I have never been someone that shops, or even likes to shop. Going into a store just to look has never been a thing for me. I am the guy that always has a purpose before entering about any store. I go in, get what I need, and leave.
As I say that, just last night my wife, Mary Jean, and I went shopping for Christmas. It occurred to me that there are many ways that people shop for the stuff we all so desperately need. Yes, you will recognize some of these and may even have a face that comes to mind when you read them. The idea came to me when we walked in a store. We were greeted, thanked for coming in, and asked several times if we needed help. We made our selections and none of those dozen people could be found to check us out. What is up with that?
Here are the different kinds of shoppers I have observed:
Shopper One: The family of three to five people that walk in a horizontal line about 12 feet wide walking through the store. Just what is the move for the rest of us? The only move I can come up with is to just step aside and let them pass. What’s up with that?
Shopper Two: Sorry, ladies, this one is almost always a female. This shopper parks the cart in the center of the aisle and goes off to look at something some 40 feet away. If you’re coming down the same aisle and meet this vacant cart blocking your path, what should your move be? What’s up with that?
Shopper Three: While in our cars we have yellow and white lines to guard us all when we drive. There are no such lines painted in the stores. What is the ruling when we meet the guy that will not move, even an inch to allow others to pass? This one is usually male. They are just full steam straight ahead. Do we just tip our hats and step aside in an apologetic manner for being in the same store as them? Is it the guy who has his eye on the prize? What’s up with that?
Shopper Four: This one was portrayed perfectly in “Christmas With The Kranks” and the canned ham. We have all seen this action by another shopper and at times and it may even be even the click-list employee that works in the store. You both see the item at the same time. Do you remain calm and try to be festive and polite, or is it game on to see who gets it first? What’s up with that?
Shopper Five: This one can be the worst of all. Sorry once again, but this is the person that takes our money. On the same shopping trip with Mary Jean, I saw this one first-hand. I was not greeted or welcomed to the store. There were no smiles. I was not asked if I found all the items I was looking for, no here’s your change. Total and utter rudeness from start to finish. I was furious and ready to find someone to complain to. It was then that Mary Jean reminded me that we were in the self-checkout line! What’s up with that?
Shopper Six: How many of you have gifts in your closet from years past? Those gifts that you acted so excited about that no way in this world or the next you would ever use. I remember cleaning out my grandparents’ home and found a whole closet full of gifts. I watched them open these gifts. The givers may have had a good heart, but were clueless on if the receiver would use it. What’s up with that?
It would be a safe bet that if you’re reading this you can identify with one or all of these shoppers. I would also bet that we have been one or all of these. I am shaking my head no, but it’s probably true.
By the time this will be printed Christmas will have come and gone. You may be the shopper that shops all year long and are done by Dec 1. Or one of my new favorite lines I just heard this week, you wait until Mary’s water breaks to start your shopping. We can relate to the many different folks we see shopping.
Maybe next year we — OK, mostly me — will try and remember there just may be a back story as to why this person I am seeing is crazy. There may be a very good reason as to why so many try very hard to annoy me when I am shopping that I am unaware of.
This is the season we are all about love, forgiveness, having a giving heart and a host of others.
How did it go for you?
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.