Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

Shop Like a Man

In Baggage, children, Communication, Dads, daughters, Humor, husbands, life, love, Men, Moms, shopping, wives, Women on December 15, 2015 at 10:41 am

One would think in a house full of women, to have a wife that hates shopping would be a good thing, and for the most part, it is indeed. I however, unlike most men, enjoy shopping quite a bit. But, I shop like a man.

Many people have a misunderstanding when it comes to the shopping man. Psychology majors the world over would have us believe the modern shopping man is nothing more than a descendent of the hunter gatherer from the stone age. The truth has been lost to over analysis and decades of honey-do-lists. It has been the invention of shopping list that over time has skewed reality. The cave man didn’t have a specified list to follow. He didn’t head out into the wild and say, “I shall bring home no less that 3 medium size, Grade-A pterodactyl eggs.” No. He woke up and said, “Me go kill something. … Ugh.”

The point is: Even when not tied down to a list of items, men shop differently than women. Men may not know exactly what we’re looking for, but we do have an idea, criteria, a shadowy outline of what it is were after. Women on the other hand, have indecision. The red one? Black? Maybe the green one? No, definitely the red one. The yellow one’s nice.

Men walk in and say, “Great, they have the thing I’m looking for. But no blue one. … Next.” And off we go until we find a blue one. Then if the price is right, we buy the blue one, and leave.

On a shopping trip with my in-laws, my nephew said to me, “Stores always have plenty of stuff for women and almost nothing for men.”

I told him this was not true. Every store has a cash register.

At least that’s how it is when we to through the checkout line. And this isn’t because of some chivalrous gesture on my part, nor is it because of some traditional concept of “the man is the head of the household”. And it isn’t because I’m the one with the money. I’m not her sugar daddy. I’m her husband. In fact, technically I’m her employee. She just doesn’t want to hear how much we stuff into that cash register, so she goes to start the car before she hears the total.

Not that it matters, we don’t have money. We have children instead.

Therefore let me pass on a few shopping tips to my fellow men as you prepare yourselves for this upcoming holiday shopping season. As whether you like to shop or not, you’re shopping.

First of all—and most important: If you have a place to ditch the kids. Do it.

I’m not suggesting you leave your kids wandering around the clothing depart while you head over to the auto parts store. I just mean find some friend or relative to stash the munchkins with for the day. Taking kids to a store is like taking them on a road trip. … if the inside of the car was the size of a football field. You have a task you must complete and it requires your concentration. After all shopping isn’t easy. The kids sense the distraction and exploit it.

Best if you leave them with Aunt Suzie.

Next, if possible, all of your wife’s purchase decisions should be based on weight. Think about it. You are not only the wielder of the wallet. You double as a pack mule.

And lastly, every chance you have to offer your wife food or cocktails, do so. I promise you, another slice of pizza or a vodka-sour can shave hours off your scheduled shopping spree.

So, ditch the kids, buy the red one—it looks less heavy than the green one—finish up those fries, and have one more round, because everything’s half off in This World of Hurt.


Dangerous Fashion

In Beach, Body, Footwear, life, Men, Sandals, shoes, shopping, Uncategorized on June 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

Through a series of events I recently ended up spending the night in Charleston, South Carolina, a city that in many ways reminds me of my old stomping grounds, New Orleans. Except that it’s cleaner, and surrounded by beaches. The food isn’t as good, and the music scene is not even close to comparable, but at least you don’t have to carry your money in your shoe to fool any would be mugger that lurks around each dimly lit corner of the Crescent City. Don’t worry, I still love you Big Easy.

What I discovered in Charleston is that I’m glad I don’t have to depend on my footwear to protect my finances. The shoes that I brought along with me would have done their job splendidly on the filth covered streets of the French Quarter, but were less than desirable when it came to beach sand.

Bear in mind that this trip to Charleston was an unscheduled detour on our trip. My wife, who had made a business trip to Portland, Oregon, earlier this year had mentioned that if we were to detour slightly and head to Charleston, she could have traveled coast to coast this year. Without giving my footwear a second thought, I said that would be a great idea, so while heading south toward Columbia, I just kind of real subtle like, turned the wheel to the left and drove to Charleston.

After arriving, I removed my shoes for a nice walk on the beach with my wife, and upon returning to the car I soon remembered something that is easily forgotten when living in an aired climate such as West Texas: beach sand is not easily removed from the skin, especially moist feet. Damn. I didn’t pack my sandals. Which I am not a fan of by the way, and not just “my” sandals but any sandals. To me sandals are like the Eiffel Tower of foot ware; they may be very well made and very safe, but when you look at them they just appear to be incomplete. But like I said, I didn’t pack my sandals, so moot point right?

