I have a very bad case of Town Avoidance Disorder. We have no applesauce. We are out of potatoes. And onions. And fruit. We have two bags of frozen vegetables left in the freezer. When we’re out of flour or milk I call my husband and ask him to pick it up. Oh and some cheese. You’re out anyway. Do you mind?
I hate town. I hate stores. I’m ok with restaurants if they have real food because I like people asking me what I want, giving it to me and cleaning up afterwards. Stores have too many things. Towns have too many stores.
I like one grocery store, one clothing store, one hardware store . . . you get the idea. My really favorite idea is to only use the general store three miles down the road. I dream about giving them a list of my essentials (whole wheat flour, macaroni noodles, canned peaches in fruit juice . . .) and only ever going there. Ever. It is a beautiful dream. The owners are in their eighties and are trying to sell. Their fiftyish daughters are keeping the place going until then.
Change like this irritates me. Despite the cost, I buy gas there pretty often because it isn’t in town. I pump my own where they can’t even see me from the window, then go in and tell them how much I owe them. Why are they selling? What is wrong with eighty year olds these days?
Then there is Sears. I picked Sears as my store for things I can’t get second hand. I have gotten used to them and I like their socks. Children can wear them until they lose them. No spontaneous dismemberment at three weeks. Recently, I heard that Sears Canada is changing? closing? I don’t remember the details, but I didn’t like it. I don’t know who to make my store if they leave. It is too hard to think about, so I won’t. Since I go there at least three times a year, they may forget to contact me when the doors finally shut. If they remember me it’s because the clerks think I speak in tongues. No thank you, I say to always offered Sears card. Slowly I explain that paying in cash means you only spend what you actually have. This causes a lot of blinking and polite laughter, kind of how you treat nice crazy people.
I could find town interesting like a museum if I could get past not wanting to be in a car. Going to town means doing nothing for a lot of minutes in a row. What did you do this morning? I went to town. What did you get? Groceries.
That’s it? Two hours for one word on a list? Plus the air does not breathe right in those towns. Going to town is very, highly, extremely, unsatisfying. (Unless I’m having a stand-up-to- excessive-descriptor-words day, then it is merely unpleasant.)