Going shopping with a girl is like volunteering to be the masked bad guy in a self-defense class — you know you’re going to spend some quality time with the ladies, but you also know it’s going to be somewhat painful the entire way. Did I say somewhat painful? I meant it’s going to feel like someone is clubbing you in the head with a flaming hammer for three hours.
Now, most girls who read that last sentence are thinking, “three hours? I can go much longer than that,” whereas most guys are like, “three hours? In that time I can buy an entire fall wardrobe, bring it home, see if it goes with my other clothes, and return what I don’t like.” I’m just kidding. No guy I know would ever go through all that crap for a new pair of jeans.
You see, the basic fundamental difference here is that while most guys like looking good, we just don’t see the point of going to 50 different stores and trying on thousands of pairs of shoes in the futile hope that the ‘One Amazing Pair’ will jump out at us like a fairy godmother or something. They’re shoes. You see a pair that looks nice, you buy them, and you take them home.
But alas, no. For some, the obsession runs much deeper than that, and that’s why the best clothing stores, and not just shoe places, have plush chairs for guys to sit in while girls dart around, holding bright-coloured tops up to their chests and giving themselves that really puzzled look in the store mirror. That, of course, is in the 10 minute phase before they actually enter the changing room. That said, it isn’t always so bad — and as long as every guy remembers the sacred answer to “how does this look?” (the answer is always ‘great’), he’s usually in for some major sensitivity points for going shopping with his girl and being so patient.
There’s that, and then there’s also the privilege of being the first to see your girl in one of those sweet, short little ruffled skirts everyone’s sporting now (or was that last season?) The point is, when shopping for female clothes, a little patience can yield a small payoff.
But when I’m the one who needs new stuff to wear (wait, I think guys and girls have slightly different views on when a guy needs new clothes, so let me straighten it out: “It has holes in it” doesn’t mean it needs to be thrown away), I need the operation to be as quick and painless as possible. First, new shirts don’t necessarily need to be tried on in the store. I know what size I am, so why waste time? I’ve always felt uncomfortable in the fitting room anyway. What am I supposed to do in there, role-play like I’m wearing my new clothes on a big date or something?
Second, I never let a salesperson tell me how high to wear my pants. Third, I attach no emotional importance to the purchase of new shoes. This saves time, and occasionally money. And finally, at the first sign of tiredness, I have no problem getting some fries and calling it a day. The last time I checked, there were no gold medals for shopping endurance.
Look, I’ll admit I definitely have a few nice things hanging in my closet, and I understand that a well-put together guy projects a good image, but let’s face it: most girls want a guy they can feel comfortable with, not some creepy, shop-a-holic with a better tan than them. I figure, a girl would rather first pick a normal guy and then mold him to her own image than some self-absorbed wannabe with the last strand gelled exactly in place. All a guy asks is that when it comes to shopping, it not take more than three hours, and that we have a comfortable seat in which to watch it happen.
by Dave Sommer