The truth about men and shopping.


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.

Ketchup with us

A while back Michele and Mel invited me to join in their writing challenge called “Ketchup with us”.  It’s a bimonthly challenge and I’ve finally had the energy to Ketchup to them.  (Although, I am a wee bit late.  Huff-huff.)

The challenge this time is to rant about something I could do without. Hmm.  so many things here.

Ok M&M,here’s my rant:

I could so do without the entire skipping of Thanksgiving when it comes to the freaking department stores!  I mean, really!  Did you notice it?  They went straight from Halloween right to Christmas!  Ugh!  What the hey?  This is America’s holiday.  Let’s do something about it.  You need an excuse to sell stuff?  How about a Thanksgiving sale?  You could make a pilgrimage to the store for the annual turkey shoot of low-priced DVDs, CDs, sweaters, and other stuff.

How about a big sale on boats?  Sure everything is icing over up north, but here’s the chance to get some real good deals on you very own May Flower.  Or, even better, do a cruise!

Kids could go crazy with an airsoft sale.  Not only are the prices lower, but each airsoft sold comes with a free turkey spinner target.

Cartoon network could play Charlie Browns Thanksgiving over and over again for the entire day.

Thanksgiving is a worthwhile Holiday.  Let’s not trip over it on the way to “Black Friday”.

Thanks for the rant M&M.  Nest time I’ll try to keep in the word count limit.

Daydreams of: The pusher

Tom entered the store on a mission.  List in hand, he knew exactly what to get.  Grabbing a cart, he headed off to the first isle where a man stood behind a small cloth-covered table.

“Good Morning” the man greeted mildly with a smile.  “Care to try one?”

Tom looked down and saw two bowls filled with foiled wrapped squares.  In one bowl the foil was red, in the other, the foil was blue.

“What are they?”  Tom asked.

“Chocolate.”  The man replied.  “The red is dark, the blue is milk.”

Forcing himself to avoid the obvious “Alice in Wonderland” and “Matrix” commentary, Tom said, “I’ll try the blue.”

“Here you go.”  The man said as he handed three squares to Tom.

Tom unwrapped one and popped it into his mouth.  His eyes widened at the smoothness of the candy.  Even his favorite candy bar seemed waxy in comparison.  No doubt this was top shelf chocolate.

“Good huh?”  The man asked from behind the table.

Tom nodded while savoring the melting square in his mouth.

“They’re on sale today.”  The man offered.  “Two for one.”

“Really.” Tom thought aloud.

“Yes.”  The man answered.  “And I also have this coupon for you.  A dollar off.

Tom took the coupon.  “A dollar off?”

“A dollar off.”  Came the reply.

Tom threw two bags in the cart and commenced with his shopping.

When he got home, his wife helped him unpack.

“Honey, what are these?” She asked, looking at the bag.

Tom nonchalantly answered, “Chocolate.  They’re good.  They were on sale and the guy had a coupon.”

“Mmmmm.” His wife cooed as she savored one.

“I got them for you.”  He said with a smile.

Brought to you for the Trifecta Challenge where the object is to tell three truths and one lie this weekend.

Ramblings of: Timeshares and other temptations

It’s a rite of passage here in Florida, the call of the timeshare.  It starts out innocently enough.  At events, trade shows, or even posted on billboards there is an ad offering a free cruise, trip, flight, or ticket to an exotic or not so exotic location.  All that is required is two hours of your time.  They’ll even throw in a gas card to cover your costs there as well.  Such a deal.

Or is it?

Having spent time at a few of these I can say it all depends.  Let me give you a few tips on what to expect before you jump in.

Number 1:  The trips are not free!  The main part might be, but you have to pay the taxes and if it’s a cruise, it’s an inside room and you’ll have to pay the docking fees as well.  The one time I didn’t have to pay taxes was for tickets to Disney.  The timeshare company buys them in bulk and the tickets are so cheap that the company can swallow the taxes easily.

Number 2:  They are going to point out all the pretty things first.  Just like an obnoxious 70’s car salesman, the person showing/selling the time share is going to show you the best/highest priced room/condo first.  Full of features and amenities, they dazzle you with the glitter.  Then as they go on, they show the middle and lower end rooms, all the while showing the newly built rooms and not the older models.

Number 3:  They constantly build and build upon the perceived value.  As you expend energy going from place to place and get tired from the script, the sales person keeps adding features that you might or might not use.  (I’m not a fan of pools myself, and the last thing I want to do is run on a treadmill when on vacation.  I think that all the walking around I’ll be doing is more than enough.)

Number 4:  They’re going to state the price then drop it, if you buy today.  Just like the old Ginsue Knife, buy today and save 25%!

Number 5:  The salesperson is looking to make money.  They like eating and this is how they pay for their food.  Expect them to try to get a sale.

Number 6:  If you’re lucky and in a large enough group, the salesman will ignore you and focus on the people who are the most interested.  The whole process of the sales pitch separates who’s really interested and who’s just there to get the “free” gift.  (See Number 1)

Now the real question you have to ask yourself is:  Is my time and mental energy worth the discount I am being offered?  The answer is up to you.  I’d rather pay for a day pass at Disney then deal with a time share, but a six night cruise costing $649 per person, not including taxes and port fees might be worth thinking about.

The second question you have to ask yourself is, can you afford it if you do say yes?  Many people out there went to these things just for the trip/reward and ended up buying the thing.  Is that possible for you and can you really afford it?

As I stated before, going to a time share sales pitch is a rite of passage for a Floridian.  In fact, you might get kicked out of the state if you live here long enough and don’t go to one.  It’s the Florida version of penance.  If you decide to try one, take a copy of the points above and see how many they hit.  It’ll help keep you grounded from all the glitter and give you something else to do when the sales team member groans on and on and on about the view and wallpaper.

Good luck!