Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Women on shopping


Every first Sunday of the month is Koop Zondag in the Netherlands. The predictable sleeping cities and towns in the flatlands come to life during Koop Zondag. The big warehouses, some of the specialty shops, and even the street vendors selling loempia (lumpia/spring rolls) and fresh cut flowers joins the city street camaraderie.

This means a lot to us individuals who work fulltime and work in another city because we do not have the extra time to get off from work to shop during weekdays. Stores in this part of the planet close early (read: 5PM) during weekdays, and they are also close on Sundays (except for Rotterdam I believe and a few shops in Amsterdam center).

Since shops close early on a Saturday too, to realize non-food shopping chores is sometimes not possible. There is just not enough time.
Saturday for me is THE day when I don’t want to wake up with my eardrums torn apart and hanging outside my ears because the blaring alarm clock orders me to get my ass up and out of bed. For me, it’s THE day when I finally can sleep-in and come out of bed less harassed.

This sleeping-in during weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) is a non-negotiable necessity. I have even elevated this necessity to being a personal obligation. Anyone who disturbs me during these hours will be shot.

So I was glad to wake up on Sunday – at 11AM, to find out that it was Koop Zondag. I need to buy a few important personal items that I wasn’t able to do last Saturday. I like to shop, really, but... sometimes only, really. And, last Sunday was one of those out-of-need days that I badly need to get out and accomplish the duty.


Utrecht Oudegracht on a cold yet quite dry Sunday afternoon: Remnants of multihued autumn... before winter steals the final show...



Sunday afternoon went uneventful except for successfully wrapping up the needed toiletries in my list and adding 5 accidental purchases: a pair of black leather gloves, a humongous black scarf, a grey knitted long sleeve vest and 2 turtleneck shirts.

Q: Why is it that we women just can’t control ourselves?

On the other hand, I justified my accidental purchases that they are my NEEDS, anyway. End of story.

When I got home, I quickly took out my purchases from the plastic bags, cut off the cardboard tags, and together with the receipts slipped them in between the paper pile in the paper recycling basket in our library. Yes, I recycle paper tags and receipts. Anything that is of paper base will not escape my recycling prejudices. Greenpeace should give me an award.

The Dutchman is due to be back before dinner from his Sunday afternoon rollerblading and that is about anytime from now(!). I don’t want the nosy Dutchman to see what I have just bought because I am sure he will inspect them, and ask the million euro question - even if the money spent was from my own pocket: How much was your damage for the day?

So to avoid these monetary confrontations, I employed some sharpness, quickness and shrewdness talents, he-he. Yeah, we women can indeed be very, very naughty... and clever! Perhaps, way, way clever... for men.

I know it’s silly to hide purchases from our partners, and even though I know for sure that the Dutchman doesn’t really mind what I do with my own money – he is just generally curious like a cat, still, I have this tiny throbbing weird feeling whenever my shopping bill tops over the €50 mark. I just can’t help myself but feel guilt-ridden. Is this perhaps a positive sign of being financially responsible? (lol)

Here is the interesting part --- when I had a discussion about this shopping with remorse scenario with a female colleague, I FOUND OUT THAT I WAS NOT AT ALL ALONE?


The elusive fact remains that we women as a whole have the tendency to hide away what we have shopped from our partners! The good news is most men don’t know any better.

Koop Zondag if translated literally means “Buy/Sale Sunday”.

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