Yes, I did it. I went into a retail store. It was Marshalls, and I went because I was asked to help pick out a tie and a shirt. Just for the record, we did look at the thrift store first, however it’s hard to find specific things in the right sizes. We were scheduled to go to a black tie ‘optional’ event, which means close to black tie. The thrift store didn’t have a white shirt or a cool looking black tie.
It felt weird, even just driving into the parking lot. Once we entered the store, I felt this tremendous amount of guilt, like I was cheating on my challenge. I wasn’t buying anything, but it was just strange to be in a retail store. I decided to have some fun with it and see what challenges the challenge. Off to the men’s department…
The underwear tie. Interesting tie here, pink with little designs on it. Upon closer look, they look like little aliens, then after you look at it enough, it looks like little mini whitey-tightie underwear. Or if you prefer, panties. Is this a subliminal message tie of some sort? Maybe.
We found the black tie he needed, so let’s move on to the shirt.
The well-protected shirt. We found several white shirts, all of them nicely folded in plastic bags. As Steve asked, “How am I supposed to try this on? I’ll never be able to get it back in the bag.” Hmmm, good point. My thoughts? If they want to sell it, they won’t mind you taking it out of the bag. So we did. Do you have any idea how much waste is involved in the packaging of just one shirt?! Just in case you don’t, here’s the list:
- outer plastic wrap.
- 6, ouch! No, 7 metal pins.
- 3 tags, 2 cardboard and 1 fabric.
- big cardboard piece in the middle.
- hard plastic band under the collar.
- small plastic piece around the top button.
- long cardboard strip around the back of the collar.
- 2 price stickers.
- 1 security plastic thingy, attached in a way that impedes the try-on process.
Well, Steve was right, there’s no way this is going back in the bag looking anything like it did when we took it out. Good thing he decided to buy this one. I’m pretty sure a hazmat suit is made out of less materials than it took to package this one simple shirt. Maybe I can take the packaging and make my kids halloween costumes.
Halloween. It’s halloween time. This is no secret, as the store was saturated with halloween stuff. I just don’t see the point in buying lots of stuff you will only use a few days a year. I guess that’s why people are putting out decorations earlier in the year. It makes them feel like they’re getting more use from these things, stretching their seasonal spending dollars. I personally like to use seasonal things during the wrong seasons. I wore my glow-in-the-dark skeleton tights to my church staff Christmas party. I wear my santa t-shirt all summer.
At the checkout, they have the impulse buy merchandise. Most of it was halloween, with these cleverly color coordinated tea kettles? Not sure what that’s about. ‘Brew’ something for halloween? Caldrons that whistle? Use it with your tea-time costume? I just don’t know. Wait. Overstock!
I love shopping. Green bags are great, and they’re becoming a new form of propaganda, just like t-shirts. They had a lot of bags in many different styles, but this one caught my eye. It says I love to shop. For some reason, that made me sad. In some cases, shopping has become an addiction, a need or a sport. I’m not saying shopping is bad, what I am saying is it can be if it’s used for the wrong purposes.
All in all, I don’t miss shopping too much. It would be nice to be able to do it here and there if I want to, but there’s not much wanting. I think when this challenge is over, I will be changed. I might buy something I need sometime, but all in all, I will still look for alternative ways to shop. 🙂