Country Doctor Shares Shopping Philisophy

July 7th, 2009

This story was originally posted on August 25th, 2007 during the construction of our house.

Yesterday, the country doctor and I spent almost an ENTIRE morning together running errands in Manhattan, Kansas. The van needed a repair, so he was forced to pick me up – on his day off – and I then forced him to walk through several furniture stores, pick out paint chips at Sherwin Williams and buy a cup of coffee at Bluestem Bistro, my favorite Manhattan coffee shop.

The Country Doctor does not like to shop…and he likes to buy stuff EVEN LESS. The only thing the man ever purchases with ease are trees. He loves trees. He loves to buy and to plant trees. But everything else – no.

Needless to say, as I drug him from from shop to shop he was basically writhing in agony. He was also practically sweating drops of blood in fear that I might actually BUY SOMETHING. He begged me to allow him to get a cup of coffee at a gas station, but I took him go to a very nice coffee shop instead where he stared in horror as I purchased a latte, a cinnamon roll, AND a piece of baklava along with his large coffee. He watched me from the edge of the shop looking like he wanted to hang himself, while I waited for my latte’. The man is just unbelievably unable to cope with any hint of consumerism – especially hoity toity coffee shop consumerism.

We had this conversation while I waited for my latte’…

Me – I feel like the gap between us is widening.

Country Doctor – Why?

Me – Because, you are not mellowing in your old age. You are becoming an even more pronounced version of yourself… more intolerant to shopping, more intolerant to changes in your routine, and even more intolerant – if that is possible – of hoity toity coffee shops!

Country Doctor – I just have a hard time buying things…

Me – I KNOW!!! The only things you can buy, without going into cardiac arrest, are trees!

Country Doctor- There is a reason for that! You see, furniture should be bought in the future. But trees should only be bought in the past.

Me – What?

Country Doctor – Furniture should be bought in the future because styles are always changing. Trees however, should have been purchased and planted years ago…in the PAST… so that they would already be growing! Not buying trees is a crime!

How can I argue with this logic? We bought nary a stick of furniture that day and as we passed the Garden Center on the way home, we pulled into the parking lot so that the Country Doctor could look at trees for a while and get his tree fix, but we didn’t buy anything. It was too late. We should have bought them in the past.


  • marye:

    Alas…I despise shopping..with the possible exceptions of antiques, books and trees. But I LOVE hoity toity coffee shops.

  • marye:

    ok…somehow I linked to a place that sells marble instead of my blog..can I please try again>

  • cndymkr / jean:

    Well I’m glad you understood him, that’s all that matters. His shopping/buying phobia might be cured by intense therapy. I suggest a 3 day visit to the Mall of America. I’ve never been there but I heard it’s huge.jean

  • Renovation Therapy:

    take him to Harrod’s…just remember to pack some smelling salts.

  • Love it! Country Doc sounds exactly like my husband about the trees!

    We met in Junction City while I was attending K-State and my (now) husband was stationed at Ft. Riley – so your story about Manhattan brings back fond memories. Mr. K’s, Kite’s, Rocky Horror Picture Showings at the theater next to Varney’s… Those were the days!

    How it could be 25-years ago still amazes me.

    Thank you for your blog!


  • Sometimes I really understand that Country Doctor of yours. It pains me to spend more than $20 on any one item. It takes forever for me to frame pictures or buy furniture. I know I need (need!) to buy Photoshop, but I’ve fretted over the decision for the past two years. Danny has told me I *must* buy it this month and I am literally writhing in agony over which version to buy. Shopping at the mall when you could be shopping at garage sales or thrift stores distresses me greatly, too. And I do not even like fancy coffee. I like my Folgers, brewed at home.

    However! I do like eating out. And I love to ogle all the pretties at World Market. Tarjhay is very dangerous for me, too, because…EVERYTHING MATCHES! And much of it is under $20.

    I’m feeling very confused and conflicted right now.

  • Does he have a journal of what he have planted and when? Maybe he can read that with you next time you go to coffee shops.
    We live in the desert , I plant every year new trees. Growing up and a tropical Island, desert depressed me at times.

  • I’ve sworn off taking my husband shopping. If it’s a major purchase I go on reconnaissance missions. I narrow my selection down to 2 or 3 choices, take pictures, take ‘em home and make him decide. It’s just not worth the agony toting him around with me. If I make him spend a day shopping with me we always end up with something neither of us is really happy with because we both just settled to get the heck out of there.

    Sadly, my hubby won’t even buy trees.

  • Erin in Holton:

    Keep meaning to ask you about the trees – we need to plant a bunch of trees on our new property…what kind have you planted and how did you take care of them while they took off? We obviously don’t want to be traipsing all over the 115 acres watering trees! We’re sure the ones we plant eventually by the pond will have no problems, but we’re not sure about the rest of the place (plus there are cows grazing on it right now, so they will probably interfere too – don’t know if you have any insight on that either?)

  • HAhahaha! Buy furniture in the future and trees in the past!
    LOVE that logic!

  • Y’know there is something about growing up on the plains of western Kansas, that just twists your whole perspective on trees. It becomes an obsession. One that I cured by just moving as far east as possible (in this case Pa) where I now have more trees on my one acre lot than the entire city of Goodland. Okay, that last bit was hyperbole, but you get my drift.

    The only thing worse than planting trees, is watering them, no it’s watering them and discovering you are standing inches away from a snake.

    Anyway, carry on!

  • Rechelle:

    Hmmmm Erin… We got a lot of our first trees from the Kansas Forestry Department. They have several varieties that are meant to do well with little care as they sell them in lots of 50. They include hackberrys, and redbuds. We got fifty pecan trees (seedlings) from them when we first bought our land and planted them in the ‘lowlands’ by the pond. That was four years ago and they are six feet tall now.

  • Alexia:

    Oh MY Goodness! I am soooo glad my husband is not the only with the same reactions to shopping and buying! LOL