Shopaholic moves to the country!

Let me paint a scenario for you......

For the first 39 years of your life you have just about instant access to major shopping facilities and you live within 40 minutes of London. During your 30's not only are you even closer to London and living within 5 minutes of a huge Mall, but you also have a decent amount of disposable income as well. If you needed a last minute outfit you could just swing by the huge Mall after work and find one, no big deal!

Combine this with a lifelong love of make-up, hair products, clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry and being definitely more Glam' than Grunge.....then what do you have?

A Shopaholic!

Now imagine moving in your 40th year to a VERY rural area in Oklahoma, being 2 hours from ANY kind of Mall and 3 hours from the kind you're used to! ......And Bob's your uncle that's my life now as a retired shopaholic.

We do have a reasonably large town 20 minutes away but the mini-mall is just that and contains a clothes store, a silk florist, a christian bookstore, a beauty salon, quilting shop and cafe. I am sure this paints an adequate picture for you. We do have a Super Walmart (woohoo), last year we got a Walgreens (great excitement) and there are a number of nice independant stores but this is NO shopping metropolis!

Yesterday I heard we have a Quizno's, another unconfirmed chain restaurant (Applebee's/Chilli's type) moving in, a new planned small Mall, possibly an iHop and a Lowes. They are also currently building a Hampton Inn and a La Quinta - these are heady days indeed and there is now a rapid growth spurt out here in the Wild West!

But this is also the land of constant rumours as to who is supposedly moving in next and many of these seem born more out of longing than actual fact. But undoubtedly some of these are actually going to happen - HALLELUJAH!

When I heard about Lowes yesterday it would be fair to say I was sadly over-excited, I mean it's pretty bad when a Lowes store can bring on that much happiness (gawd help me if we ever get a Garden Ridge or Hobby Lobby!). For any Brit's reading Lowes is the glamourous bigger sister to B&Q. But if we get a Lowes then it will just be a matter of time before other nationally known chains move in too, we might be talking about the holy grail of up and coming towns..... a Starbucks sometime in the distant future!

Don't get me wrong I am very happy here and have no desire to return to my old life, but the lack of decent shopping is only something a girl from London would put up with for TRUE love! It's the only aspect of my new life I really hate, and of course men really don't have alot of sympathy for us girls or our 'need' for some decent retail therapy.

When we do get to the cities I am like a kid in a candy store, poor Hubster just has to grin and bear it and generally he does. But after 4-5 hours waiting on me rushing around like a headless chicken trying to pack it all in, things can start to wear a trifle bit thin between us! And if there is a Sephora in the Mall, then he knows he is in real dire straits, as that's at least an hour right there.

One of the other issues that can cause friction is that when I try on clothes I like to have his opinion. Now this isn't because I don't know what suits me, with all that retail therapy behind me I can skim a store in 30 seconds for 'my style' and be out again if it's a dud. But I do like to at least show him what I'm thinking of getting, as I sometimes dress a little riskier than the locals (it's the Euro' thing I guess) and I want him to feel comfortable with what I wear in public - to a certain extent! But he just hates waiting around for me to try things on and would rather do his own thing, so now I just let him as it's all just too stressful otherwise and a fight ruins all the fun!

So I have become through necessity the internet shopping Queen. If you need to know where the best online store is to buy anything - just ask me!

My Shopping folder in favourites is huge and full of not only the well-known but the obscure specialists. I know where to find the best deals, how to beat prices and get those 'if you can beat our price we'll pay you the difference plus more' deals. Internet shopping is my sanity saviour out here and all the UPS drivers wave to me and know me as Sarah!

We haven't been to a Mall since October when we went to Amarillo, a great place to shop and yes if you're a Brit ' I do know the way to Amarillo tralala lala lala laaaa'! Right now we plan on a trip in April but I am starting to have serious withdrawal symptoms and have been dropping subtle hints to Hubster about going earlier.... (maybe he'll read this) before I go crazy.

So the next time you just pop down to the Mall, spare a thought for the 'enforced-by-love' retired shopaholic, buried deep somewhere in the depths of the beautiful but Mall free Okie countryside!


Lynne said...

Great post! I hate shopping, but I like to have good malls around - just in case the shopping bug bites. Our little town is getting a Barnes & Noble, so I'll be in hog heaven! That's one kind of shopping I don't mind at all.

BritGal' Sarah said...

Thanks Lynne - oh I would love a Barnes & Noble too, but we'd be broke..lol! Our closest book shop is 2 hrs away too!

pamokc said...

ah sarah, i feel your pain! but on the flip side, i have been in rural ENGLAND during Christmas week .... need i say more? hahahahaha

Vickie said...

Sarah: You could yourself out as an internet retail shopping consultant! = ) I love Sephora, too. I was thrilled when my sister introduced me to the one near her house in Chicago burbs several years ago. They finally put one in the Flatirons Mall nearby. I hear angel trumpet at the entryway....
My other mecca is DSW, D sumpn' sumpn' SHOE WAREHOUSE! Love them. We have two near us. And you get points for what you buy. More you buy, the more points. It's a glorious cycle. I live 8 blocks from the B&N which is catty-corner from my WW meetings.
I am missing the chick gene that lets me accesorize, but I can do okay in other areas.

Wendy said...

Oh, you feel my pain! I just happened upon your site a few days ago and when I read this post I just had to respond. I have lived near big cities most of my life, too. I am not even a shopaholic (before, I would have said I hate shopping), but we moved from the Chicago area to an isolated farm outside of Indianapolis and I can't believe how much I miss accessible shopping! We don't eat out as much either. I moved for my children, and I do LOVE them, but lots of days I think, I can't stand living here in the middle of nowhere another day!

I also have a bit of British background (have been 4 or 5 times and even lived there for almost a year). I am really enjoying your BWOTD! Keep up the great work on this blog - you are a blogging machine!