The retail slump -- why I've been spending less:
It's January, 10 degrees. I can't find warm gloves, and I'm not ready to buy a swimming suit this week. Nor Easter items. I want to be able to buy things in season.
As a baby boomer, I don't want cutesy gathered tops that make me look pregnant or are so low-cut they're X-rated. I don't want lean, skin-tight jeans or 5-inch heels, or clothes so big, baggy and long they add 30 pounds. Years ago I had trouble choosing among the many things I liked in a department store; now I can go shopping with a gift card and buy nothing.
If an item is on sale until 1 p.m. for $19.99, I'm not going to pay $39.99 at 3 p.m. I won't buy a purse or shoes that cost more than a car -- or more than my rent.
I won't shop where the music is so loud I can't hear myself think, or where it's so warm I have to carry my coat and take off my sweater.
I don't want to buy a gas-guzzling monster-of-a-vehicle with dark windows and a threatening appearance.
I don't want to buy 2-pounder hamburgers or gigunda-sized fries drowned in cheese. And I don't want to be served a meal big enough for three. I want foods to be fresh even at the bottom of the package.
I want pleasant, helpful service.
But maybe it's just me.