A new disease is sweeping the nation: inconspicuous nonconsumption.

I have recently discovered a tragic inability to shop.

This forum is an opportunity for sufferers to share their experiences of shopaphobia


5 Responses to “A new disease is sweeping the nation: inconspicuous nonconsumption.”

  1. Colin Watkeys Says:

    Yesterday in the street I saw a woman with two friends
    There were three shopping bags on the pavement
    She was agitated but adamant
    I don’t want to do any more shopping
    I won’t do any more shopping
    You are just trying to spend my money
    Her friends tried to stay calm but looked alarmed

  2. Tim Says:

    I met this guy who told me he was planting tomato plants. He was wearing a smart business suit dressed for the office but dirt from gardening. He wanted to swap tomato plants for whatever I had:
    Cigarettes? A newspaper? Lighter, pen, notebook. Even a lipstick or eyebrow pencil, I could pass it on swap it for something I need. You get a tomato plant. Stick it in a bigger pot and just add water occasionally. Its a great investment. Trust me I used to be in finance.
    All the gardening equipment was in his briefcase –
    he had the tomato plants in a suit bag:
    I’m a businessman. I may not know much about gardening but I’m going about it in a businesslike fashion. That can’t be bad can it?

  3. Steve Says:

    Its worth checking out the freegan websites eg

  4. shopaphobia Says:

    I’m not sure if and/or how freeganism and shopaphobia are related …
    but they do seem to belong on the same page

  5. Steve Says:

    I’ve been living like this for a while now. Me and a friend of mine.
    I didn’t notice it at first – I’ve never really shopped much anyway.
    When I was out and about I’d still buy a drink and a hot dog or burger
    or whatever from one of those street vendors or some fast food place
    but that’s not really shopping is it?
    and I’d get a sandwich or something from the trolley at work –
    they’d got rid of the canteen and reverted to a tea trolly with cakes
    and biscuits and sandwiches at lunchtime
    which came round three times a day – cost cutting –
    and then I decided I needed to get some new clothes –
    I was just feeling a bit grubby
    and I kept putting it off and putting it off until finally I went
    and I found that I couldn’t … couldn’t go in … couldn’t go in the shop
    and I went home and actually ironed my clothes and mended them …
    well not proper mending but I sewed up a seam in some trousers
    and a jacket … and they were fine … I could wear them again …
    so I didn’t really need to go shopping at all
    well that’s what I thought
    you see all my bills are paid by direct debit –
    I’ve set up standing orders for everything …
    even my credit card … not that I use it much … any more
    Then I started getting Dan in the office to buy my sandwich …
    he didn’t think it was weird at first … bought him a drink after work…
    I didn’t have any trouble getting cash out of the hole in the wall …
    then I’d disappear just before the troley came round and
    leave Dan the money and he started to get suspicious …
    started to speculate and he and Jan and Pete and Gloria
    and all the rest of them decided it was because I’d got this thing ..
    got this thing for the girl who came round with the trolley –
    I didn’t know her name then – of course I do now,
    it’s Sue and she’s hardly a girl
    although we always called her the girl – the girl with the trolley –
    and it became impossible … everybody laughing …
    and I think she was more embarrassed than I was ….
    in fact I know she was because she KNEW
    because everybody was saying how I should ask her out
    and telling her I fancied her and she was well she’s older than me
    not that that matters but she looked more worried I remember than anything else and I thought WHY?
    and then she found me in the street must have waited for me after work
    when I was on my own and I didn’t recognise her at first because she
    wasn’t wearing her white coat thing –
    funny how you don’t recognise someone out of uniform –
    and I was really embarrassed but she said it was okay because she knew and I thought she meant that I fancied her and I was even more embarrassed and she just said: “You’re finding it difficult to buy things aren’t you?” and she told me that it was okay and that she couldn’t either
    and she lived off sandwiches from the trolley and grew things at home
    and we went out for a drink and talked for hours –
    she couldn’t understand how I could still buy a drink
    but she didn’nt tell me then – said she was worried
    that if I thought about it,
    thought about it and realised it was the same thing,
    I wouldn’t be able to do even that …and she was right –
    as soon as I did realise – I couldn’t.
    Then she found out I had a garden – it’s just a small garden flat –
    and she came round with plants:
    tomatoes, potatoes, carrotts, courgettes – they’re very easy apparently –
    and an apple tree – not a big one – but an apple tree…
    that’ll do for a start she said and it’s really strange because
    I wouldn’t have looked twice at her pushing the trolley
    in fact I didn’t – but everybody else did –
    they could see she was beautiful and they knew before I did –
    she’s like … I just felt so close to her, instantly, like family.
    But nobody knows that we never buy anything
    because when it’s our round I just give Dan the notes and he goes –
    they just think we’re lazy … which is fine …
    but we’re not lazy – growing things is hard work.
    I don’t know anything about it
    I just do as I’m told but there’s a lot of digging and tending to be done.
    And everybody thinks we’re an item but it’s not like that well not yet.
    I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.
    Then we found out about the websites:
    freegans uk and this and others
    They were throwing out computers from work
    so I took one and the guy upstairs
    said I could piggy back his internet connection – its all wireless so …
    not that I understand but it connects okay
    and we found out there’s other people too
    and that’s amazing whether they can’t, won’t or just don’t shop.

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