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I miss shopping. There, I said it.

I know, I know, there are real tragedies. But I can't help it: I miss the heady feeling of enjoying something new – the sense of fresh possibilities

Covid has resulted in a host of “uh uhs,” including visits from grandchildren, Friday night dinners with friends, trips to relatives abroad. For some, that list also includes jobs, health and even lives. Serious stuff.

But nobody mentions less serious stuff, including one particular loss – shopping. Yes, I admit it. I miss shopping for stuff. (How shallow is that?)

I am so, so tired of pulling the same old black tights out of my wardrobe each morning, topped with the same old sweaters. I have some nicer things, but what’s the point? I’m not going anyplace. Lipstick? Nope. Doesn’t show under a mask anyway.

I miss the smell of new clothes. I miss the heady feeling of enjoying something new. I miss the sense of fresh possibilities.

Don’t tell me I can order clothes online. I tried that. First, the delivery didn’t come and the company had to be prodded. Then, although I figured that I knew my size, it turned out I didn’t.  The garment didn’t fit and had to be taken back to the shop that I didn’t want to enter in the first place. Then they didn’t have my size in the garment I returned, resulting in further complications. Well, you know the story.

I miss Ikea, where I would walk in needing nothing, and walk out with a big blue bag filled with whatever I didn’t think I needed. I miss the paper napkins – big, colorful and cheap. I miss the restaurant, with its iconic soup in a hollowed-out roll. I miss the food section after the checkout, where I would buy smoked salmon and Danish cookies. I even miss the blue bags themselves, which were perfect for schlepping stuff from the supermarket, in the days I actually schlepped from the supermarket. Most of all, I miss wandering around in a kind of daze, admiring the room settings and fantasizing about what my home could look like. Leafing through the catalogue is not really the same.

I miss that shop in Raanana, where, in better days, I would buy mini bagels, pickled brisket and Cadbury’s chocolate bars, along with whatever else struck me as I wandered the aisles. (Yes, I know they deliver – also not the same.)

I miss the mom and pop clothing stores on the main drag, where mom now looks at me desperately from the door, as I reluctantly walk on, on the rare occasions I actually walk along the main drag.

I miss the falafel stands, with their quite possibly contaminated rows of salads, decadent fried pita pieces, oily burnt eggplant slices and drippy techina.  I miss Macdonald’s French fries. I miss Artisan bread. I miss Penguin ice cream. I miss sitting in a café over a cup of coffee with a friend. I miss being able to say occasionally, “I’m tired of cooking. Let’s go out tonight.”

Please don’t tell me these are sorrows of the rich and I shouldn’t be whining. People are dying, suffering, going hungry.  I know that is true and I am ashamed. I am deeply grateful that my family is well, that there is a vaccine and the end is hopefully in sight. Someday soon, God willing, we will all be able to hug our children.

But in the meantime, it would be nice to go shopping.

About the Author
Carol Novis is a former writer/editor on the Jerusalem Post, where she worked for 15 years.
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