I'm seventeen years old and I'm very uncomfortable when entering a toy shop. Practically none of my friends know that I still collect LEGO, and I can't imagine what their reactions would be if they'd found out, or rather, I CAN imagine their reactions, and that's why I wouldn't want them to find out. My "dark age" was during the first year of junior high, I only bought TWO sets that year, but since then I've gotten more money on my hands and I care less about what other people think about me, thus, I've started buying more sets.
Just after my short "dark age", I wouldn't dream of buying LEGO on my own. I have a couple of friends who knows about my dark secret, that I'd always bring along. If going without them, I'd get up really early on a weekend and rush in and out of the shop, wearing a hood, so no one I knew would recognize me.
I have a younger sister who I tend to bring along when buying LEGO, as an alibi of sorts. If doing something as extensive as buying "Collectable Minifigures", wether it's barcodes or dots, it's really nice to have someone along who gives the impression you're helping them.
This is how I've been going along for the last years, I never deny toy shop employees to gift-wrap my sets and I try to buy as much LEGO as I can when I'm away from home. Especially when I'm abroad, as that saves me a lot of money. I live in Norway, and for a LEGO fan, that is like living in Hell.
So, a lot of you are grown ups, but does that mean you can walk into a toy shop with your head held high, and buy sets for yourself? I would expect you to, I mean, you don't get the looks, or at least imagine you do... People expect you to be buying for your kids, which some of you do, but for those of you who don't? Is it a problem? And of course, when at my age, did you have some of the same issues as me? Before I finish this thread I guess I have to tell you that I am making progress. Last time I was buying "Minifigures", I did it alone, and I didn't try to hide the fact that I was buying for myself. If someone would like to congratulate me for this, it would be most appreciated.