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148. Leaving a store without buying anything

Sometimes, when I’m walking by a store with automatic doors, and they open even though I’m not going inside, I feel like they’re welcoming me in and it would be rude not to go in. What? I know that’s weird. I’m just being honest with you guys.  That being said, I walk into many stores when I’m walking around the city. I seem to find the most random shops, and somehow manage to discover a new place every once in a while, just when I’m getting bored of seeing the same thing.

But see, I don’t enjoy spending money on impulse. If I see something I really like and MUST have, I still don’t buy it. It can be on sale, free with the purchase of a Coca Cola product, or come with a butler, but I’ll still hesitate because the guilt that comes afterward is unbearable. 


The other kind of bear.

So what I do instead is I walk in, I browse around, and hang out for a little while. I can see how it can be stressful to a liquor store owner, since sometimes I walk around in a big jacket, beanie, and a pack.. so I look extra suspicious and they keep an eye on me the whole time I’m there.

What makes it even more awkward is when you begin to head to the door without buying anything, and for some reason can’t remember what you usually do with your hands when you’re walking. Hands in pocket? Too suspicious. Take out my cell phone? That’s an obvious sign of trying to avoid something. What are you avoiding, HUH?!

Do I just let them hang around like vines?! AHH!!!

Hands are weird.

So now you’re heading to the door which happens to have a security guard, a sign that shows that they usually get thieves around the store. He or she looks right at you, maybe not in a suspicious manner.

But even the friendly, “Have a nice day” can trigger a reaction.

I’M INNOCENT!” you may scream, followed by the fight or flight response, which usually means you run out of the store with your hands up in the air.

The worst is when the store forces you to go through the cash registers in order to leave. You have to squeeze by, crotch to butt, with an 80-year old grandma counting pennies and picking out coupons. I’ve seriously considered purchasing something just to avoid the awkwardness.

Do you feel awkward leaving a store without buying anything?


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  1. Patrick #

    The hands thing — yes.
    Luckily, other people have problems with that too:

    January 31, 2014
    • Hahahahaha!!!!

      January 31, 2014
  2. I never seem to know what to do with my hands… being a girl sometimes when I leave the store I run my hands through my hair. But I always think that it may look suspicious too!!!

    January 31, 2014
    • Hi! How’s everything going over there?

      Hands are odd when you become aware that they’re there. I wish I had long hair to do that in those situations hahaha, that’d be weird.

      February 1, 2014
  3. I can totally relate to that feeling of leaving the store empty-handed and feeling “under suspicion”. Especially when it’s a nice dept store and I’ve spent a good amount of time looking at things (earrings, bracelets, whatever) but decided not to purchase at that time. Very awkward!

    January 31, 2014
  4. I think that’s an American thing. When I visited New York and New Jersey many years ago I found the shops a bit odd like that. Never had a problem with it in England. Maybe you should come live here? 🙂

    February 1, 2014
    • Ooh you’re from England? You must find it strange when “American blogs” say things like elevator instead of lift, or mom instead of mum?

      Or how mad doesn’t mean crazy for us? Hahah.

      England sounds great. Do you have any awkwardness that’s pretty much “england-only”?

      February 1, 2014
      • We’re pretty used to elevators and mom, we get a lot of your TV 🙂 What amuses us more are things like when you say ‘pissed’ for being angry while here that means drunk! We say ‘pissed off’ to mean angry. Or to mean someone left. Two countries divided by a common language as they say.

        We have plenty of awkwardness here, but it’s hard to think of what might be unique to us and what we share with other countries.

        I went into a shop yesterday and didn’t buy anything. As I left, not feeling awkward, I thought of you 🙂 Later in the day I went back and did buy something, also not awkward. But then, maybe they were thinking how odd I am and I just don’t care! We do have a lot of eccentricity here 🙂 for example there is a guy who sometimes walks along our road with a parrot on his shoulder.

        February 2, 2014
  5. Maybe the grocery store. I mean, if I can’t find SOMETHING in there I need to buy, it’s kind of strange. But other stores, no. I can browse… 🙂

    February 1, 2014
    • LORNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 1, 2014
      • Wow! That was an enthusiastic response! You really brought a smile to my face!

        February 2, 2014
        • It had been so long! 🙂

          February 8, 2014
          • Yes, sorry, it has been a long time…

            February 8, 2014
  6. You’re cracking me up with your dilemma about what to do with the hands! I was browsing in a decor store last weekend. I had my camera with me because I’d been taking pictures earlier while walking downtown (and you don’t want to leave it in the car). I hadn’t planned on taking any photos in the store but I’m sure the shopkeeper was convinced I was…she followed me everywhere. It was actually pretty creepy-that’s never happened to me before!

    February 1, 2014

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