Of the many obsessions I am blessed with, this is one of them. I know, the word shopping is usually associated with women, and as a decently earning woman of the capitalistic society, one would expect me to be involved in frequent shopping sprees. But I associate shopping for dresses, jewelry, perfumes, etc. with oodles of indecision and discomfort, not quite interested in spending all the time and energy deciding what to buy, and then what to buy next that goes with the first one, and so on. Seems weird, but I once went shopping with 3 other men, and when we were done, all 3 emerged with packets and bags in both hands while all I carried was a soda can in my hand. In fact mornings are bad times for me because I might as well sleep the few minutes I spend deciding on what to wear for the day. Frankly I could wear my pair of jeans and a tee shirt for days, but then the questioning glances I get are disconcerting, to say the least. Waiting for the bus, I have envied doctors who can prance around in their scrubs and not worry about what they were wearing underneath. I am one of those people who support the concept of uniforms, just because it requires too much thought and effort to be un-uniform, to decide what to wear each day, and then decide on the accessories, the shoes, the bags, the nail polish, and the ear rings that go with it. But then again, I digress here.
I am into a different kind of shopping, a kind that barely requires any money. I am addicted to this site craigslist.org to the extent that I spent quite some time everyday browsing through stuff there. My obsession in particular lies in looking for houses and apartments, although I am very well settled in my current coordinates and do not wish to subject myself to the hassles of changing houses unless I am moving out of the city. So what? It is so much fun looking at the different houses on rent, the locations they are in, their rent, the lighting, the doors and windows, the décor. I derive an immense amount of vicarious pleasure going through the house ads, wishing I lived by the lake or lived in that house overlooking downtown. Well wishers have often commented on the lunacy of the situation. But then, if people can spend hours in a shop looking for a particular shade of orange they are rarely going to wear, what is the big deal about seeing houses I won’t live in? I think this habit stems back from childhood when those expensive, glossy paged Inside Outside magazines dad brought home featured the homes of the affluent. While owning and maintaining a home like that needed time, money, taste, and a lot of other things, sifting through them required almost nothing. And now that is what I do, sift through these homes in the city just for kicks. One good thing about this is that I have a fairly good idea about the cost of renting apartments- studios, one or multi bedrooms, and am aware of the nuances that will make you pay extra- an apartment close to the freeway, an apartment overlooking the bay, and stuff like that. I cannot comfortably get into discussions with people regarding the people running for presidential candidacy, but I can confidently act as a home finding consultant in reasonably any part of the city.
Weird habit, I know, but a pleasurable 30 minutes for me everyday nonetheless.