The Case For Shopping In Real Life

by MR Magazine Staff

When I was 6, my aunt took me shopping at Hutzler’s, the fancy department store in my hometown, Baltimore. Although it was the mid-1970s, ladies with blue-tinted hair ate sandwiches without crusts in the tearoom. And as we shopped, I wandered through what seemed like endless displays of textures, shapes, colors and smells. I was a fearful child from a household with little money and even less attention paid to children. Hutzler’s was the highlight of that year. I have no idea what I bought, but I still remember the experience. Hutzler’s went out of business long ago, and I live in New York City now. When I go shopping, I go to Barneys, ABC, the first floor of Saks. Can I afford to buy most of what these places offer? No. But I’m not there for the purchase, I’m there for the experience. Perhaps I’m shallow, but I’ve always been easily moved by beautiful objects and items. When I was a child, I was obsessed with Fabergé eggs, and I cruised the local yard sales for rhinestone necklaces and scraps of velvet and lace. A good department store floor has the same effect on me. I hear myself audibly gasp and sigh at the jewelry on display under glass countertops, and the right fabric draped in the right way over a mannequin makes my heart contract. Read more at The New York Times.