In Which I Remember Why I Like To Shop Online

I saw a former neighbor when I was out shopping in the real world. I hadn’t seen her in years, which was fine by me.

I’m a person who believes that losing contact with some people along the way is healthy because we’re not meant to stay in touch with everyone we’ve ever known.

When former neighbor spotted me, there was nowhere to hide, so I smiled.  My smile was sincere, just not in the way that I imagine former neighbor thought it was.

You see, I was smiling because I knew I was about to find out a few things that were wrong with me.  This is because former neighbor knows everything.

Yes, she knows it all.  She is always right.

And me?

I’m sorry to tell you, my gentle readers, I am wrong.  About almost everything.  All the time.

‘Tis a miracle that I can hold my head up high when I walk out my front door. THAT’S HOW WRONG I AM.

And true to form, after a bit of “where do you live now?” chit-chat, she started rabbiting on, allowing me to learn that I am wrong about 3 specific things. They are: 1) the value of higher education;  2) what sterling silver really is;  and 3) that I’m getting my hair cut at the wrong place.

Fortunately the conversation ended there because she spotted someone else she knew– and needed to correct.  So I took the opportunity to walk away, saying “good-bye” as I scurried in the opposite direction from where she was standing.

But as I was doing so, in a moment of self-awareness, I realized that shopping online is easier and quieter, with fewer distractions– and less criticism.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

79 thoughts on “In Which I Remember Why I Like To Shop Online”

  1. It is amazing that you can even care for yourself, being so very wrong all of the time. I agree we are not meant to stay in touch with everyone we’ve ever known – doesn’t mean we no longer like or respect them. It’s just too much after a while – and of course precious few of them reciprocate so that makes it far easier to overcome.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Zen-Den, yes, I know what you mean. It’d seem that, as a pawn, I might not be able to do that. But I carry on.

      I agree with your assessment, of course. It’s just too much to attempt to keep up with people who, through their actions and comments, make it clear that I am optional in their lives. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Attention shoppers! . . .
        Spell check needed on Comment #2!

        It should be “through” not “throw.”
        What’s WRONG with you?
        Can’t you do anything RIGHT?

        (Alas, even on-line, critics abound!)

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        1. nancy, I saw the mistake immediately after publishing it, corrected it within a minute, but maybe the system didn’t make my correction in time for you to read it. It is correct now.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Aah . . . that’s better! 😀

            Now, where was I?
            Oh, yes . . . about to say that you summed this up PERFECTLY!!!

            “It’s just too much to attempt to keep up with people who, through their actions and comments, make it clear that I am optional in their lives.”

            That’s it . . . in a nut shell. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems that the pivotal word in all of this Ally is “former.” Thankfully that helpful lady is not a part of your everyday life. So what is sterling silver, now that you have been given the correct information.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I tolerated her when she lived nearby, but no way do I want to continue knowing her now. Sterling silver is, according to former neighbor, of lesser value than silver plate because sterling silver items are usually older, and silver plated items are newer… therefore more valuable.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Charlie Brown had to pay Lucy five cents to find out all the things he was wrong about. You got all of this valuable information you did not know before for the price of one sincere smile. That’s a pretty cheap rate for a life coach…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. evilsquirrel13, your perspective on this story is one that I never thought about. You are, of course, right in that I paid no money to be informed thusly. As for this woman being a life coach… I don’t think so… not my life, for sure.

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  4. I like your candor here. I’m probably wrong in trying to “help” people who neither want my help ~ or my friendship. Thanks for calling me out here, Ally.

    Nevertheless, I try to steer clear of critical spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marian, yes, this woman is a “critical spirit.” I lived near her for a few years and looking back on it I realize that my creativity and curiosity confused her. She is organized + uptight all the time, concerned with knowing the right people. I, of course, am not, but still manage to carry on. 🤔

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    1. Lynn, I believe that everyone who is not a know-it-all knows people like this former neighbor. It’s the people who are know-it-alls that don’t seem to know that about themselves. Ironically.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bless her heart; she covered a lot of ground in that conversation! Thank goodness you came along when you did, or she might have burst.