Well like them or not, I looked in some of the local beach shops for a pair of sandals, and decided that I would just have to pass on spending fifty plus dollars on a pair of incomplete shoes. Unfortunately, the high price of unfinished footwear led me to the purchase of an item that I have not had on my feet since I was six: the “flip-flop”.

I see people in all walks of life, all over the country, in all types of both urban and rural settings with flip-flops upon their feet. In fact I was discussing my experience with a gentleman I met down at the hotel’s pool area named Lee, who told me that he, on occasion, even rides his Harley wearing flip-flops. So my question to all of you people who seem to get around with the seeming ease of mobility while having the soles of your shoes held in place by nothing more that a string between your toes is: How in the hell do you do it?

For crying out loud, I could barely get from one block to the next, and I am not too proud to admit that it took a conscious effort to accomplish this. First let me say that I do not like the sensation of anything being between my toes. I don’t do toe socks, toe rings, and there is no way that I am even going to attempt to to try on a pair of the new five finger shoes that have become so popular; not gonna happen. But just a few years ago I couldn’t stand for my food to touch. In fact I would prefer all of my edibles to come served on individual plates, but hey, now I can eat fajitas no problem. Baby steps right? So, I strap these things between my toes and off I go.

I don’t take two steps before my brain realizes that something is going seriously wrong. I would guess that the communication between my brain and the rest of my body is going something like this:

Brain: Ok everyone, we’re trying out some new shoes, so lets get him up to speed and then we’ll switch over to auto-pilot.

Body: Understood we are ready for walking procedures.

Toes: There seems to be something stuck between us, but it is causing no real discomfort.

Brain: That is part of the new shoes; It should be ok. Are we ok to launch?

Body: Ready.

(A few steps later)

Inner Ear: Losing power!

Brain: Feet! What the hell is going on down there!?

Feet: Toes are curling, sir.

Brain: Toes, Report!

Toes: The footwear is not attached! Repeat, the footwear is NOT attached! We are curling in an attempt to grip the shoe.

Brain: Understood, good work. Arms! For crying out loud slow your pace before you put him over on his face!

Arms: Sorry, sir. Slowing.

Brain: Heart! Lungs! Relax down there. We had some minor issues with the new shoes, but the toes are compensating.

Heart and Lungs in unison: We percieved danger! Are you absolutely sure that additional oxygen flow is not required.

Brain: Affirmative Heart and Lungs, there is NO danger. Stand down. I repeat, stand down.

Inner Ear: Power is back up, sir. Balance is reengaging.

Brain: Systems check.

Body: Running at 94 percent, sir.

Brain: Toes?

Toes: We’re holding our own, sir.

Brain: Good work. Keep it up.

And this is how the rest of my day went. Me attempting to maneuver around the streets of an unfamiliar city, while a portion of my brain is devoted to making sure that my shoes stay on my feet. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to remove the flip-flop while driving, before I became a danger to everyone else and not just myself. Driving barefoot is equally uncomfortable, but I believe that should be a blog all unto itself. For now let me just say that driving barefoot is intentionally making something that you have done a million times suddenly uncomfortable by removing clothing. Driving barefoot would be similar to grocery shopping in a speedo.

I managed to survive day one of wearing one of the most dangerous garments ever created by man, and I look forward taking them off at the end of day two. And so do my toes, who have to spend yet another day gripping the soles of an incomplete shoe to insure that it remains in place. For them it’s just one more day in This World of Hurt.

The Prom Dress

In daughters, dresses, husbands, life, Prom, shopping, Uncategorized, wives on April 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Well, ladies and gentlemen, prom season is again upon us. The weather is warming, the sap is rising, and the increasing rate of descent builds tension in the cockpit of public education, as we close in on the inevitable tarmac of graduation. For some, love is at an end, for others, it has only begun, and yet for others still, it is forged in the molten fires of Saturday night passion. All moving ever closer to the year’s main extravaganza: Prom Night.

Yes, the time of the year when young men RENT a tuxedo and young ladies BUY a dress. And if you are as fortunate as I am—that is, with a not quite 16-year-old daughter attending said event—you get to enjoy this, dress purchasing time of year, two more times before she actually graduates… yippiiiee.

