At the risk of sounding chauvinistic, I believe women are better shoppers than men. I am a buyer, not a shopper. When I want something, I go and buy it. I detest shopping all around for something. My wife, on the other hand, could spend days just looking and shopping and never spend a dime. I dare not complain too much however because she might suddenly change and start spending instead of just shopping. That could be tragic.
I decided this Christmas I would turn over a new leaf and join the throngs of shoppers to try and buy some Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. Thus begins my tale of woe as a shopper.
Let’s see now. Is it Wii or what about the iphone or the imax? Should I look at an itouch, ibox or ipad or how about an ibex? No, wait a minute. I think that’s a Tibetan mountain goat. I’m so confused. Is there nothing that isn’t electronic? Are there no gifts for today’s kids that aren’t electric? And what about what everything costs? Wow, I had no idea.
Some would say that I am living in the past. That’s probably true. One of my favorite memories of a Christmas past was when I received a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun. I think Santa might have spent maybe five or ten dollars on a gift that was for me one of the greatest gifts in the world. With my new BB gun I could go out into the woods behind my house and be a hunter, or I could be a cowboy, or I could even be a soldier fighting in a war. I was allowed to use my imagination. I was allowed to make up my own games and scenarios. Today, I fear, all the imagination is gone with the electronic devices we give our kids. Everything is decided for them. As a youngster I received a set of Lincoln Logs. We were able to build houses. Our imagination was our only set of instructions, and our imagination was our only limitation. Lincoln Logs were indestructible. They lasted for years and we never grew tired of building with them. Then there was the erector set. What a great gift. Again it was used for building. Building everything from houses to automobiles and everything in between. I had a small wrench and my mind. There was no end to the marvelous things I could construct with my erector set.
Many among you will say that these new electronic devices which entertain our kids are also training them for their future. I hope so, but we will still have to build houses and create things made with our hands and our imaginations. I admit to being “computer illiterate”, but at the same time I certainly wouldn’t want the future to be a bunch of people sitting around on their very ample rear ends unable to create anything with their hands. We dare not out smart ourselves. Somebody is going to have to produce the food, build the roads, and do the uncomputer-like things that make the world go round. These things take skills also.
This column is not about electronic gifts however. It is about shopping. I hereby resign as a shopper. I admit shopping is better left to the experts, like my wife for example. I will continue to live in the past and just shake my head as the world goes on without me. I am surely not the only one who feels this way.
I do hope you shoppers out there have success in your endeavors and that you find the gifts you are looking for. I also hope the recipients of those gifts appreciate your efforts. Tomorrow will be whatever tomorrow will be.
Ron Scarbro December 1, 2010
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