    It was a Kindness that you crossed her path, really. Someone in Heaven just scooched over and made a little more room for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, you made me laugh out loud. People scooching over in Heaven is a wonderful image. Former neighbor was always random in her conversations. This encounter was no different than other ones. I can’t say that I have missed talking with her, but it did bring back some memories about her. And a feeling of being exasperated in her presence.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I bump into neighbors and former acquaintances at the grocery store all the time. Even if they aren’t “critical spirits” like your former neighbor, chatting in the aisles can impede our progress when we just want to stock up and head home.

    Tip: Load the ice cream in the cart first. Use that as an excuse ~> “I’d love to stay and chat but I can hear the ice cream melting.” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nancy, I rarely see anyone I know in the grocery, but I like your ice cream ploy. There’s a wisdom in that move. It’s not that I don’t like talking with people, it’s just that some of them aren’t there to talk with me— they’re there to talk at me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Another brilliant sum up that I’ve seen again and again and again ~> “[they] aren’t there to talk with me— they’re there to talk at me.” YES!!!

        Proving that I am optional, not essential, and therefore FREE to go my own way.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. LA, well I certainly hope you aren’t like former neighbor! I doubt it, because only good and thoughtful people read and comment on my blog. Ergo, you can’t be a know-it-all. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  7. People can be so people-y. I don’t remember the last time I wandered around an actual store. I never run into anybody I know, though, because I’ve moved so much. I suppose once I move to a tiny village where I won’t need a car, because the tire light is on AGAIN and I hate that so I again want to give up cars, that may change. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, I’ve moved around in my life, so the people who I know here are acquaintances who I’ve met as an adult [with one exception of someone I knew as a kid from my hometown]. I run into people and I’m surprised by who I run into in what part of town. I’ve lived in a small town and you might still need a car… to get away from it from time-to-time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm. That’s probably true. OK. I’ll keep a wee car or at least a driver/someone else with a car nearby, even in my new small town, wherever that may be.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. So sorry you ran into miss know it all! I have a couple of people in my life that I have to see on a regular basis that can really irritate me if I let them. I’ve learned to just blank them out when they are telling me all the things that they know better than me. It’s a skill I’d rather not have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, I admit that I blocked a lot of what former neighbor said to me. The three items I mentioned above are from when I tuned back into her monologue. I agree, I don’t want to ignore someone to their face, but it is a life skill I’ve learned. 🙁

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    1. Anne, a former teacher said that to you! I. can’t. even. That’s amazingly rude– and conduct unbecoming of a grade school teacher.

      Your answer was perfect.

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  9. I’ve been know to cower behind a column or plant to avoid someone like that. I walk (my walking group) with a woman who knows most everything. She’s 84 and is delightful except she keeps instructing me. At my age, I’m not going to change and I’m happy with who I am. I have decided to not talk much but just keep listening with the occasional head bob. She hasn’t noticed so I guess she’s happy. I don’t want to change partners as she walks at a better clip than I do and has raised my walking game considerably. Sometimes I take mental vacations too. I was in Tahiti while walking with her just last week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I like your approach. Very sensible. A Tahitian holiday is nice, and a great way to entertain yourself under the circumstances. I don’t know exactly why some people have a need to know it all, then share it– but they do. Control issues, I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. There is much wisdom in this post. Alas, none of it is from your former neighbor. I have garnered two important insights. #1 – Shop online. Always. No exceptions. #2 – If necessity does require me to be out and about where I might run into someone, at all times be in possession of a paper bag I can quickly whip over my head. Be sure to test the eye holes so I don’t accidentally stumble in the direction of oncoming danger.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Deborah, your paper bag with eye holes is INSPIRED. I’ll create one for myself, and remember your advice on this matter. I’d like to suggest that I’ll never need the paper bag, but we all know better than that, don’t we?

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  11. How in the world did she fit in those three disparate topics in her critical eval of you? I don’t blame you for avoiding people like her. I’m trying to think if I know anyone like that, and no one comes to mind. Whew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, former neighbor is not one to abide by the normal give and take of conversations. No, she goes off in her own directions, rather random, always knowing it all. A character, but one who I’d rather not talk with… if you get my drift.

      Like

  12. AH, that’s what cellphones are for my dear. When you spot a potential encounter you wish to avoid, pull out your cellphone, pretend to talk, wave politely and move on. “Sorry, can’t talk now, I’m on an important call.”

