a shine to another too…. 🙂
Went into a shoe repair shop last week to get new heels put on my best shoes. One guy, lots of equipment, an old antique shop with dust on the floor, right on Main Street….and he fixed them within 24 hours and charged me $14 and change. I was so excited that this shop is still in business!
It is such a shame that so many small businesses are having to close. There are very few left in our town now.