For the love of shopping

26 November 2021

For the love of shopping

I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas. The year has gone so fast and yet so slow while we’ve been in lockdown. It’s nice to see the shops reopen – even if it’s with face masks and limited numbers – in time for the big sales events. With good reason to shop, Charles and I are hitting the Albany Mega Centre for some ‘together’ shopping.

I met Charles at a friend’s dinner party in late July this year. It’s always hard meeting new people when you’re my age. Outwardly I was furious at being set up like this. Internally I was grateful to my friend for caring enough to do this. Charles and I hit it off instantly and over the next few weeks we went to dinner, to the movies, for walks and just hang out. We were taking it slow and it was nice.

At first I thought lockdown would be an end to things. We were in separate bubbles, in different parts of the city, with little hope of getting together soon. But through Zoom we spoke for hours every day, sometimes more than once a day. It’s now been over 100 days and we’re closer than ever and neither of us can wait to be together in person.

We’ve now decided it’s time to merge our bubbles and Charles will soon move into my place. Today we’re making the most of the Black Friday sales to spend time together and to buy things for living together. After lockdown it feels a little weird being out and about and physically with each other like this. But it’s also very nice. I’m sure it's breaking some rules – which is probably why it feels so good - but we hold hands as we wander around the stores.

We’re in Farmers Home looking for a dining suite. It sounds like we both like to entertain, so we decide on a nice wooden six-seater with striking red fabric. We also look for dinnerware and glasses, sharing stories about what we enjoy eating and drinking. Farmers has a great selection which is good because it quickly becomes clear we have some different tastes. Fortunately, we find things we can agree on.

We stop at Animates and discover we both have a love of animals. For a moment we talk about getting a dog but both quickly realise that it is way too soon for ‘children.’ We move on a little awkwardly.

We check out a number of clothing stores together and discover a lot about each other’s tastes. There are Black Friday sales everywhere and we both buy something for ourselves and for each other. I buy a couple of t-shirts from North Beach – one for me and one for him. Charles buys a sweatshirt from Rebel Sports and a shirt for me from Cotton On.

Along the way we both buy various things for family and friends. The November sales are a great time for knocking off all those Christmas presents. In the process, I learn more about Charles’s family. He’s close to his brother and sister and I like that. In Adairs, I look for a Christmas gift for my sister and share stories about her with Charles.

We find ourselves in Noel Leeming, which has a huge Black Friday sale on. We both love coffee and we decide that a good coffee machine is an appropriate ‘first joint thing’ to buy together. It’s just an appliance but it means so much more and we are both really excited about having something that is ours.

I’ve always loved shopping at Albany Mega Centre. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve been in lockdown for so long, the great Black Friday sales or because it is the backdrop for our blossoming romance, but today took that love to a whole new level.

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