March 21, 2009


Balboa Park near the House Of Hospitality. 2009. Would you please tell me if this picture is too big and you have to scroll to see it all. Thank you.

Himself: Had one of his video cards in his work computer go out on him at work. He came home to play games last night, and his computer went dark. This morning he woke and said he had an epiphany….his video card died here too.

Herself: Handled his major crisis very well. Discovered that pounding on my keyboard hurts my hand. Had a very good but busy day culminating in dinner out by the bay. Found some new blue shoes, then found the same shoes on the sale rack 30% off. I felt like I had been crowned. Old shoes to repair shop this morning.

Reading: Imagine…nothing.

Balance: How quiet the world is when the fogs are in.

Caught my attention: Stone House Cinemas. Many of the interior details are from the turn of the 20th century ocean liner Columbus. Bare bones warehouse outside; glorious interiors.

Or, how about DeSotoLand. What fun.

We indulged ourselves after dinner yesterday, and we are going to do it again this morning. Imagine, window shopping for hours and only buying a couple of coffee cups, a pair of sale shoes, and a spatula.

Or is this excessive?

G’s mother has a lot to answer for. Really. Instead of communicating, she shopped. When I first met G’s parents, I was so delighted to find a modern, forward thinking couple. I didn’t know of all those hidden details. Shopping as a form of reward was one.

Need a jolt of pleasure, go shopping. Need a pat on the back, go shopping. Problems in the marriage, go shopping. Need to communicate? Go shopping. Endlessly.

Rather than tell G and I, or his brother and wife, what was happening as G’s dad died, she shopped. To cope with her grief, she shopped. Catalogue shopping and The Shopping Channel filled her life. Just because there were olives in with the sheets didn’t mean there was confusion. Just because the fridge had year old open food in it didn’t mean there was a problem. She solved everything by shopping.

And she passed that shopping Gene on to her youngest son, my G. Want to lessen stress…shop. Have a problem….distance yourself by shopping. Need some fun….shop. And it is contagious. Now I have to shop; I need to shop and lately I haven’t shopped. I confess, I’ve had shopping withdrawal. Life is so difficult when you can’t shop.

You see, I have this gene that says I can’t shop. Spending money is grounds for guilt. My family never bought anything because not only were their formative years the depression years, but they had no money. Ever. They drove my father’s parents 1940 DeSoto, that mother painted red with a brush, until 1958. I wore my cousin’s old clothes and played with her dolls. Did I say that the wool bathing suit itched. My first new clothes were, and I can name every piece, when I was sent away to boarding school in 1954. Yesterday I bought a pair of blue shoes to replace my thrift store blue shoes that are wearing out. Oh, the guilt. Even this morning, I feel guilty for buying those new, sale shoes.

So the no shopping at our house collided with all that shopping at G’s house. Today we compromise. Not only do we have one local estate sale, we get to go to Frye’s for a new video card before heading to the park. Lunch somewhere fast foodish as today is our “we-are-eating-anything-day,” later we do the museums and zoo, and we end our day at inland hills and our monthly dinner with the “feasters.”

Tomorrow we diet and not shop. But gee, we will say to each other, yesterday sure was fun.


  1. Mage, a shopping gene... well, you know, a few of my (six) sister-in-laws have that gene. I never knew there was such a thing. But, you are right. Sorry to hear how your mother-in-law indulged in such wasteful practices. As sad as it must have been infuriating.

  2. Your picture looks great. Just the right size. As for shopping, it seems to have been a fairly common disease. Now our economy is suffering because people aren't shopping so much. Too bad we can't think of a better basis for our economy.

  3. No problems with the picture, Mage. It's really good. I share your guilt for shopping gene. Used to shop fairly often because Hubby worked long hours and was out of town a lot and it was a sort of reward for me to buy myself something new to feel better...then I'd feel guilty as hell. Now I stay so busy with other pursuits, I rarely shop and when I do it's for something specific and/or needed. Interesting post. I'll bet a lot of people can identify with it one way or t'other.


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...