Most guys hate to shop, right?

My seventeen-year-old son fits the popular stereotype. He’s a one-stop shop kind of guy. If the item can’t be purchased in Dick’s Sporting Goods, then it’s probably not going to be found. In fact, ten minutes in Dick’s is all the time he needs to knock out his entire clothing requirements for the school year. At most, he’s game for two major, ten-minute shopping trips every twelve months.

So when he told me he was going to look for sneakers on Black Friday, I was sure he’d lost his mind. He had no concept of what faced him. Sure enough, he texted me a handsome photo of some Nike kicks, but he returned home empty-handed. He was not willing to endure the checkout line, as that level of torment was not worth the comfort of new, stylish, cushiony sneakers

Pamela Klaffke author of the book Spree says, “For some, shopping is an art; for others, it’s a sport. It can be a vice and it can be a cause. Some love it. Some hate it. Rarely is someone indifferent.”

Apparently, there is a recessive shopping gene in our family. My husband loves to shop and the old athlete in him won’t die. He treats buying like a competition that he aims to win. He’ll browse, carefully evaluating his options, analyzing the quality, and checking prices at every store of any item he desires before purchasing. This applies to everything he buys. Clothing. Sporting goods. Cars. Houses. Food. Yes, it’s tedious to go to the grocery store with him.

But his favorite shopping excursion involves antiques. Oddly enough, he has an unusual partner in crime: his mother-in-law—my mom. They are both nuts about the thrill of the hunt, and to them finding an aged treasure is an unparalleled joy. My mother, an admitted shopaholic, has her shopping hooks in him—and the talons are strong. The two of them are thick as thieves, plotting auction trips, texting pictures of possible prizes, and strategizing about the merits of hundred-year-old wood.

While the shopping gene skipped my son, it has landed squarely on my daughter. That girl could out shop a Kardashian if she had the financial wherewithal. A full day at the King of Prussia Mall is not enough time. Deep down, I believe she’s read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and she’s attempting to log the 10,000 hours needed to become a world-class master shopper.

This photo was taken years ago, but note the euphoria on the face of the little girl in green. That can’t be faked. Now imagined that magnified by the five years and here she sits at fifteen-years-old—a first rate fashionista who desperately needs a job to finance her consumer disposition. In her grandmother and her father, my daughter has found a kindred shopping spirits.

Me? I fall into the I’ll-shop-only-when-absolutely-necessary category. It pains me to pay full price. I like a sale and I must admit it’s a thrill to find a deeply discounted designer garment. Still, if I have to go into a store, I’m quick, in and out. Online suits me best. There’s a certain delight in an Amazon package on my doorstep. My heart flutters a bit.

All in all, there are benefits to having a few professional shoppers in the family. My husband disappeared last Saturday. He came home with a full trunk, having spent only $190.

He hunted and rummaged and came out victorious, the rightful owner of a beautiful wooden sideboard and a vintage ceramic Christmas tree, both of which make my dining room look a lot nicer.

Novelist Judith Krantz says, “On one hand, shopping is dependable: You can do it alone, if you lose your heart to something that is wrong for you, you can return it; it’s instant gratification and yet something you buy may well last for years.” This holiday season, how do you fit into the shopping puzzle? What’s your buying personality? Are you dreading a trip to the mall? Or does the purchasing this time of year make your heart sing?

Who is the real shopper in your house?


Here’s a bit of shopping I fully endorse: my novel, What The Valley Knows, will be released January 25, 2018. Woohoo! Preorder now, using the code PREORDER2017 to save an additional 10%. Click HERE to purchase and enter to win a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card or a Kindle Paperwhite.

“With strong prose and pacing, the pages turn quickly and easily . . . A taut, compelling family tale.” -Kirkus Reviews



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