Welcome to Special Guest Writer Week. First up is someone near and dear to my heart. He is my biggest fan and has been my most loyal reader since I started blogging. I am happy to provide him an opportunity to get a few things off his manly chest about women and shopping. Ladies and Gentlemen – My Hubby.
As a general rule, Real Men don’t like to go shopping. The thought of spending several hours browsing through the sales racks looking for the perfect cable knit sweater, this year’s shoes or a European Man Bag that goes well with both of them is enough to send most men into spasms of terror. Real Men, you see, do not shop. Real Men buy. We know what we want before we arrive at the store. We go straight to that item, make a final determination as to its quality and value and we buy it.
We are even less interested in shopping with our wives or girlfriends. Accompanying the love of your life on a clothes shopping trip is like tap dancing through a minefield with oversized clown shoes on. It ain’t gonna end up real well for anybody.
Why, you ask, do we not like to shop? First, we are relegated to the bench (Real Men hate sitting on the bench) near the changing room as you try on a seemingly endless variety of outfits. Second, we have to suffer the indignity of watching your purse. Ladies, if we’re never supposed to look inside your purse, why do you ask us to guard it for you? Finally, we are likely to be asked our opinions on the relative merits of your clothing choices. Our opinions will be wrong, reflecting either a complete lack of fashion sense or the fact that our tastes are hopelessly stuck in the 1980’s.
There is one major exception to the Real Man’s aversion to shopping. Once a year, we embrace the concept and spend hours and hours browsing the paper and reading up on the items on our list, preparing for the big shopping day. We do our internet research, discuss our choices with the guys at the office and agonize about making a decision that can impact our lives for years to come. This is one important shopping trip. It’s our version of Black Friday, the day that kicks off the Christmas shopping season.
This past weekend, the National Football League conducted its annual draft. It’s the time when all NFL teams have the opportunity to replenish their rosters with young, talented players and provide their fans with hope for the coming season. A successful draft can change a team’s fortunes overnight, turning a hapless collection of losers into Super Bowl contenders. Real Men across the country spent hours glued to the TV and internet, watching the “merchandise” fly off the shelf.
Here in Atlanta, we had a particularly good shopping trip. After suffering through the worst season in recent memory, punctuated by the felony, dog fighting, conviction of Mike Vick, Falcons fans were thrilled to find Matt Ryan, the excellent quarterback from Boston College and Sam Baker, a mammoth left tackle from USC in their shopping cart within the first few hours. The Falcons also grabbed a linebacker and an extra wide receiver as an impulse purchase on their way to the checkout aisle. Before the NFL could ask, “paper or plastic,” Falcons’ fans were cheering their good fortune and looking forward to the coming season with renewed optimism.
After this weekend, I have a whole new appreciation for the allure of the shopping trip. I think I understand why you ladies get such a thrill out of finding the perfect pair of red, open-toed Jimmy Choo’s that go great with that knockoff Prada handbag that you found last month at the Asian market. I might even go with Wifey the next time she goes shopping.
Just as long as I don’t have to watch her purse.