They say, ‘Music soothes the savage beast.’ Well I don’t know about that. You know what soothes me? Superstores.
I love superstores.
The bigger the superstore, the more I like it. I’ve touched on this before, but give me a Target, a Carrefour, or an Alcampo, and I can cheerfully wander the aisles for hours. Giant Tescos delight me. Retail parks make me unfathomably happy. Driving through Florida, with its repetitious beat of Walmart, Target, Petsmart and Toys R Us, filled me a joy I can’t possibly explain.
Apparently if you rub the nose of a shark it will flop over and bob upside down in a catatonic state for a few minutes. It’s known as ‘tonic immobility.’ Some scientists think it’s because the sensory pores on their noses get overstimulated. I feel like my experience walking through the doors of a particularly large superstore is not unlike that of the shark. My brain just… switches off. I leave all my worries and concerns outside the store in an imaginary basket and enter a carefree space filled with spaghetti and suncream and cereal and stationery. I will go through each and every aisle trying on costumes, and floppy hats, and seasonal sunglasses, and kids’ shoes. I will read every card, examine every type of lead pencil. I look at the different bags of frozen peas with real and unfeigned interest (which is something I’m sure not a lot of people can say). If, after browsing the entire stock of a Carrefour, someone were to offer to take me to a different Carrefour, I would actually be excited. Yes, even though it’s probably the exact same stuff. Yes, even though I was just there.
I didn’t say it made sense.
I wouldn’t call myself a shopaholic. The purchasing part of the store experience is honestly the least interesting to me; I am practically allergic to queueing so even if I’ve picked up a couple of items, I usually put them back down if there’s any hint of a long line. Instead it’s the methodical, meticulous, mental notetaking of everything in the store that does it for me. It’s almost like a form of meditation.
Unfortunately, here in Ireland, there are no true superstores. No Carrefours. No Targets. No Walmarts, no Costcos, no Alcampos. Tesco is as big as it gets. To get my fix I have to go over to Madrid and visit Carrefour far more often than is reasonably required when all you need to buy is wine, rice, and tomate frito.
I am trying to plan out the next six months with a holiday to Spain factored in, and although obvously visiting family is the number one priority*, there will need to be a few big box meditation sessions thrown in, as well as a good bit of wine purchasing and restocking of general Spanish supplies. My knee is jigging up and down with anticipation even as I write this.
Am I alone in finding superstores soothing? Does anybody have a suggestions as to why this happens? Is it just the delight of knowing that if you really wanted, you could have a different kind of cereal every day of the week for about two and a half months?
And now I’m hungry.
I’m off to make some Spanish rice and pick out a bottle of red for later. It is Friday, after all.
Have a great weekend everyone!