Crazy lady goes shopping

Keats and Gabe played in a Baseball tournament over the weekend which required Jonny to be up and out of the house early with them on Saturday.   I spent what turned into hours trying to get everyone ready to go watch the boys play their second game of the day.  I thought we were only going to miss the first fifteen minutes or so but ended up getting there for only the last fifteen minutes because the game started earlier than it was scheduled to.  (Hello, Jonny and Ginny.  Please purchase a new cell phone in order to avoid this happening again in the future.)

Feeling a little frustrated, I headed for home in The Beauty by myself, and Jonny voluntarily took all the kids in the van.  (For those who don’t know, The Beauty is the used gold Ford Taurus that Jonny swapped labor for a couple of years ago.  The girls named it and the name stuck.)  Evidently not in my right mind, I pulled into a major department store that I passed on my way home.  Job is lacking in the seasonally appropriate clothing department and I haven’t had luck thrifting or shopping online.  I almost never enter a store outside of the grocery though, and for good reason.  I’m clearly not cut out for stores that sell a wide variety of items.

I turned the wrong way when I entered the store and circled nearly the entire place before finding the baby clothes department.  I was looking for what I believe would be described as short sleeved summer rompers, and I was hoping to find gray ones because I like gray baby clothes.  I narrowed in on the familiar Carter’s brand and started hunting for gray.  All gray items seem to have blinding stripes and appliques and in some cases obnoxious text.  I don’t care for text on baby clothes.  I circled the same three racks or so for what must have been more than half an hour.  Then I decided to step away and recompose while trying to find some “unnies” for Silas who will be three soon.  He has been experimenting with underwear lately, namely the girls underwear.  The experiments have not been going well.  I found a pack of unnies with dinosaurs, and thinking that the old “You don’t want to tinkle on the dinosaurs” trick might work, grabbed them before heading back to the baby clothes.

Again, I started circling trying to remember exactly what Job needed.  “Rompers, rompers,” I thought to myself while picking up a set including a onesie, a pair of knit pants, and a long sleeved button up knit top adorned with whales.  “Not a romper, not even close.  Not gray, but on sale.”  At this point, I realized that my brain was starting to melt.  I picked up another set, this one with two onesies and a pair of knit pants, contemplating their usefulness.  I started talking to myself, possibly out loud.  “Stop being so crazy, Ginny.  Just grab some baby clothes and get out.”

I made it to the checkout and had my items rung up.  That three piece set was way cheaper than I thought.  Maybe I should grab another.  “We can suspend your transaction if you want to go grab it.”  So I did.  Enter new checkout person who rings my items including third baby set (none being what I entered store for.)  Would you like to save 30% today by applying for our store credit card?  I pause for a moment and think in slow motion melted brain talk, “Hey thaaaaat’s a pretty good deeeeeeal.”


And this is where things got really ugly.  Thinking to myself, “I never go to stores.  We might need some things.  This store appears to have everything.  I better go find those things we need while I can get a big discount.”  I headed back for more.

Later, when I pulled into our driveway, I was immediately mobbed by my kids wanting to know why I took so long to get home.  I was still trying to recover and couldn’t speak at first.  I pointed to the shopping bag.  I tried to explain what happened.  I mentioned picture frames, silverware, food processors, and even a coffee maker.  And then there were t-shirts on sale and my big boys need t-shirts (but preferably not t-shirts that advertise beer.  What’s up with that?)  I escaped with a few picture frames and a small pack of spoons in addition to the baby clothes.

The following day, on the way home from day two of the tournament, Jonny ran in and returned the picture frames for me.  I refuse to enter that store again without a very clear plan and an escort.  I take that back.  I refuse to enter that store again ever.  I am not wired for shopping.


  1. Ginny,
    I smiled when I read about you circling the same spot over and over. I’ve done that too! The rare times I ever go into a large store to get something I always figure they have “everything” and when I discover they don’t have something simple that I want I just can’t believe it and keep looking at the same aisles anyway. I remember having a gift certificate that someone gave me as a gift and I wanted to get Bracken a simple long sleeve brown shirt with it. But everything had obnoxious prints on it and I couldn’t find what I wanted that was just in a plain color. Plus I always want just cotton and sometimes it’s harder to find than you’d think. Sometimes searching the thrift stores doesn’t turn up what I need. I enter the big stores only needing a few things and as soon as I’m in there I suddenly want so many more things. Funny how that happens. Bless Jonny’s heart for returning those items for you so you didn’t have to back in that overwhelming place again for awhile.


