Thursday, March 29, 2012

Not for the Faint of Heart

Okay, I’m warning you. Before you read this one, make sure you’re ready. This isn’t for the faint of heart, but just for those who are truly ready to do whatever it takes to be romantic. Remember the verse that says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Well, this is going to be a real-world application of that verse.

Are you a sports fan? Do you enjoy watching the game, maybe shooting some hoops, a little touch football with your buds? Have you ever heard of the women’s favorite sport? Yep, you bet, they have one too. Only, it’s a bit different than our idea of sports. I guess that makes sense, since they’re women.

Well, let me introduce you to their favorite sport. Are you ready? It’s called… shopping. Yep, that’s their idea of sports. Granted, there might be one or two women in the world who don’t like to go shopping, but that’s it. Women are genetically pre-disposed to shopping. Yep, they’ve got the shopping gene, something that us guys don’t have. It must be stuck on the X chromosome that we don’t have.

If you really want to get specific about that shopping chromosome, it’s not just about shopping, although that is great in and of itself, but about clothes shopping. If there’s anything that would be considered the peak of sensual enjoyment for a woman, it’s an entire day of clothes shopping.

Now, this term “shopping” requires some definition, because women and men don’t define that word the same. For a man, going shopping means going to the store, finding what you need and getting out the door as fast as we possibly can. We’re all shooting for the world’s record in who can have the shortest shopping trip.

When my wife was teaching full-time, I ended up doing the grocery shopping on a regular basis. I had it down to a system, I’ll tell you. I had my shopping list pre-printed, with all the standard stuff we used in the house, organized by categories to make it easier to find. Before I left the house, I’d check that list, to be sure I knew exactly what we needed. Then, when I hit the front of the store, I had a specific pattern I’d take through the aisles, to maximize my shopping efficiency and not waste a single step. I could go from in the door to out the door in 30 minutes flat, with enough groceries organized by categories in my reusable shopping bags to feed my family for a week.

Once, I needed to go grocery shopping with my wife and our office assistant in tow. When we walked out the door in under thirty minutes, they were shell shocked. They couldn’t believe I’d actually done it. The office assistant kept babbling something about never being in a store for so short a time.

Okay, that’s male shopping; but, I’ve got to tell you, female shopping has absolutely nothing in common. You see, guys are hunters, while women are gatherers. To them, it’s not about the goal of buying something, that’s a side issue. Nor is it about the idea of getting done. No, what they’re after is the experience of shopping. Yep, that’s right, they enjoy just looking, touching, trying on and sorting through all that stuff.

I realize that sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. A woman can enjoy herself shopping, even without spending one single dime. It doesn’t matter if they find what they’re looking for or not, just that they got to go shopping. Even better, that they got to go shopping with a friend; sharing the experience.

Okay, so what does that have to do with you? Simple, you’re supposed to be your wife’s best friend. So, what do best friends do together? If they’re estrogen driven, they go shopping; even if they’re stressed out. In fact, I’d have to say especially if they’re stressed out. It’s called “shopping therapy,” which is even better for them than “beauty parlor therapy.”

So, your mission, if you should decide to accept it, is to go shopping with your wife. I don’t mean going to buy the groceries, I mean going clothes shopping. Yep, go help her enjoy picking through all the clothes, trying things on and just plain enjoying the experience of it.

Now, I know this may not sound like fun to you, so let me give you a few survival tips. First of all, bring something to do, like a good book or your iPad. You’re going to get bored, so you’d better be prepared. Secondly, be sure to bring a tall cold drink with you. You’re going to need it, as you cross that desert of women’s clothes. Third, be sure to wear comfortable shoes; you’ve never walked so far in your life.

The last preparatory activity is the most important. Go through her closet. Check sizes, colors and styles, so you have an idea what she might be interested in. You’ll want to at least look like you know something about clothes.

You need to do a little more than sit in some corner with your book and drink though. You do need to spend at least some of the time looking at stuff with her. Actually, if you really want to gain some brownie points, take a quick turn around the store and find something for her to try on, preferably something that you think she’d look good in. That’ll really make you part of the team.

Here’s the other important part, make sure that you sit where you can see her come out of the dressing room, when she’s trying all that stuff on. That way, you can make comments on it. Just try and keep your comments as upbeat as possible; but don’t lie. Don’t tell her that something looks great on her, if it doesn’t. Just suggest that she try something else.

Remember, it’s not about getting in and out as fast as possible. Don’t plan on getting out quick, plan on spending lots of time there with her. Let her drag it out and enjoy it. That’s why you brought a good book with you.

So, are you up to the challenge? Can you hack it? She’ll love it if you do.

1 comment:

  1. Most of the time, I'd rather not have my husband shop with me, especially for clothes. If he's so bored that he's going to need a book or an iPad to amuse himself, then I won't feel good about having dragged him along just to make him miserable. His boredom makes me feel I have to hurry up. This does not create a good shopping experience. But I have found that if I am looking for a very specific type of thing, he can get involved and help me. If he knows exactly what to look for, it becomes a goal-oriented project and he can actively participate. In those situations I really like having him along because together we can complete the mission much more effectively than I would by myself.