Now, before I continue this story let me explain. I, unlike many, if not most, men–love to shop, regardless—with few exceptions—of what we maybe shopping for. This is not, however, true when young children are involved; shopping is a drag when you bring your kids. With surveillance cameras everywhere and Americas increasing disapproval of sparing the rod, kids know that the odds of you beating them in public are pretty low, and they take advantage of it. Otherwise, I will shop all freaking day. My favorite, being clothes and shoes; with books and video games running a close second… eclectic, I know. You should see the music selection on my I-pod.

Now, when you shop for video games, you go in the store and they have something that you’re into or they don’t. So with the exception of “BS”ing with the clerk for a bit you’re pretty much in and out. No small talk at all when you shop for books; it’s pretty much, “Where do you keep your fiction?” and you’re shopping. I tend to be rather picky when it comes to literature, so, I will usually peruse the books for quite some time before I make my selection. Ah, but clothes and shoes? Well, I hope that you got some rest the night before, because this is an all day event. And if you happen to have in tow, someone not quite up to the task, I have found that occasional trips to the local pubs for libations helps a great deal with moral. Anyway, I suppose if you were to compare shopping to track and field, I would run the marathon, the mile, and the hundred-yard dash.

You see, I like to look good when I dress, and I have to say—and my girls will back me up—that I have impeccable taste for a straight man. I will shop for myself, for my girls, the boy, the teenager, or search out great heels for my wife—who happens to be a “stiletto connoisseur” if you will—and I will find great deals. However, in order to accomplish this it does take time, and I will go all out.

Ok, now that we’re all up to speed, the weekend of the great dress purchasing comes around and my wife inquires as to whether I would like to join her and our daughter on this shopping venture, to which I graciously decline. “Excuse me, Jeff; you said, ‘no’?” you ask. “But you just spent the last two paragraphs telling us how much you enjoy a day of shopping. What sorcery is this?” Well, let me explain.

You see, all the other children we’re accounted for are in various fun-filled locations other than our domicile, leaving the house vacant for the day…Which would be reason enough, however, not the reason for my decline. I spotted thunderheads and unstable seas on the horizon and this here pirate elected to drop my anchor in the harbor. I don’t know about you, but if I have the choice of a day watching movies, reading a few chapters out of a good book, and conquering level after level of a stellar video game—even if I also have to vacuum, dust, and a do a few loads of laundry—or spend it with two feisty, hard-headed women, while being stuck in the crossfire of one fashion altercation after another?… Well, you don’t have to be the “head cashier” at the Piggly Wiggly to do the math there.

The thing is, both my wife and my daughter are stubborn and outspoken, which is fine. And in an argument, they each have a capacity for being outright aggressive to one another; which is also fine, because it is constantly counteracted with a deep and unconditional love. Powerful stuff, that love. Nevertheless, my presence is not required in order for an eventual compromise to be made and a dress purchased. And for the record, the dress is beautiful. Perhaps a bit low-cut; I’m not real sure about the plunging neckline. My little girls aren’t supposed to have cleavage. (Hmm, there’s another blog in there somewhere.) Now I could go shopping anyway… but no good could come of it.

What would happen is: we would arrive at the dress shop, selections would be made, and a disagreement—no matter how trivial—would ensue. It would seem as though logic would dictate that: hey, there are three of us, majority rules... EEENNT!! WRONG!.. But thank you for playing. As not only the man, but also the husband and father, what you possess is the illusion of an opinion. The two women will turn to you and ask, “Which one do you like?” and it will all be over. At this time, if you are unable to pick up on the cosmic vibrations of your daughter’s psyche, guiding you to the perfect dress selection, then you are WRONG! Or if you give an opinion that differs from the one that your wife thought that you should have had, then you are also WRONG!

No matter what the decision may be, this has now become a situation that is impossible to get out of. You are either a husband who has failed miserably at backing up his wife, or you are stupid, unfair and are now perceived by your daughter as—what I believe the kids are referring to now a days as “whipped”. In other words, you are screwed.

So gentlemen, regardless of your level of enjoyment when it comes to shopping, if you are given a choice of seeking out the perfect prom dress or not, opt out. Stay home, watch movies, read a book, play video games, making sure you do some light housework to win some brownie points, and you will–what “test pilots” would refer to as–maintain an even plane.

Now that’s strange. That story didn’t go the direction that I thought that it was going to go at all… Ha! Blogs are funny!

Until next time…Love.

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