By David Anderson
A Grinch-like guy’s guide to grappling with the most grueling of all holiday anathemas: shopping.
Ok, ‘don’t’ isn’t going to cut it with the wife if there’s to be peace on earth this holiday season.
So if – or rather, since – you gotta go, some hopefully helpful insights as to why shopping (there’s that word again) is for your wife a pleasure, and to minimize the pain of your required tag-along status.
At the outset it might be instructive to realize that ‘shop’ for your wife is a verb not a noun. And a linking verb at that, given the shop-till-you-drop interconnected number (140 no less) of stores to be found in some cases under one roof.
The good news: supermall shopping requires parking but once. The bad news: you forgot again where among the 5,000 places that was.
Window shopping with the wife in a place occupying nearly 100,000 square feet, attracting 14 million customers – all, it would appear, on the same daylight-morning-swallowed-up-
Shopping is a sickness that somehow seems to afflict the fairer sex.
Googling ‘why do people shop?’ yielded this caveat: “when using this website please use common sense. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
See? Seriously! Shopping is indeed then after all a complex – largely influenced by one’s surroundings, in this case a mega-mall complex – in which “repressed ideas and impulses,” impulse purchases for example, “compel characteristic or habitual patterns of behavior” that can be “signs of a disease or disorder that forms a syndrome.”
That last – ‘syndrome’ – is not to be confused with ‘superdome’ as in a truly super event, the Super Bowl, which was held Feb.3, 2013 at the New Orleans Superdome – a place that occupies almost as much space as a supermall but which structure, of course, contains a far greater and glorious reason for being: football.
Someone, evidently a male, in response to the question ‘why shop?’ on the aforementioned website wrote, quite logically, “in order to have clothes and food so as to not die.” Now that is practical advice. Survival-gear and essential-grub constitute the best, and only, reasons to enter the tangled and intricate labyrinth of a shopping mall.
A clearly sympathetic – and evidently experienced – fellow mall wanderer suggested there should be a sign erected at the grand promenade leading to the mega-mall complex that reads “Abandon hope all ye who enter here” – the supposed inscription at the entrance to Dante’s “Inferno,” Italian for “Hell.”
As it is, what is to be made of a ‘Supermall’ marquee that gets its very own traffic divider sign – ‘sign’ being synonymous with ‘omen’ – forewarning those approaching that, perhaps too late, you’ve entered the place of no return?
To the wife, ‘shop’ is not where you hang out in the garage but rather an endless – and quite evidently mindless – meandering through a maze misnamed, to you anyway, the not-so-super ‘supermall.’
Speaking of mazes and rats, and shopping and husbands, experiments with four-legged females placed in basically a mall-like setting showed that even when “the shape of the room was altered by placing room dividers or hanging a circular curtain, the female rats were unfazed.”
The male rats on the other hand “had no idea of where they were.”
And that, in turn, led scientists to conclude, “Men tend to rely on a more primitive sense of motion using remembered vectors.”
But what if you’ve not been to the supermall before; or it’s been a year, since last Christmas Eve in fact that you were here; or things have significantly and dramatically changed – a last minute gift stand here, pictures with Santa moved there – then, men, what are the chances with these changed vectors you’ll be a victor and not, again, a victim?
The field of play and the rules of the shopping game are decidedly titled in favor of the wife.
Conclusive scientific evidence reveals what our primitive instincts have told us all along.
Even though the bath and body store was moved to a bigger and better location since last visit when your wife, with you in tow, was here, she’ll find it.
She’ll find you right across from “The Finish Line” – that’s a store, not a race:
“Lost and Found.”