The truth about men and shopping.

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It’s the most horrible time of the year.  No, not the holidays, shopping season.  The time of the year that man will go all out to avoid. Don’t believe me?  Then why is hunting season happening at the same time?  Do you really think men everywhere are trudging through the rain, mud, or snow for a chance to bring home an animal strapped to their fender?  Heck no.  They could easily accomplish the same feat by stopping by a frat house on any given weekend.  Sure, there are some dyed in the wool hunters out there (the 1%) but most are sitting snugly in their cabins, watching TV while chugging a beer and congratulating themselves on successfully avoiding holiday shopping.

Yes it’s that bad!

The last thing a man wants to do is walk for hours going to stores and seeing nothing that interests them.  Having to pick out gifts for the kids, parents, in laws, out laws, Dave and Darla, Mike and Tim, and Benny and Joon is bad enough, but there is nothing in these stores to distract us or, more importantly, get us to buy something.

Have you looked at the “Men’s section” in any given store?  Can you even find it?  Usually it’s this postage stamp sized square tucked away in a dark corner.  The choices are so limited that the men look at the kids section with envy.  And why not?  It’s five times the size!

The marketing department of these stores will tell you that men just don’t like to shop.  They are “Hunters” that like to get in, “kill their prey”, and get out.  Men don’t want to be in the store for more than five minutes.

Women, on the other hand, love to shop.  They stroll from aisle to aisle, flitting to and fro from jewelry to shoes to clothing to housewares.  Women will spend hours browsing the wares.  (It was stated that the average female shopper at one home goods store spent, on average, four hours shopping around.)

This is complete garbage.  My case in point?  BASS Pro, REI, and Cabellas.  Turn a man loose in one of these and watch.  You will be amazed at how the person who would almost chew his arm off to get out of a store will now buzz around like a bee and hit every section and stand in that building.

T-Shirts?  Check

Flannels?  Check

Hats, jackets, gloves?  Check

Shoes and boots?  Look at them go!  (Sorry, no “cute”.  No shoes are cute.)

Fishing, camping, bar b que?  Definitely!

Guns and knives?  View from afar and I bet they go there.  “Hey, that’s the gun from ‘Avengers’.” Or “Now that’s a knife!”

Boats and ATVs?  “Honey it’s time to go.  They’re closing the store.  Get off!”

Getting a man to shop is not hard.  You just have to have things they want.  Just like they do for women.

My advice for any woman out there that has a man that hates shopping, find a store they like (outdoors, shaving, hardware, electronic, whatever) and take them there during the trip.  They’re spending pretty much the entire day looking at things not catered for them.  They’ve earned it.

A little story for Easter

Easter is a wonderful holiday signifying renewal, rebirth, and is looked at the unofficial beginning of spring.

Besides the strong Christian heritage of the holiday, the nonreligious aspects of this holiday on our culture are stronger than most realize.

In the spirit of secular Easter, I give to you this true story.  The names have been changed to protect those involved.

A young man was busily working at an elderly ladies house in preparedness for the holiday.  He had trimmed the shrubs, thinned the trees, and pulled most of the weeds when he came to a rather thick clump under a small palm tree.  Seeing how thick the area was, the young man grabbed his weed trimmer.

“Could you check that before trimming it?” The elderly lady asked.  “I wouldn’t want you to hurt any baby rabbits.”

Nodding, the young man set down his trimmer.  Kneeling before the tree, he sifted the weeds through his fingers.

Satisfied with his search, he looked up and said, “It’s ok.  I don’t see any bunny eggs.”

Happy Easter.

Bunny eggs

Last minute Valentine’s Day save

It’s 11:11pm.  Are you ready for Valentine’s day?

What?  You forgot?

Don’t panic!  You’re not a dead man… yet.  I have an idea that just might save you.

This is what you do.  Run over to Wal-Mart, Target, or any store that is open 24 hours.  Go past the mass of men fighting for that last card and bag of crumpled candy.  (Like the cornucopia in “Hunger Games”, it’s a blood bath.)  Walk directly over to the craft aisle and grab an 8×11 piece of green felt.  Grab the biggest sewing needle and a roll/spool of white thread as well.

Got them?  Good.

