Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Book stores, card stores, office supply stores and craft stores: what do they have in common? I am profoundly and utterly helpless in them. I wander around looking, smelling, listening and- most of all- touching.

Book stores feel so good with the whoosh of the heat/air system keeping the store at the exactly right temperature. The smell of the ink and the paper assaults the nose as you meander down aisles, looking at the colors, the titles, the book covers. Then, you pick up a book. The cover feels glossy and slick or matte and soft. Sometimes book covers have texture. The pages can be slick or cottony. The ideas from a thousand different books swirl around and make me want to take them all home.

Card stores usually have other gift items in them, so they smell like potpourri or candles. You wander through the aisles, looking at the titles of the sections: Birthday, For Him, For Her, etc. I love the humorous cards. I laugh out loud when I pick them up to look them over. I much prefer going to a card store with someone else. Because, truthfully, cards are twice as funny when they are shared. I've even been known to call a friend to read them a couple of cards that were too funny not to share!

Office Supply stores actually make my pulse quicken. So many gadgets & gizmos. So many paper choices and electronic equipment. Who knew there were that many ink pens from which to choose? Three ring binders come in at least 500 varieties, including different sizes, shapes & colors. And there are even three-hole punches and power staplers and daytimers and calendars! It's like playing school for adults. It must be what my sister-in-law (who LOVES to cook & who is EXCELLENT at it!) feels like when she goes through a bake-wear aisle.

Craft Stores. Wow. I don't know where to begin... For me, they are like the Mother of All Stores. Fabric. Ribbon. Yarn. Beads. Paint. Stamps. Paper. Oils. Patterns. And all the tools, needles, scissors, brushes, gadgets & gizmos to make whatever kind of project you want. I love the touch of all the fabrics, the vibrant colors, the muted hues. Scents mix together from fabric dye, candles and the silk plants. A million crafts come together in my mind in a rush of images. I go in for one item, but something else catches my eye. Suddenly the initial project is put to the side and a whole new idea has blossomed. Inspiration oozes from every item on the shelf. I am quite the craft store connoisseur. But I'm not a snob. The craft department in Wal-Mart will do fine in a pinch. Heck, the office supply department in Krogers has inspired some interesting items in my basket, making my husband shake his head.

I don't know what it says about me that I get that way over these kinds of stores. Most women glaze over in the shoe department or in Ann Taylor Loft. I've always liked stores that didn't require floor to ceiling mirrors. I don't get caught up in me- I get excited by the gifts I can create.

Now, there have definitely been some moments that were nothing short of religious experiences in a clothing store for me. And I have been known to revel in shopping at the grocery store if it is a solitary experience, unflanked by little hands grabbing at cookies and pop tarts. And I definitely have a weakness for the make up and fragrance sections of any department store!

But books, cards, papers & crafts are my Achilles Heel. We joke that my husband has JoAnn's on alert to call him whenever I walk through the door, so he can talk me down off of my craft-induced high, sure to cost a boat load!

If someone ever put all of those things together, I'd be toast. Oh, wait, there is a store that does that in an aesthetically pleasing way: Target. If you don't believe me, check it for yourself. If that doesn't convince you, check my checkbook ledger and see how many times Target is NOT listed- you won't find many...

Suffice to say, my trip to Barnes & Noble just this evening was enough to put a dent in the rest of the week's budget. Tomorrow, I'll have to pick up milk. So, I'll go by Target- and look around a bit while I'm there. If I'm really feeling like a "bad" girl, I may convince Jill to meet me at Hobby Lobby, and then I'll stop by Staples on the way home.

Ahhhh... the excitement never ends...

1 comment:

ThePrincessMommy said...

OMG - we think so much alike - I need some "pretties" for my living room and was thinking Hobby Lobby! The next time hubby says anything though - I am putting all blame on you - those stores weren't near as much fun until I went there with you. Then you have to start draggin me along on all those "creative" field trips you think up!!!!