Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Death by retail therapy- a.k.a shopping, shopping and more shopping

May one lady somewhere kindly explain why shopping is for ladies, such a thrilling and popular way of consuming time? This habit is sometimes sadly referred to as "retail therapy." I would rather call it "Shopping cart drag" or "Torture by specials!" Yesterday was one of those frustrating days where I had to stand in agony for about twenty minutes at a Pik N' Pay pay point. Anything beyond fifteen minutes of waiting to pay at a retail outlet equates to a life sentence to me. Express tills do not seem to be of any help because there are always a million other shoppers also carrying ten or less items in their shopping cart. Do we really need to be subjected to such stress? It appears even worse when you consider that thirty minutes will already have been wasted, trying to locate a host of products that seem to hide themselves very well right under our amateur noses. Someone please pass a law to make online shopping the only legal mode of shopping!

There are advantages and disadvantages of shopping together with your wife, girlfriend or other female companion. She will know exactly where to locate the best store with the best specials and bargain prices and she will most certainly know where to unearth those “hidden” items that you struggle to locate. You will therefore not have to wander around like a headless chicken in the store. The disadvantage is that although the shopping experience is bound to be more efficient, effort wise, it is likely to be more time consuming than it would have been, had you gone on a solo shopping experience.

The most baffling phenomenon regarding this shopping debacle is how some people claim that they get total relaxation and self-fulfillment from window shopping. How someone can derive pleasure from staring through a glass at clothing or other merchandise that they do not intend to buy, is beyond my limited understanding. Equally baffling is how someone can accumulate tons of advertising brochures and scan through countless web pages of online advertising just find which boutique or store they can go and window shop at!

In a nutshell, most men (myself included) will always abhor this thing called shopping. Unfortunately the benefits of online shopping are still limited. Ebay, Amazon and their affiliates have unfortunately not yet found a way for ladies to try on outfits, look at themselves in the mirror or sniff at perfume samples. It therefore means that the dreaded trek to the mall or and other dens of enterprise will be with us for some time. I guess this is one of those painful predicaments that we as men can do nothing about except to bear it as part of lifey’s thorny path, unless, of course, one of my good readers has a solution to suggest? Get us a 3-D, online, interactive shopping simulation, please Ebay!


  1. A solution? Bear it cheerfully as a measure of your love for the lady in your life or seek life as a batchelor.

  2. My guess is that men feel unfulfilled by the shopping experience because everything a man does generally has to have a quantifiable end result. The act of browsing or trying on potential new and beautiful clothing tends to be an enjoyable experience for women whether we purchase something or not. (This is not the same as when we NEED to buy a particular item or outfit that is required for a specific occasion and we are UNABLE to locate what we are looking for -- in which case we are as annoyed as men who have to do any sort of shopping at all!)... For the record, I absolutely detest grocery shopping and would rather clean toilets than have to deal with morons in the supermarket!... As for what you can do about 'shopping', I'd say hire a shopping assistant so you can avoid the process completely.

  3. I like the following explanation: You see, back in the paleolithic, Homo Sapiens Sapiens practised division of labour - the men hunted, the women foraged. Thus men enjoy the focussed pursuit of a single goal, while women enjoy loking at various things, talking as they go along, and essentialy, foraging. This comes out especially during shopping trips. Essentialy, one explanation why Homo Sapiens Sapiens seemed to have triumphed over Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis, is this division of labour.

    But don't tell the lady of the house this... :)

  4. At times shopping assistants are not practical because you have to be there in the flesh to try out the product or make a selection. Thats when it gets tricky but I guess as Steve says, we must do it for love!


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