Help For the Shopping Impaired

help for the shopping impaired


I am Shopping Impaired. I hope you don’t have a similar condition and opened this post because you thought I could help. I have no help to give you. I’m the one needing help. I can barely force myself to the grocery store to buy the three absolute necessities to stay alive (cat food, coffee, and toilet paper). Things that I can put off buying, which is nearly everything else in the universe, I do. I hate to shop.  Its like I have an allergy to it.

Most people who know me have figured out that I am shopping impaired and they don’t really care. Why would they? It means nothing to them that I’m wearing a ratty (but oh-so-comfy) flannel nightgown to bed. They may roll their eyes when I make an excuse for not buying a new pair of jeans, and they may sigh at me when I come up with an excuse to not go with them to the store but that’s it. Other than some gentle teasing with a dash of pity, they leave me alone.

Which leaves me right where I want to be. Not shopping.

But there are two people in my life who do not accept my shopping impairment and think I’m just being a whiny brat. Those people are my mother, who had to do ALL of my shopping for 18 years and still has to do some of it for me today, and my closest friend, who is a hard-core, on-line power shopper.

The only thing I’m worse at than shopping, is on-line shopping. It makes me anxious.


So I knew I was asking for trouble when I included that Hue Shift Afghan from Knit Picks in my post on free-for-a-limited-time patterns last week. (The pattern is still free as of this writing, btw.) Its just the sort of knit that my mother adores. Its for the home and has a zillion bright, bold colors. Just up her alley. Mom reads the blog of course and I KNEW she would see it and want one. I’m happy to knit it for her. The kit to make that afghan is dirt cheap (less than $30 for 10 skeins of yarn) so there really no excuse to not knit it. Except… I have to buy the kit… online.

Two days after I made that post I run into my Power Shopping friend and the very first thing she says is “Hey! Did you buy that afghan kit for your mom?

Almost.” And I was holding my index finger up to make a point of that because almost is very good for me and I wanted some credit for that. I didn’t get any though.

I was on the site last night and I was ready to click but then it said they were out of one of the colors.”

There was some silence where I looked at Power Shopper and she looked at me and I squirmed in my chair. Then I added “So I backed out of the site, shut down, and went to bed.”

Well, which color were they out of?”

“… I didn’t really check. I just gave up.”

Power Shopper sighed, rolled her eyes, put on her reading glasses (she looks like a stern librarian when she does that), and opened a browser window on her computer.

What’s this kit called?” she asked me and I had a very bad, no-good feeling that I was about to be forced into shopping.

The Hue Shift Afghan.”

And a few clicks later she has it up on the computer. I just knew I was gonna have to buy this kit. That meant setting up an account, and getting logged into paypal, and giving out my mailing address, and I really hate all that.

Black. The color they are missing is the black. For the border.”

Defeat. I am defeated. Black yarn can be bought anywhere and it doesn’t matter if what you have isn’t a perfect match because its black and no one can ever see the stitches. And when its a black border it really doesn’t need to match. I’m gonna have to buy this kit.

Okay. I get the black somewhere else. I’ll buy it. I will.

You know, this kit is only $30. It says if you order $50 of stuff you don’t have to pay shipping.

Dear Lord save me. This is exactly what happens when you shop! “No,” I said very firmly but inside I was quivering. “I‘m not spending more to save a few bucks. Just the kit.”

That’s when Power Shopper turned to me with an eyebrow arched over the rim of her glasses and said “I need needles.

Ohhhhhh. The clouds parted. The light shined. Understanding in my brain quickened. Power Shopper wants to shop and I won’t have to do anything but hand over some money.

Okay,” I said smiling at the woman who just took up knitting three months ago and already owns two complete sets of Addi Clicks. “I can see that.

So my kit for the afghan is on its way and all I had to do was hand her some cash. She did everything else including finding a color that they did have which she approved of (its a very dark gray), and calling up the sales department, and arranging to have that color substituted. She did all the other dreary anxiety-causing crap that happens when you shop on-line and I am very, very grateful.

I called my mom and told her the kit was on order. I don’t think she really believed me until I told her how Power Shopper took over and made it all happen. That she believed completely. And as the only other human being who has had to drag me kicking and screaming into shopping she thought the whole story was a laugh riot.

I don’t much care if mom laughs at me. I don’t care if ya’ll laugh. Or if you feel pity. I didn’t have to shop.

I win.

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"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen

17 Comments on "Help For the Shopping Impaired"

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I am so you when it comes to shopping, but alas, I have no Power shopper in my life. Well, not exactly like you…I do the online shopping thing and like you, it causes me no end of anxiety, but the anxiety tends to make me buy more…my house looks like a yarn and fiber warehouse!


I am sooooo with you on this – EXCEPT for yarn stores. Which causes me all kinds of anxiety because I want it ALL – and usually that ONE color I’m searching for isn’t there 🙁 And NO I am NOT gonna go talk to the cashier about ordering it.


The only thing I worry about is the feel of the yarn they are using. I am soo sensitive. Will you let me know how it is when it comes in? Then I might finally buy the kit.


I hear you. I will wait until there is no more milk in the house before I go to the grocery store (I need a latte every morning or there is no knitting…) I will call the store before I do all of that online stuff. I finally got PayPal so I could buy Ravelry patterns, but I stress for days before I actually buy one.


No laughs and no pity from me. I’m glad to know that my condition has a name. Shopping Impaired hmmm I can live with that. I would rather clean the litter boxes than shop and I have 6 cats. On line is not usually so bad but I like to touch and feel stuff especially my fabrics and yarn. Now it’s time to start psyching myself for holiday shopping.