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Anxiety and Xmas Shopping.


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I bought a love2shop card, I've been paying for it since January and I presumed I could use it online for places like Argos, Next etc. But after trying to buy some stuff today it wont let me. Did some googling and it seems they will accept vouchers on occasion, but no damn card! 

 

I'm so angry, but now I just want to cry. I have a very limited budget, money is a huge issue at the moment, and by paying a small amount each month for this card I thought I'd have a worry free xmas, get stuff delivered to my door and I'd get to miss the xmas rush. I can't afford to pay for xmas things without using this card.

 

My anxiety means I can't go into town normally, I have to plot routes and go really early to avoid pepole and it's getting really busy with xmas and Lincoln market. I wont be able to get into town until early dec by which time the crowds will have multiplied. Plus it's nearly xmas markey here, THOUSANDS of people attend it. I hate living in a city. I just want to curl up hyper ventilate and wake up in January.

 

I'm having a huge fight with my head. A huge part of me wants to buy stuff online as planned and get it delivered to my door so I don't have to go into town because I do not do crowds of angry shopping people or those people that shove adverts in your face (I know three spots they're always at that I can't avoid, I hate them so much). The other part knows I need to use the card because financially there is little else I can do and that I just have to bite the bullet and face the crowds of Lincoln City. Shit. 

 

I can't do it, and I have no idea what to do. Any tips on outside house shopping and dealing with pushy people? Anyone else had any success with love2shop online? I hate this so much.

Edited by Paperskyscraper
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I've never heard of Love2Shop, so no experience with it, but I'm sorry it didn't work out the way you wanted to, that really stinks.

 

My strategy for going out this time of year is to take advantage of the wacky business hours and go either super early (like 7am) or super late (after 10pm). The crowds are less overwhelming then.

 

Sometimes I'll dress really ratty so people will just leave me alone, other times I like to blend in with the normals and just hope I'll be overlooked in general. IME, the ratty look usually means a faster shopping trip because no one tries to chat me up in line at check out (nor do the cashiers try to chat me up, which is something I loathe). By ratty, I don't mean super dirty - I mean I'll wear sweats and a really old coat and dirty sneakers, no makeup, hair in a ponytail or down and drab. And no smiling! heh I don't know if it's just me or if it happens to everyone, but if my face looks pleasant, people talk to me all the time! I hate that!

 

Oh! And feigning ill keeps people away, too. You can even enhance with makeup; dark undereye circles and reddened or paled face (forehead, cheeks, tip of nose). And a bundle of tissues in one hand, with lots of coughing into them!

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I hate Christmas shopping with anxiety too. I don't know anything about the card you purchased, but there are definite times here when the shops are quiet. Sunday's are usually a good time to go around lunchtime as are certain evenings (not late night but regular evenings, close to when the stores are going to close) late afternoons work too, right at school pickup time. Can you maybe look ahead online for the stores you want to shop at so you know exactly which stores to head to and what to get at them when you get there? 

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I worked in a shopping mall for six years. If you have to go to one, for God's sake do not go on Friday-Sunday. Probably the best times for avoiding the human race are between 10-3 on Mondays-Wednesdays. Also, avoid malls that have playgrounds and/or movie theaters.

Know what you need and where to find it before you go. Do your research online to figure out who has what, so that you don't have to wander around.

Edited by Gearhead
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Thank you all so much!

 

I think from the sounds of it, my best bet is to go first thing in the morning on tuesday, after careful route and shop planning today and tomorrow, I will also reserve stuff too so then I don't even have to worry about that stuff not being on the shelf. Oh jeez. Dreading this so much. Tuesday morning I will slap on my 'ill' face, white foundation and dark circles with a suspiciously red nose, the scruffy hair look and an old coat. 

 

I can't say the worse I look the more people avoid me, I looked like trash after a 7 hour train journey the other week (no make up, I had had no sleep and hadn't eaten all day so I was looking glazed and possibly like a mad wolf wanting to chew people) and this big issue guy just pounced on me. Then the RAC man caught me up the hill, and the Gino's pizza woman, but the guy handing out free fudge was really nice ha. But I think ill might be the key, no one wants the flu this close to Xmas.

 

I have done my shopping in advance previously, but I've had so many money worries that I'd put it off, presuming the November time would be okay to do it on the internet. I think I'll avoid this love2shop in the future. (for reference it's basically a gift card, you put money towards it all year and they send it to you in September with the money you saved banked on it. It's a good theory and you can use it in loads of shops but sadly not online. It's a UK thing possibly..?)

 

I was tempted to ask my friend, just for some moral support, but then I worried that she might want to look around and wouldn't be happy with hitting certain shops and then just leaving. So I think I'll just go alone or drag my hubby if I can persuade him.

 

Again, thank you all so much for your advice <3

Edited by Paperskyscraper
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Going with your mom is always good!

 

I went with my mom over the (last) weekend.. Black Friday sales, in Canada.. I live close to the border, so it infects us too.. It was chaotic! We knew what we wanted, so we went and got it. It's an anxious time for a lot of people and it brings out rudeness. Even in Canada! 

 

Just go, get it over with. :) The sooner, the better. I tend to just ignore people coming up to me offering things. I don't make eye contact. I don't let them interrupt my mom and I talking. In and out!

 

BAH HUMBUG. 

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Haha, bah humbug indeed!!!

 

I went with her today and I got a few bits, I went to finish off my shopping in a bookstore and my mum asked a sales woman if we could use lovetoshop, but when I took my stuff to the till they said they didn't accept them any more, so I was there with £30 worth of bits and bobs thinking 'shit' hoping I had enough in my account to pay on my card. My mum was like no, you said we could use them and after a couple of minutes arguing she grabbed my arm and we left with her saying we'd go elsewhere. It's not like my mum to be that forward and confrontational but I was really glad she was. 

 

Only then I was left with the paranoia of leaving loads of things at the till with this bewildered looking woman. Then I lost my mum in santa's bloody wonderland and I felt sick surrounded by glittering white fluff and these weird plastic elf things leering out of every dark corner. Eventually I found her and she dropped me at the train station and I stumbled to the platform and got on the train with loads of bags only for my ticket to be out of date.

 

Went to buy another and my card was declined, despite having plenty of cash in my account (for once). So I ended up having a panic attack on the train home, in the dark with this patronising man sat opposite me. 

 

In the end the ticket collector was lovely and moved me to the back of the train (and I was paranoid people were staring) and then he gave me a kids ticket and only charged me £1 for the journey because that's all the change I had in my purse, and he changed over at my station and let me sit in their office and panic it out with a cup of tea and a digestive. East Midlands trains workers are fantastic, I could have cried with relief, so whoever you are thank you SO much for not making me feel like a complete nob. It's lovely to know there are some genuinely amazing people out there.  

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I'm weird, I have no problem with thousands of people because the likelihood that they are looking at me is minimal.  My issues are with being alone with a few people and having to try to figure out their expressions and what they really mean.  I totally suck at that.  It makes me shaky and pukey.

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