I spent the last two weekends on the mainland. The surrounding flurry of activity largely explains my two weeks’ writing hiatus, but I digress. Back to the subject: the mainland and shopping. Before moving to Two Harbors, I hated shopping. After living here nine months, I still mostly hate shopping, but there are elements of the activity that I now appreciate more. First, variety: I went to Dollar Tree to purchase birthday cards (I’m cheap) and I experienced a little thrill as I walked up and down the aisles, dazzled by all the merchandise. Online shopping, for me anyway, has yet to capitalize on the impulse buy. But at Dollar Tree, I was convinced I could spend like $300 and be happy with my purchases. It was a wonderland! No, I didn’t really need ocean-themed paper plates, but for a dollar? Hey, they were cute. Then, I had to check the organization section. Ooh, cute trashcan. Probably too small to be useful though. And, then the stickers—anything my nieces and nephew might like? The organized variety in a store is helpful. Plus, there’s something about handling the actual product, not merely viewing a digital image, that increases my willingness to pay. I’ve always valued low prices, but they are the third element for which I’ve recently gained a deeper appreciation. Shopping at Costco was like being a kid in a candy store. Two pounds of cheese for $4.69? I bought six blocks! So, nine months of Island life has helped me feel some excitement for shopping. I can better appreciate the variety, the tactile appeal, and the low prices. However; there remains much about shopping that I don’t like at all: it’s time consuming, it makes my feet hurt, it's expensive, and clothes shopping? Forget it. I am in need of a new church outfit. All of the options I own are ready for replacement. I spent time both weekends that I was “over town” to search for hours, and my feet hurt. Many things were expensive and more things were hideously ugly, but I did manage to find a half-dozen dresses to try on. Despite my hours of searching, every dress I tried made me look terrible—and feel worse. Fruitless searches, wasted time, donning ill-fitting clothes – I hate shopping. I still wish I had church clothes that fit right, but I’m glad to be back on Catalina, the land of no shopping malls.
Jessica Scofield lives in Two Harbors with her husband and infant son. They moved to Catalina from Lancaster, which is in northern Los Angeles County. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University (in Provo, Utah); she double-majored in "Psychology" and "Home and Family Life." She says that she loves her current job as a stay-at-home mom.