"I like the dress you're wearing. Where did you get it?"
"Oh out of a packet,"
The first time my grand daughter said this, it took me aback. A packet? Perhaps she didn't get one off the rack. Perhaps they went out the back and got one there.
But no, I have been at her place enough to know that the delivery man is a regular visitor. And that 'out of a packet' means exactly that and the dress or other item comes via a van and is dropped at the front door.
It made me remember the time we took our grand daughter shopping. I had asked her if she liked shopping and she looked at me curiously.
"Oh I don't go shopping," she said.
Now this little girl does live in a world frequented with princesses and unicorns and mermaids, so not everything that comes out of her mouth is a true and accurate representation of reality, but really she doesn't go shopping?
What girl doesn’t enjoy the clink of shopping bags against her legs? What girl doesn’t enjoy the thrill of finding that perfect item and on the bargain rack to boot? Who doesn’t enjoy the scent of the soaps, the feel of the leather, the sight of the art, the pleasant shush of people going about their business. And along the way, it’s a chance to chance encounters and chats with local friends.
Since when has all this sensory pleasure been replaced with a walk outside the front door?
One of the joys of my life is to wander aimlessly looking at this and that and I usually find the most unexpected things at the most unexpected times (and certainly not when I am in a hurry to look for something specific that is often not there).
I am not talking here about grocery shopping. I remember dragging my children (one in a sling, one in the baby seat at the front of the trolley and two clutching on to the end) in what was a marathon weekly ordeal, trolley laden, boisterous children reaching out for chocolate treats as you squeezed through the check out.
I don't blame the modern woman who shops online.
But to my mind, the chaos of the shop has its own appeal, even if the package has a more circuitous route to home.