Shop until you drop

Shopping for the fairer sex is a mystery most males can’t fathom.
Take clothes, for example—whole shopping cart loads of them.
When my wife, the Pearl of the Orient, and her cronies set out for a “short trip” and ask if I would like to come along, I graciously decline—unless there’s an electronics superstore, a mega book shop, or possibly a hardware store immediately adjacent.
Three hours after the initial stop, the gaggle will wander back out with little or nothing to show for the effort invested. Their pat answer is expected.
“It’s going on sale next week” or “Tomorrow is seniors’ day,” so be prepared for a repeat that will take just as long in spite of the detailed scouting foray. But you will have finished that latest book purchase by then, and cruising an electronic gadgets store never tires.
The day of the big purchase arrives. The gaggle heads for the entrance and a feeding frenzy ensues that would shame a hoard of piranhas.
It’s simply too gruesome to watch. Colliding shopping carts, careening across the lot, as purchases are stuffed haphazardly into trunks. Then the pack returns for another load.
You wait—patiently.
Later at home, every purchase is modelled. Again, it is important you make noises and gestures of approval (it’s a marital health issue).
Three hours later, you wander into the bedroom. The sum total of the purchases are carefully folded and stacked in their original packages.
“I don’t like any of it,” “It’s the wrong colour,” “It makes me look fat,” and “It was too much” are just some of the reasons offered. Better to hold your peace and prepare for a return trip to the mall.
Buyer remorse has set in.
That’s why real men don’t shop. They repress their desires to acquire because it’s simply too much trouble to take all that stuff back. I have determined this repression is unhealthy and probably the main reason women live longer than men.
In the old days when we roamed the plains of Africa, the male did not suffer this unequal life span unless he got trampled by a rhino or eaten by a lion. You saw something edible, you killed it and the females hacked it up into bite-sized portions.
Today you don’t do that.
“Oh no! Way too dangerous. Only cleaned and packaged crosses the threshold,” cautioned Pickle at the Bakery one morning as he bagged a ready-to-eat loaf as his contribution to the day’s larder.
Seems Frontier Fred has the only spouse in Drizzle Creek willing and able to prepare every bit of game he bags. That is until recently. Seems she drew the line at that last bag limit of Canada geese.
Better stick to venison and walleye, Fred.
So how do you satisfy that shopping zeal without suffering “Buyer’s remorse?”
“Simple,” claimed Cousin It, slouching at the table with his sore back as he swept the hair back out of his eyes. “You simply fill you cart with everything you see on the shelf your heart could possibly desire.
“Then before you get to the checkout, you ditch your cart and saunter innocently out the door.”
Swiping his hair back one more time, he concluded, “Works for my old man. Goes shopping at least four days a week, but the inside of his wallet has rarely seen daylight.
“Besides, it creates a lot of employment keeping those shelves re-stocked.”

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