Sunday, August 19, 2012

Husbandly Duties

As a husband (and if you're one already, you'll know what I'm talking about), there are a lot of duties you are expected to perform. These are not always made clear to you before you actually tie the matrimonial knot, although they are buried deeply in the fine print at the bottom of the marriage license, easy to overlook in your eagerness to get to the Opening Night Special.

One of those duties is the dreaded "Accompany Your Wife/Significant Other While She Buys Clothes" ...

Pay attention, men, because I am going to impart some hard-won knowledge to you.

When you are unable to provide a convincing excuse for not accompanying your lady on a clothes-buying expedition*, it is important for you to understand why your presence is required. There are two primary reasons: (1) watch over her 87-pound purse and (2) respond to questions that have no good answer. We will address each of these in due course. Here are Bilbo's Tips for Surviving a Shopping Expedition with Your Wife/Significant OtherTM.

First, prepare yourself in advance. Ensure you have had enough to eat and drink, and be sure to have made a proper bathroom stop before departing on the expedition. You will not be able to find sustenance or relieve yourself while on duty unless there is a brief transition period between stores.

Second, seek out the most comfortable available seat in the Husbands' Corral. Most purveyors of ladies' garments have such a place, which usually has an insufficient number of uncomfortable seats for the number of glassy-eyed men patiently waiting and wishing they were almost anyplace else. The Husbands' Corral is generally well-stocked with tattered, four-year-old copies of Elle, Vogue, and similar magazines, and so ...

Take a book along. Or two. Better yet, take your Kindle, iPad, or similar device and ensure it is well-stocked with unread titles. You'll have plenty of time to read.

Next, understand that there is no safe answer to many ... if not most ... questions you will be asked. For instance, if you are asked "Does this make me look fat?", the appropriate answer is "No, dear," unless the garment in question prominently features the Goodyear logo. Also, beware the Endless Loop query, which usually goes something like this:

Lady: "Which one of these do you like better - this one" (holds up a garment) "or this one?" (holds up another garment).

You (pointing): "That one."

Lady: "Why don't you like this one?" (holds up the garment you didn't select).

You: "I do like it, but you asked which one I liked better."

Lady: "Yes, but why don't you like it?"

You: "I do like it, I just like the other one more."

Lady: "Yes, but why don't you like it?"


Do not make the mistake of evaluating, whether verbally or visually, the potential purchases being modeled by nubile young ladies with whom you did not arrive at the store. Your insurance** will not cover any injuries that result. Corollary: avoid making any disapproving noises or rolling your eyes when you see a woman proudly modeling a garment so hideously inappropriate for her that it makes your gorge rise. It's her boyfriend/husband/significant other who will have to live with it, not you, and he won't appreciate being reminded of it.

Finally, ensure you are in superb physical condition before setting out on a Shopping Expedition, because you will end up loaded like a rented mule, and may be weak from hunger after many hours in the Husbands' Corral.

And those, friends, are the basic elements of Bilbo's Tips for Surviving a Shopping Expedition with Your Wife/Significant OtherTM. There are other minor rules and corollaries, but if you observe the ones I've shared with you today, you will have an even chance of returning home safely. Be strong. Other men have survived the experience, and so will you.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* A note signed by the coroner is usually, but not always, sufficient.

** Assuming you are lucky enough to have any.


Duckbutt said...

Men treat shopping as a necessity, whereas most women actually enjoy shopping. On-line shopping can give a woman more scope.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

The mallwhere we shop has a great husband/b.f. corral with televsion to sports.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Bilbo, your presence is required to give your approval. Agnes wants to dress to please you.

Banana Oil said...

Can you find some places where you would like to shop at the same time? Perhaps a sporting goods store or a food court?

Bryan Duffy said...

Just take along one of your gay friends Bill. One that loves fashion of course.They will fare better in dealing with those pesky questions as well. Defusing most of them anyway until she trys on her choices at home for you. Some advise- hide that Ipad/ book the moment she comes out of the dressing room and give her your undivided attention. The purse issue is easily circumvented by feinging the mislocation of it "I swear it was right here honey". She will then take the purse in and out of the dressing room with her. Always get one of the sales representitves to unload the final choices off of you and leave them at the register. Bring choices to her that you have picked out several times. This will show her you either have no taste or your interest in how she looks has been revived. Either way it gives you something to do or she will stop asking those pesky questions. Compliment her genuinely-well placed and well timed they will change the energy and make your shopping experience a bit less painful .

Mike said...

I just don't go. I refuse.

Bilbo said...

Duck - I actually enjoy shopping ... just in book shops, and photo/electronics stores.

Elvis - you are very fortunate ... no such thing anywhere around here!

Angelique - that's the ladies' version, yes.

Kathy - the whole point of the exercise is that we men are expected to stay RIGHT THERE and be available the whole time ... no straying off to food courts or sporting goods stores!

Bryan - I always knew there would be an advantage to having gay friends ... I'll have to keep that in mind next time.

Mike - and Claudia lets you get away with it?! Awesome!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Maybe its because I'm not married, but I never needed another person to tell me how I looked in something.