Spend More Time With Friends Doing Errands Together
If you’re at a certain age, you probably remember how fun it was to walk around the mall with your friends. Your shopping trips today may be more about groceries, household items and winter coats with sales, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring friends along.
There are several reasons the combination of running errands and dating a friend works so well. First of all, it gives you the opportunity to spend time with someone close to you, as well as to throw something off your to-do list. (Ideally, your friend will also be able to cross a few to-do’s from their to-do list.)
Second, anyone who has ever taken a partner or child on a trip to Safeway or Home Depot probably knows that you can have unexpected deep conversations in the car or in the 3rd aisle. Assignments touch many threshold spaces – the highway, the absurdly long line at the checkout, which gives you time to think and time to share what’s on your mind.
Compare that to your typical “let’s have a coffee” meeting of friends, when you find yourself in a situation that forces you to look at each other and try to think of what to say. (“So … how is this weather, are we doing sports?”) Some of us are very good at this interaction; others find them debilitating. But if you’re standing in the supermarket and trying to choose between three different bottles of sewer cleaner, telling a friend that you need a sewer cleaner because your long-haired child is washing more often can spark a whole conversation about parenting and aging. , and the transition to puberty.
Also, running errands with a friend can make it easier to do the same errands with your partner, children, or alone (depending on your current situation). No nagging about new toys or sweet cereal, no talking about a budget with a capital D, no staring at your phone in an absurdly long checkout line because you have no one to talk to. Instead, you will have the opportunity to share what is important to you with someone who can suggest the look, and you will have the opportunity to learn about their lives and offer your support in return.
So why not write to your best friend and ask if they would like to go shopping? In the end, it worked when we were in high school – and it works when we’re adults. One of our Lifehacker editors recently commented that grocery shopping with friends boosted her spirits far more than texting back and forth with them while shopping on her own, and I have fond memories of hanging out at Target with my sister when we used to live in the same city. (I visited my sister and her family last month and the trip to Target was part of that experience.)
Plus, your friend may be the perfect person to talk you into making or rejecting this impulsive purchase.