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s pretty nerve wracking sometimes when I go out to the shops. Whenever I REALLY don’t want to see ANYone that’s precisely when I do .. and when that person is friendly-ish and says ‘you’re looking tired’ even though I remembered to put on lipstick, I want to stick it to them and give them lip .. I like the idea of paper bag, cellphone and melting icecream..

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    1. Susan, I know how you feel. I have my moments where all I want to do is duck in somewhere, buy whatever it is that I need– then get back home. But you never know when [or where] you’ll bump into someone.

      There are some clever commenters here, aren’t there? I like the ice cream idea for grocery store trips, and the paper bag or cell phone ideas for other shopping venues. Now all I have to do is remember to do them!

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  14. On-line shopping is great! You can sit there, clad in your underwear or night clothes (or nothing at all) and buy. Spend. Get some shopping therapy in. The downside? ID thieves, hackers, surly ‘customer service’ drones if something is amiss on the website, and the shocking bill you might receive because you inadvertently typed “10” instead of “1” into the how many items field. But all in all…weighing the two? On-line WINS. Despite what people tell me about ‘being more social’….And that former neighbor? Is an ass clown of immense proportion, even if she is ‘always right’ (in her own mind). Compassionate you to encounter her and not run the other way.

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    1. Embeecee, I try to only buy products online that are from companies I have past experience with. Ones that I’ve seen their products in person, somewhere, at some time. I’m not much of a shopper, so I don’t feel compelled to sit at home and buy things. Of course, I’m finding that I don’t feel compelled to go into stores to shop either.

      However, in the future when I’m out and about, I’m going to adopt some of the great ideas suggested above. I can’t, and don’t want to, eliminate all contact with people in real life, I just want to regulate it, a bit.

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  15. I never like running into people I know at the grocery store. I’m so single-minded and focused when I’m there, and the slightest interruption always throws me (i.e. “did she say Italian parsley or was it basil?” – Marty

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    1. Marty, I’m the same way. I shop with intent but am easily distracted. What we need is a button or hat that indicates if we’re currently available for chatting– or if we’re serious about our shopping. 🤔

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  16. Know-it-all people make me crazy. I was hoping you had a snappy comeback I could borrow / steal.
    Sadly, it looks like I will have to continue nodding blankly until I can think of a good method of escape – like faking a heart attack.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, we all seem to be surrounded by know-it-all people. I don’t know why people behave that way, but nodding blankly is about as good of approach as any. Sorry I have no snappy comeback for you.

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  17. Gads, I bet you’re happy to be away from that former neighbor. I buy things on line only if I’ve seen the merchandise in person. Bras are the best thing to buy online – at least in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JT Twissel, I’m like you. If I know the product, or company, then I’ll buy online. But sometimes the only way to get something is go out there in the big bad world. And deal with the peoples.

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  18. sounds like that conversation wasn’t worth the oxygen wasted to have it in the first place. You are better than me because I tend to be snippy with people like that and try to put them in their place then walk away. hopefully you don’t run into that neighbor every again, even if you have to shop in a store

    Liked by 1 person

    1. teacherturnedmommy, I was polite but inside my mind I was rolling my eyes. I run into people, but rarely at the grocery for some reason. Probably won’t see this former neighbor again for years, so she can go her way doing her thing– and I’ll go mine. Live and let live, as they say.

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  19. I’ve been known to run and hide rather than talk to someone I know in a store (even people I like). I’m normally either on an in-and-out mission or just don’t want to make small talk standing among the carrots and cauliflower. Isn’t it funny how some people can impart interesting and useful information while others (maybe saying the same thing) sound all judgy? Of course, her comment about silver plate vs. sterling makes me realize that she not only is judgy, but she’s an idiot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, I understand your need to run and hide. I like to get to why I’m in a store, buy whatever it is, then go home. Without chit-chat.

      You’re right. Some people are fascinating and I like what they have to say, but people who must tell me how right they are tend to annoy me. The whole convo about silver plate vs sterling silver is a good example of that!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh my goodness. Did you ever read my post about running into the acquaintance at Target? This reminds me of her. We all have at least one, I’d guess.
    I’m too old to be cast a role in Mean Girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, I think you’re right in that we all have at least one person who knows it all– and must tell you about it. Good thought about NOT being in Mean Girls. I’m way beyond that.

      Liked by 1 person

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