I just came home from a department store; I'd found out that they already had extended holiday hours and that they were open till 10:00. So after I'd helped my kids with reading and other schoolwork, and once they were in bed, I headed out to the store at 9:00 p.m.
Now I know there are some power shoppers out there who, no matter how little time they're allocated in a store, they walk out with bags and parcels galore. These shoppers probably know exactly what it is they want, they set their radar to find it and do their business quickly. I, on the other hand, like to dilly-dally. I like to browse, amble through the different departments and see if anything catches my eye.
But an hour does not make Pearl a shopper. It makes her a browser, a browser who, nine times out of ten, walks out of the store with nothing because she claims she didn't have enough time to really shop. I anticipate that voice over the loudspeaker: "Thank you for shopping with us today. The store will be closing in a half hour." And I pseudo-shop some more. Fifteen minutes pass. "Thank you for shopping with us today. The store will be closing in fifteen minutes." And I browse some more. "It is 10 o'clock and the store is now closed. Please bring your final purchases to the checkout. Thank you and goodnight." At this point, I'm still browsing. There are lineups at the cashiers, so I figure that I still have time to maybe find something after all. I go up and down aisles for about five minutes until a store clerk notices me and says, "The store is already closed." "Oh," I say. "I was just browsing." And I leave the store empty-handed, but thrilled that I wield the power to be the final shopper, a pioneer in the final shopping frontier...