Shopping: I Cannot Think of a Bigger Waste of Time

Notice how I haven't made this into a men versus women argument? Because it's not. I know plenty of men that adore shopping. The weirdoes.

Shopping. I just don't get it. Honestly, I cannot think of a bigger waste of time.

Watching the grass grow or the paint dry, at least you're outside and contemplating things.

Such as why café coffee always tastes better than home coffee, why it is that home improvements on television take a fraction of the time they do in real life, and how much better football season is than not football season.

Seriously though, anyone who just 'goes shopping' for the sake of it. Why?

Whenever I shop it's with a purpose. I identify a need, then go out and search until I fulfil that need.

The longer it takes, the more frustrated I become.

Imagine if 'The Hulk' had no special abilities, but shopping was his magical flick from reasonable to angry. That's me in a shopping centre. Purple underpants, shirtless and very angry. Often then quickly asked by security to leave.

If the first shop I walk into has what I want, I buy it. What I certainly don't do is keep looking under the mistaken impression that I'll find a more suitable version at a different store.

I might take a bit of time to do a price comparison. Three stores within easy walking distance at a maximum, and then pick the cheapest. Or I might just check on the internet, like an intelligent person.

What I will never do is go shopping without a need to fulfil and an end product in mind.

That's like following the football, and not supporting a particular team. Pick a team. Nobody trusts a person who follows football and doesn't have a team.

It's like hanging out in bars, but never having a drink.

It's like going to a shop with over two hundred flavours of ice cream, just because you like the idea of all that choice, but have no actual desire for ice-cream.

You go into an ice-cream shop because you want ice cream. Not because you like the idea of ice cream. If you're lactose intolerant, eat gelato.

So the point of going shopping is to buy something.

If you don't buy anything, then you're just browsing.

It's like going to a nightclub if you don't want to meet anyone. Which is apparently a viable and respectable option, but have you been to a nightclub lately? They're rubbish, so why bother unless you're trying to fill that massive void inside yourself with another person?

Maybe the people at nightclubs who aren't looking to meet anyone, are the same people who go shopping not to buy anything.

Just standing there, staring and sometimes drooling. Both are just a different type of pervert.

What we need are nightclubs and shops that cater to these sorts of people. A corridor that's all just windows and mannequins, with a suitable boring soundtrack.

Which would then keep these people out of my way, so I can find a park and get in and out as quickly as possible.

A strategy that applies equally to both shopping centres and nightclubs.

Maybe I just don't get it. Possibly shopping for stuff you don't know you want yet is the most rewarding experience of all time.

However, I very strongly doubt it.

For Xmas, everyone who gets a present from me gets a book for two reasons.

One - because people should read more.

Two - I only have to go into one shop.

Notice how I haven't made this into a men versus women argument? Because it's not. I know plenty of men that adore shopping. The weirdoes.

Also, I know plenty of women who can't stand shopping without a purpose. The champions.

Really, it's not a battle between the sexes at all. It's a battle between people who have better things to do, and those who have nothing better to do.

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.


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