  2. It was a culture shock when I first moved here from Germany. I could not believe the coupon thingy and the whole buy one get one free thingy. I think it does cause a lot of problems with people overspending and creditcard debt… There just seems something so dishonest about the whole thing. I only go shopping when my jeans fall apart because I don’t want to fall into that trap either… Thanks for your great assessment of the subject. LOL

  3. I loved this post so much. I have become the same way. I get completely over whelmed by retail shopping. I think I’m so used to garage sale and thrift shop pricing that it all just seems to surreal and I kind of have an out of body experience. It feels like it’s fake or something. I mostly just shop online too. I have two girls (5 and 3) and a one year old baby boy. I recently found dharma trading company online and LOVE their white cotton clothes. If your kids are into the dying, or just dying at all it would be a fun summer project and then you could just dye some rompers for Job in the colors you like. I bought a romper for Felix and it’s already one of my favorite warm weather outfits for him. Just wanted to share! Thank you for you blog. It’s one of the highlights of my day!

  4. Oh, my goodness, YES!!! Thank you for the laugh! 🙂

  5. Baahahahaha!! That’s so funny! We live 3 blocks from a shopping center, including a Neiman Marcus. I always think it would be fun to terrorize the sales staff by entering with my twin toddlers in the double stroller and my bouncing, bounding kindergartner and see what happens. I might even wear a mumu and three hats just for effect. But, oh, shopping– how I love it and hate it.

  6. That was hilarious ! I can so relate…
    I suggest a t-shirt advertising “BEWARE OF CREDIT CARD OFFERS, THOSE ARE DANGEROUS!”
    Not sure which kids would want to wear them though.

  7. I’ve sooo been there! Not the nicest of feelings, that’s for sure:) Have a lovely day.

  8. Oh Ginny! I totally understand. Us highly sensitive folk get over stimulated by such places! Praying for you! (ps: we are in the middle of preparing our new place and moving so if I don’t comment always right now, it is just because of that!) God bless and keep you!!!

  9. oh no! i have to admit i laughed, i am one to rarely set foot in a big box store but when i do, it seems as though all hell breaks lose and i am buying things i never intended! don’t forget about thredup, great for baby clothes.

  10. Grace Byrd says:

    I hate clothes shopping! If you do dust off the sewing machine: I made lots of sweet pants and rompers out of wool and cashmere sweaters from the thrift store. You can cut off the bands on the sweaters and sew them onto the baby clothes wherever you need a band. I used buttoned cardigans to utilize the buttons for the backs of rompers. It’s sort of like knitting but with instant gratification for impatient people like me!

  11. Rachel D says:
  12. Thank you for this post! I am right there with you…

  13. Oh, Ginny, I feel your pain! I can not shop at large department stores…just driving into the parking lot sets my heart racing. I too am finding it hard to find clothes for my baby boy. Rompers…you would think one could find rompers, but no. I thought the thrift stores would be full of them, but I haven’t been able to find one…at least not one without silly graphics on it. And grey…it’s one of my favorite baby colors too. I do believe I will have to find some grey fabric and start sewing.

  14. Oh this is SO me! I am TERRIBLE at shopping. Although, the more I contemplate that statement, I realize I might just be terrible at sticking to a plan when I’m alone….we went to the library today without a reusable bag in which to carry books…I promised myself only four books, one for each of us & easy to carry….I could barely make it out of the library we had so many books to juggle. Going into a place where you have to pay for items is even worse. Lol. The radishes look lovely & the baby is such a squishy adorable little man!

  15. Another shopping hater here, too. I call the mall “the h*ll.” I get headaches in big stores. Even Krogers is too big. I like my little grocery store. I sometimes think it’s the decision-making that gets me, but I have no trouble making decisions in other areas. In fact, come to think of it, I get a headache shopping online sometimes if there are too many choices (Amazon). I think I just know what I like, but can rarely find it.

    I also have an extreme distaste for clothing with any writing or advertising on it. Blech.

    I bet you could find a pattern (maybe Oliver S) and sew some cute rompers.

  16. I can relate! Last week I went into a department store for the first time in ten years. We needed new bathroom towels, because it’s been ten years since I’ve bought towels. I was completely overwhelmed by all the choices; a floor to ceiling rainbow of terri cloth. I just wanted a set of plain brown towels that would last another ten years. It was a good thing I had a budget and a family waiting in the car for me, because I may have lost my mind.

  17. ha! I always say no to the credit card, nothing but trouble. It is hard to focus in those stores though!

