Monday, June 11, 2012

Patience Man, Patience

I never knew it, but women are incredible sports fans. That’s right, every woman, around the world, has her favorite sport, which she practices every chance she get. I find it amazing how devoted they can be to their sport, especially since I’ve always thought that women hate sports. Of course, that’s because I was thinking of more conventional sports, you know, the kind that we guys like.

No, women don’t like the same sports we do; that’s why we don’t often see their love affair with their sport as meaning anything. I say sport intentionally, because there’s really only one sport that women love, not an assortment of them, like men.

So, I suppose you want to know what sport I’m talking about… it’s shopping. Yep, shopping is the woman’s sport. Every women I’ve ever met plays that sport; some better than others; but they all play. Although I’ve never seen a shopping pool in an office, instead of a football pool, that doesn’t make it any less a sport. Nor does the fact that the Sports section in the paper ignores their sport; after all, that’s written by men. For that matter, the fact that there are no professional shopping teams doesn’t limit it as a sport, because every woman considers herself a pro-shopper.

Of course, the epitome of the women’s sport is clothes shopping. Have you ever noticed how department stores put the women’s clothing section, which is huge, right in the front of the store? By comparison, the men’s clothing section is tiny and usually hidden in the back corner. You see, those stores recognize women’s sport and are all supporters of it.

Okay, now comes the hard part. Since we’re all looking for ways to spend time with our wives (at least I hope we are), here’s a great way (in her mind) for us to do so. That’s to go shopping with them. Yes, I’m serious; I’m also glad that I’m doing this through the Internet, so that nobody can throw rocks at me.

As much as we all hate shopping, the Bible tells us to “Love our wives as Christ loved the church and laid down his life for her.” I know of no way that a man can lay down his life any more effectively than to go shopping with his wife. Yes, it’s hard, but that’s how it qualifies as laying down your life.

Now, if you are actually brave enough or foolish enough to try this, let me give you a few hints to make the process a little less painful.
  • Take a good book to read. That way, you’ve got something to do, while you’re wasting… err, investing all that time in your marriage.
  • Make good use of Starbucks, the Food Court, Annie’s Pretzels, Baskin & Robins and other cultural attractions. Believe it, or not, she even enjoys those half-time breaks from shopping.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Women are the only one who think that uncomfortable shoes are a fashion statement. Hey, you’re going to be spending hours on your feet, you may as well be comfortable.
  • Speaking of hours on your feet, most stores don’t put chairs for husbands. Personally, I think this is prejudiced against men, but that’s the way it is. So, if you are going to need to sit down, and don’t want to sit on the floor, you might want to consider bringing along a folding camp stool.
  • Find things for her to try on, that you’d like to see her in. Hey, part of shopping is playing “dress up,” so you may as well help her along. Who knows, you might actually find something that you both like.
  • Be prepared to carry. I think this is the biggest reason why women like their husbands going shopping with them. That way, they don’t have to carry all that stuff. After all, why should they, when there’s a man to do it?
  • Sneak out to the sporting goods or hardware department. This trick doesn’t always work, but if you’re in a department store that has a “man department” you can get a break by telling your wife that there’s something you want to look at. She doesn’t have to know that it’s a new fishing pole.
  • Whatever you do, don’t schedule something else afterwards. If you are planning on going shopping for three hours with your wife, then watching the game afterwards, forget it. Women can’t tell time when they are involved in their sport.

It would probably be best for your blood pressure if you don’t pay any attention to how much she is spending. Actually, most women go shopping without spending a whole lot of money. Their enjoyment doesn’t come from spending, but from the looking and trying on. So, don’t let the money get to you. If you do, you’ll ruin the whole thing. A moment’s explosive outburst can make a whole day of sacrifice go up in smoke.

Finally, always remember that to be a successful cheerleader for the women’s sport, you need lots of patience. This is a very time-consuming sport; one in which the true pros carefully examine every option, before putting off making a decision. The goal really isn’t about spending money, but rather about spending time involved in the sport. So, you may as well relax and do what you can to enjoy it.

On the positive side, your wife will think that you’ve spent lots of quality time together, while you’ve mostly ignored what she’s doing. Don’t totally ignore it though. To gain romance points, you need to make the occasional comment, preferably positive ones. “When are we going to leave?” doesn’t qualify as a positive comment. Nor does, “That makes you look like a cow.” This is a good time to engage the brain, before the mouth.

Take the time to go shopping with your wife, and maybe she’ll be more willing to take the time to do something that you want to do. 

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