Shopping With Introverts

I was not born introverted. My mother will tell you the story of how when I was young I’d go up to people and announce to them that I was shy. Weirdly, there’s still a little of that about me, but nowadays it’s much more true. I like to engage with people, and especially after I’ve hermited for awhile I get the urge to “get out there” again. Almost always I end up longing for something like this picture on the right, except I’d want my feet pulled in as well and wound prefer a much smaller, close and protective space around me until I recharge.

Today I went Christmas shopping. I was almost done, but there were several bits left hanging, we have a party Saturday, and I didn’t want it to all come down in a big frazzle at the last minute. Off I went to shop.

I did have good intentions: I wanted to get it all done at the mall with maybe a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home. Our mall is very tiny and nearly dead, so it wasn’t too daunting. But first I ran to K-Mart because I thought one thing would be there instead of elsewhere. And then I went to the mall, which included about three stores, a lot of walking, and a mistake of a sandwich at Jimmy John’s. Half-done, I went back home, picked something up, and went to Target, Wal-Mart, and then Drug Town to mail something.

When I started out, I was bright-eyed, rested, and full of Christmas spirit and determination. Right now I’m all twitchy and angry and overwhelmed and hating the world. Don’t worry. It will go away.

The worst part is, it isn’t crazy at all here in Ames by normal standards as far as shopping. It was a rainy day, so few people were out. We are not a shopping mecca, so nobody came here from out of town except a few determined shoppers who are probably like me and will move heaven and hell to keep from going to Des Moines. Traffic wasn’t bad. I think my total driving distance even with some back and forth was seven miles. Believe me, I am in an introvert wonderland for maximum exposure. Yet I still managed to wig myself out.

I’m really not sure what happened to make me this way. I used to have a lot more manic-desperate energy, so maybe I was feeding off that. But these days I’m one of those people who not only LOVE the automated check out aisles but don’t even want someone to bag my groceries for me. I don’t want any human contact at the store. I want to get in, get it over with, and get out.

Really, as I said to Marie just a few minutes ago, the ideal solution would be to order online, but that requires a lot of forethought. Plus sometimes you need to actually see the item and hold it up and use spatial judgments. And then there’s things like tape and gift boxes and little sundry stuff. Also, shipping charges add up fast.

One day maybe I’ll learn, though, that right when I get people’s lists I should rush out and start online shopping and let everything come to me. Yeah, I probably pay more even before shipping. But man, talk about an introvert paradise.

What I really need to do is make a video right now while I”m all twitchy and overwhelmed and play it for myself next year when I think, “Oh, it’s not a big deal. I can just do the shopping here in town….”

One Comment on “Shopping With Introverts

  1. Hell, I’m an extrovert and even I hate to go into stores during the holidays. Everything gets shipped, I don’t care if they overcharge me. You’re braver than I am. 🙂

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