Shopping’s Double Standards

Recently, I had the so-called “pleasure” of going to the mall with Mrs. Nickels while she did some shopping for someone, for something due to some event that was going on in her office. And while it may seem needless to say to those of you who are familiar with this column, I feel that I must reiterate the fact that should be etched in stone by the finger of God Himself: I Really Hate Shopping.

See, my idea of shopping (if it can’t be done online in the safety and serenity of The Batcave) is to directly know before I leave the comfort of my Batcave where what I am looking for is located. So, if I know what I am looking for is at say, Wal-Hell, then I go directly there, go directly to the aisle it is located, I look directly at the item in question then grab said item, directly walk with a brisk pace the most direct route to the cashier with the shortest amount of people in it, pay for said item, having the money directly taken out of my checking account, then get my carbon-based carcass out of there and head directly to my Harley and then ride directly back to the peace and serenity of The Batcave.

So, the above-stated paragraph should tell you a couple of things about me and my “take” if you will on shopping:

  • If it can’t be done online from the safety and serenity of The Batcave, I ain’t going.
  • Did you happen to notice how many times I used words “direct” or “directly” in the previously described method of shopping? (That would be 9 for those of you keeping track at home.

Basically, shopping, unless you are getting accessories for The Harley or buying more books to be read at a later date, needs to follow a very certain formula: Get there, Get in, Find it, Grab it, Pay for it, Get out of there.

Don’t believe me? Ask my kids. They absolutely hate it when I go shopping with them. Because I’m always telling them. “Let’s go. Hurry this along already. If it isn’t in your size, move along, etc”

Now that you know how I really feel about this whole shopping experience, I think it’s time we all had a sit-down talk about what I saw in the mall this past week.

Parents go to the mall to shop. Now in and of itself, that doesn’t sound too bad. But where everything starts to go south is when parents bring their kids to the mall. See, and I know that I am going to sound sexist here, men and women shop differently.

Now, while most men use the above sniper method of shopping i.e. Get in and Get out, sort of system, women, on the other hand, are like these huge herds you see on the nature channels that just seem to be meandering from one grazing place (mall store or trendy kiosk) to the next. No rhyme, reason or logical thought goes into it. It’s like they are shopping on some long forgotten primal urge of buying migration that they don’t understand nor can they control.

But what really makes it worse are the “double standards” that are given by the parents who are shopping onto the kids who are watching what they are doing. For you see, women will pick up something, hold it close to them to see if it fits, hold it up to the light, (why? I haven’t a clue?) and everything is fine.

Yet, when a three-year-old little guy in a stroller reaches up to a counter and pulls down a pair of hooker read ladies panties then proceeds to hold them up to the light like mommy does, then the whole world goes ballistic!

“Now Junior,” the flustered shopping mother says to her innocent looking son, amidst  the scowling looks that were given to the embarrassed mother by an elderly couple from Iowa who are so old that they can’t quite remember why someone would need hooker red ladies panties in the first place, much less a three-year-old little boy in Southern California,, “we mustn’t touch things that do not belong to us.”

I’m sure the three-year-old is thinking to himself. “Hold on a second here lady. I am seriously confused here. You haven’t bought a thing and we’ve been going up and down, back and forth, from one end of this mall to another and you’ve put your hands on everything that has been laid out for display and yet, I reach up and grab one thing, just ONE THING, and you make me out to be some sort of hardened criminal. Where is the logic in that?”

I wanted to lean down and tell him. “Listen, little guy, there is no logic in this situation. It’s called “shopping” and no matter what you do, no matter what you say, women will have one set of standards for what they do and we, as men, have to live by another. Welcome to the world.”

Here is another “Double Standard” we all have seen in the mall.

Parents, specifically the aforementioned woman shopper, will just “wander off” so they can “just take a look and the most fascinating thing in the world,” (Translation: A zebra patterned pot holder) Yet these same ADD/HD women will leave their kids sitting in a stroller in the middle of the aisle with nothing to do or having no concept of where their parental unit was gone. Yet, a 6 year old little guy who decided to “wander off so they can “just take a look at the most fascinating thing in the whole entire universe” (Translation: a piece of chewing gum stuck under a table that looks exactly like Big Bird), ends up getting spanked because “Mommy got so worried because she couldn’t find him.”

So, what have we learned from the above scenarios?

Gather around future Ph.D. candidates, and I will tell you.

There really isn’t a moral to the story; just an observation: Shopping Sucks. Specifically, if you are a guy, there is no successful exit strategy. It’s a no win scenario where the rules of logic, understanding and equal treatment do not apply to us. We’re doomed.

And if there is any way possible you can get come up with an idea blessed by God Himself that will get you out of going to the mall with your wife, girlfriend, daughter, mother, or any member of the female species of this planet, I suggest you do so.

Now if you will excuse me, Mrs. Nickels is asking me to go with her to the mall to exchange something or other and I have to come up with a plan in the next 8 seconds on how to fake my own death.

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