Now stroll casually over to the cereal aisle.  (You don’t want to tip your hand and start a mob there.)  Discretely pick up a box of Lucky Charms cereal.

If you want to take the chance, you can also check out the toy section to see if there are any stuffed animals at all still in stock.

Pay for everything and get back home.

Now comes the hard part.

Pour the entire box of Lucky Charms into a huge bowl and start separating the pink hearts out from the rest.  (Eat the lucky horseshoes along the way.  You’re gonna need all the luck you can get.) Once you have them separated, cut a good 20 to 24 inch length of threat from the spool and thread the needle.  Take that needle and impale the hearts from side to side, so you can the heart shape when you hold up both ends of thread.  (If all you see is a rectangle, you did it wrong)  Thread all the hearts side by side until you have a row of them 18 to 20 inches long.  (You want to make sure it could fit over your girlfriend’s head.)   Tie the two ends together in a strong knot and cut off the excess.

Lay the heart “necklace” on the square of felt.  (If it looks too small on the felt, fold the felt in half so the necklace looks better.)  If you bought a stuffed animal, put it behind the felt and necklace.

But wait!

What about a card.

Grab some paper (typing, copy, printer, loose leaf, whatever)  Fold it twice. (Top to bottom, left to right)  Write on the cover.  “I love you”

On the inside write, “Simple truth, why complicate it.  Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Have the stuffed animal hold the card or lay it next to the felt.

After she reads the card and holds the marshmallow necklace, suggest she pick out her favorite romantic movie and watch it with her.

Crisis averted.

Now go and program a message on your smart phone for Feb 7th so you don’t forget it next year.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ketchup with us: Epic Failures

Happy New Years! Michele and Mel are asking what two resolutions we have chosen for the New Year knowing that they will fail epically.  The goals, while noble and pure at heart will never see the end of the week through practicality.  They aren’t unrealistic expectations such as HALO jumping or solving the economic problems worldwide; they are the resolutions that seem to be achievable, but won’t be due to personal human nature.  These are my two.

I want to ride my bike more often.  It won’t happen.  I want to ride with my wife and we will always find a reason not to.

I want to learn how to play the guitar.  I give it the big start up, but will be pulled away by blogging and other distractions.

Check out Michele and Mel to see what theirs are and drop a reply and let me know what yours will be.

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Ketchup with us: A Christmas Tradition

Michele and Mel are at it again and as usual, I’m a wee bit late.  This time, the lovely dynamic dual would like us bloggers to talk about one of our Christmas traditions in 57 words or less.  So here it goes!

My wife is a little down this Christmas year.  Our house is filled with piles of items usually hidden under the missing kitchen cabinets.

My not so secretive plan is to set up theses decorations and bring the full Christmas experience to her while she is out Friday night.

After all, it is a Christmas tradition.

Shh.

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Thoughts of: Tradition

“Where is it?” She cried, struggling to keep her focus on the road.

“I’m looking for it.”  I replied as I turned the knob up and down the dial.

My wife and I were en route to her parents for Thanksgiving but an important piece of the holiday was missing.

“Did you try both bands?”  She asked as she turned down the next street.

“Yes.” I answered.  “You’d think it’d be on NPR.”  Frustrated I kept searching.

BZZT!  The Phone range.

“Hello?”  Answered my wife.  “Yes.  We can’t find it anywhere!  They’re playing it where you are?  We have it on CD but the player is broken on my radio and Gene can’t find it.”

Carol pulled the phone from her face and spoke to me.  “Brian’s singing it over the phone.”

Scanning the radio for the third time, I give up.  “I can’t find it.”

My mind recoils at the disappointment.  Like the Macy’s Day Parade and Lions football there has always been a special part of Thanksgiving for me and my family.  It was a real treat to find out my wife held the same tradition too.  But here we were on Thanksgiving and we were missing that important piece of tradition.  It was as bad as finding out that the turkey was replaced by sushi.  The disappointment was palpable.

“Well don’t play it later.”  Carol told me, after hanging up the phone.  “It’ll be too late in the day.”

We never did find it, that special part of our Thanksgiving tradition.  We didn’t even bother on the ride home.  But for all of you and the joy you’ve given me through the year, I offer now to you that missing part of our family tradition.

Happy Thanksgiving.  🙂