The Pressures of Antiquing

April and I celebrated our second anniversary over the weekend and decided that we would spend it here in Springfield doing the touristy things we never do. Since we live here, there’s a lot to the city we take for granted and never experience, so we wanted to spend the day seeing the sights, such as they are, and eating really fancy food. Two of the places we visited were little shops we had walked past on occasion, but which had always been closed when we were near. On Saturday, they were open.

The thing about little shops, the really frustrating and unavoidable thing, is that you’re easily noticed in them. The shopkeeper sees you right away, says hello, offers to help, hovers nearby, suggests you look at and perhaps even purchase things. This is all well and good–their job is to sell things, after all–but let’s be honest here: April and I had no real intention of buying anything. We just can’t afford that much. We especially can’t afford it in shops that are horribly overpriced and stocked with garbage.

But we felt guilty, and we hemmed and hawwed and wondered if we ought to buy something after all. Here was this nice old man, just trying to make his way in the world, with a shop filled with crap and nobody buying anything. Antique shops are like the slightly-less-poor beggar’s tin cup.

We left, because if we bought antiques then we’d soon have to open a shop of our own just to get by in this crazy, filled-with-overpriced-garbage kind of world. But we felt bad about it, and here I am two days later still thinking about it. Man, I have got to lay off the antiquing…

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