Today’s Sunday newspaper is full of ads, articles on e-readers, and Black Friday. I really want an e-reader, and a new camera, and the new dance Wii game. I really want new clothes as the ones I have don’t fit me like I’d like them to. I tell my friends that I’ve grown up but my clothes haven’t. They are still immature. I want new pillows to brighten up my living room. I want, want, want… And yes, I just noticed that I didn’t list any “I need”.
I remember thinking years ago when I was what I considered “young” that once folks reached retirement age, they didn’t need much money. I never remember seeing my grandmother go shopping. Not for fun, that’s for sure. She had everything she needed and was content. My mother was entirely different. She had everything she needed too. A house that was paid for, furniture for every room, a car, a TV, shelves of books and a closet full of clothes. But she loved to go shopping. It was a grand adventure for us. At least once a month and sometimes more, we spend a Saturday going to the “city” to shop. Sometimes we went to Carroll, a mere 30 minute drive. Or to Ft. Dodge, a 45-minute drive. We often went to Sioux City, Iowa, which was an hour and a half drive and occasionally, for a special treat, we’d go to Omaha, a three-hour drive.
Shopping in the cities were always adventures for us. We’d shop a bit,have a leisurely lunch in the dining room in a large department store or a hotel, then shop a while more before heading back home. It didn’t dawn on me until I started thinking about writing this blog that I never remember my mother buying anything for herself. She always bought for me, saying that’s what gave her the most pleasure and that she didn’t need anything else.
So why do I still have the “I wants”? Because I’m not content with myself or my life? Maybe at one time, but not at this stage of my life. So what has changed? I honestly hate shopping now. It’s no longer a pleasurable adventure. The malls are too crowded, the parking lots too crowded, the people too rude and too loud. And God knows, there isn’t anything I need or want bad enough to go shopping on Black Friday—even if they were giving it away. Maybe my “I wants” aren’t really clothes, pillows, e-reader, but the going back to the time when shopping was an opportunity to spend quality time with a loved one and creating memories more than buying stuff. I guess that maybe that means that my “wants” are really “needs” after all. They are just aren’t the tangible ones. Time for a road trip to Canton or Salado I think. Who wants to go with me?