  18. Ginny, it is so quick and easy to sew baby rompers and it requires so little fabric. With the beautiful sewing you have done for the girls, you shouldn’t have a problem. I promise it will take less time than shopping. I did the ones with a button at each shoulder and skipped the snaps at the crotch (since pulling the whole thing off and on for diaper changes is just as easy as trying to resnap a baby’s wiggly bottom).

    Your shopping experience is why I only shop at thrift stores or online. I try to stop in regularly at thrift stores and think ahead about the kids’ future clothing needs. I keep things in storage bins and we “go shopping” at home when someone needs clothes, but it’s trickier if you don’t have the storage space. I follow the Tightwad Gazette lady’s strategy for clothing a large family.

  19. Ha, I love it. Same thing happens to me. I go in looking for jeans -that elusive beast and end up being drawn away to other departments after a very severe case of dressing room depression. I look at the attractive stands (or the deadly clearance rack) and consider, and put things back, and come back and put them in the cart again. Around and around and around until I really do need rescuing or a large cup of coffee, or even some fresh air. All of this with the inner dialog of “these are great deals, I may never see them again” I HATE SHOPPING!

  20. I actually think taking *a* child with you to the big box store can be helpful. (I offer no advice on more taking more children than that.) It’s like setting a timer. I stay on task and am less tempted by frivolous browsing.

  21. Ginny – I am right there with you. I have learned to never go to the mall without my guy or my BFF with me. There are so many “cute things on sale” that are not needed. They call me like the siren did Odysseus. It’s not pretty at all.

  22. Marilyn says:

    This made me laugh! I am also a bad shopper and get easily overwhelmed when in go for something basic and can’t find it. But now you know: Carter’s baby wear will NEVER be plain gray.

  23. HAHAH oh I’m so glad I’m not the only one. I hate when they offer you credit cards! And there are so many overwhelming things to look at! Then, because I’ve been wandering around for an hour and haven’t bought anything, I feel like I have to give the store another go and end up walking out with $100 worth of stuff. What’s with that?!

    You take such beautiful photos. That one of Job with his big blue eyes made me say “OH, those blue eyes!” (out loud. My husband sitting in the other room was like whaaaa?)

  24. if i were to guess at the store you went in, with a little of everything and a credit card with discounts… i’d suggest shopping there online. you can sit down with a plan and a list. filter your searches. and always add to your cart, take a break and come back a little later to review and make your purchase if you need a little clarity. clearance prices are really good as are the additional mark downs with the card. we always start with a plan and stick to the plan – then pay it off as soon as it comes due. and i do prefer online for the inventory too. ours never carries the right sizes for my boys and the big boy but not teen boy section is slim pickings.

  25. I loathe shopping. Anything we can’t find via thrifting/handmedowns generally gets purchased via the internet so Mama doesn’t melt into a sobbing puddle at all. the. stuff. We usually make a list of what the kids need that I haven’t been able to find via thrifting/handmedowns, bookmark it, and wait for a good sale to pop up on the store’s homepage (e.g., Old Navy cycles their sales every few days). Would these qualify for gray rompers?

    • I’ve been watching Old Navy too! I have the second one you linked to on order-I think it must have been backordered b/c I ordered it weeks ago, but everything else was sold out of his size! (12-18 months!!) (***All the stuff is just awful.)

      • I did something eerily similar to this at Old Navy a few months ago. I came home with bags of clothes and was in a “What just happened?” sort of fog. My husband seeing me with bags of clothes (for myself!!) was all, “Who ARE you?!” They totally got me with the credit card deal…

  26. Jeannine says:

    Ginny, Well said. Something I FEEL every time I go shopping, but never could explain. I think I’ll stay out also. I have fallen for the save big now scheme many times, not to mention the precious time we spend roaming through thousands of things looking for the one we can’t find anyway so we settle. At least now you won’t wonder what you are missing.

  27. I get that too. Not a nice thing.

  28. Oh Ginny, I understand 100%!! From the melting brain (I call it frying)…to grabbing things that I need, but then questioning if I actually need them or not because they weren’t what I came for. I am so glad I am not alone! I feel SO crazy at times. I think it’s the lights they use in big stores…I’ll blame the lights.


  29. Amen! Me either.

  30. I hear you, Ginny. I”m not wired for stores like that either!

  31. Unfortunately, I work at that store. Sooooo hard to make it home with my paycheck!

  32. Shopping, ahhhh … I used to do that … When that credit card comes in the mail … just cut it up ! You won’t slide into trouble with lots of regret.

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