Neile Graham (neile) wrote,
Neile Graham

from Les Semaines, December 9, 2007

I am famous amongst my friends for disliking shopping. I always have. When I was a kid and my mom had to take me shopping, I used to beg to wait out in the car.

There was a time when I liked prowling CD and book stores, particularly used stores or those in cities not my own, but that was before I had such huge collections of both and there were more common gaps I was looking to fill. Once it got like looking for a needle in a haystack to find anything I wanted--well, internet shopping showed up. So I learned how to find what I wanted for myself. Ha, saved!

I suffered the slings and arrows of going to places like Costco (and Target before I heard that they were allowing their pharmacists to refuse to dispense some drugs and in spite of all temptations have not entered the store again) but only go to those places with Jim and/or friends. I rarely have reason to enter a department store or shopping mall, and of course I can generally find the obscure things I'm looking by letting my fingers do the walking, through google and and Deep Discount and and ebay and such.

[Mind you, I still do a lot of book shopping in real stores, especially Open Books (one of two poetry-only bookstores in the U.S. which we are delighted thrives here in Seattle) and the University Bookstore (which, did you know, offers free shipping anywhere in the U.S.? and which I love even more than Elliott Bay Book Company--we are so lucky here in Seattle). I also shop for music frequently at local chain Sonic Boom. But beyond those, it's online for me.]

I still have to grocery shop--it's my job because Jim does the laundry and hates shopping even more than I do.

But then there's the holiday season. I used to stress out SO much about the shopping. Once I'd gotten past all the books at Open Books and the University Bookstore and the music and then DVDs I could buy online, I was stuck. I really like to buy friends crafty, beautiful things. Not so much candles and picture frames (but yes, if they are funky and individual enough) but handmade earrings, pottery, paper products, etc. That all takes a powerful lot of shopping. Seattle used to have a plethora of shops that carried cool stuff, and every year I'd do my rounds. Places like Armadillo, Bizango (oh, how I miss this one!), La Tienda, Fireworks. The only ones of these that still exist are La Tienda, though they only have one store now, and Fireworks. Both of these were the most expensive of this type of shop and there I am always torn between finding the perfect thing for someone and spending too much money.

Enter Etsy. Ah, Etsy, how I love you. Now I can shop online for these wonderful things, too, and mostly the prices are quite good, even with shipping. And the money goes directly to the artists! I've nearly finished my holiday shopping, thanks to Etsy, and so far everything I've bought from them has been at least as attractive as shown. For several items I've been surprised how much lovelier they were in real life.

Thank you Internets! I loves you!

And now, even though I'm done finding the wonderful crafty things for the people I have to shop for who like such things, I can't stop browsing the site.

Oh, evil Internets!

So that is what I've been doing this week. All of it? All of it. While fighting some kind of virus and suffering through an ugly eye infection bad enough that I actually dragged my butt to the doctor. Or actually, Jim drove me because I couldn't see well enough to drive. Holy hand grenade, Batman. It nearly drove me insane. It might have, had the virus not laid me so low that I had no energy to go insane. I stayed home from work two days with the two annoyances, and had to ask a neighbour to help me drive Jim to the airport (he had a 48 hour business trip)--she had just come from a morning's worth of dental work and I couldn't see, but between the two of us we got him safely there and got us safely home.

The weekend wasn't so bad, though. I made it through work most of Thursday and all of Friday, and by then small children didn't run screaming from the sight of my eye. Friday afternoon we even ran an errand (shopping!) and bought paper for our holiday letter. I think we were in the store seven minutes and back to the car within ten. Saturday I still couldn't write (trying to write one-eyed isn't fun) but we did go for a (halting for me--not only was I still virus-tired but half-blind) walk in Carkeek Park in lovely, clear, but cold weather. Had coffee with Tamar. Watched some Pushing Daisies which I loved and Jim was all eh about and then some Tudors, which we both were all right with, enough to keep watching.

Now it's Sunday and I'm feeling well enough to start scrambling to catch up. I haven't written the holiday letter to print on the paper yet. Or started cleaning or organizing, but dammit, my shopping's done.

I wonder what's new on Etsy?


For my reading, listening writing, and a selection from my [Jim's] 1994 journal, check Les Semaines.

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