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?
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!