smile to shop with her. This is one of the things that new couples do.
I was a bit sheepish at first to tell her of my shopping phobia.
Somewhere around a year-and-a-half into our relationship, I had to
finally tell her that shopping just wasn't my 'bag'. We had just gone
into some sale at Nordstrom's and it was a fuckin' maelstrom of mostly
females, frantically vying for the same low-priced pashmina or some
other such trifle. Suddenly, it all came back, the dizziness, the
perfume-induced nausea, the suffocating clothes racks. I told my wife
that I had to get out of there.
think you are over-reacting," she replied. I think she was just bummed
out that she'd just lost her shopping pal (me). Well, as chance would
have it, the two of us were watching the news a few weeks later and a
story came on about people just like me. The story highlighted the fact
that a phenomenon was gripping America. It afflicted mostly men and
this shopping semi-paralysis was even backed by scientific testing. I
was not alone! There were other people who just hate to shop. My wife
looked at me and said, "Well, whaddya know?" I had my out at last!
could not be more blessed to have 2 girls, let's get that straight
right away. This is not about me wishing for a boy to even things out a
bit at my house. I've taught our dog Buckley how to sit next to me when
a Seahawks game is on (although he has oddly been throwing up right in
front of the TV as of late. I've considered joining him.). No, being a
dad oftentimes means to go beyond oneself. For a parent to two girls,
self-sacrifice is key, especially if one has a shopping phobia such as
me. I've had to 'reach deep inside' and do some serious soul-searching
about my current predicament. Either I start to alienate myself from my
family and become the grumbling grouch in the corner, or, I can join in
and celebrate in the age-old girl pastime...the mall.
girls know what I mean when I say "Hey, let's go to the blah." The
'blah' is my nickname for the mall. Every mall, every place you go
seems to have the exact same stores: Gap, Foot Locker, Williams-Sonoma,
Claire's, Victoria's Secret, etc. It's all 'blah' to me. How in God's
name is going to the same damn stores in every town in this country the
least bit entertaining? Well, to the rest of my family...it is. If you
happen to see me at a mall, please engage me in some sort of
intellectual conversation (fart tennis, anyone?). I slowly die at the
vine at these places. But my girls are happy, so I suppose this is just
part of a husband and father's duty. Fuck! I go less and less these
days. (I am getting REAL good at coming up with some sort of 'band
business' that urgently needs attention!)
guess at this point, I've given you all a fairly good look into my
life-at least as far as where I stand on shopping. Well, now Christmas
is here and I DO try to brave at least a part of a day to go out and
get my wife's present. She starts dropping hints sometime around
Thanksgiving. It is up to me to try and decipher these hints into
something that I can shop for. This year, it was a pair of designer
shoes. "No problem," I thought to myself. A simple and quick in- and
-out of a Macy's and I am home free. Killer!
last Saturday I prepared myself for quick trip to get the shoes. My
oldest daughter asked to go along to help, and I was glad for the
company. When we entered the women's shoe department at Macy's however,
I was met by a scene of a sort of heightened panic one might associate
with the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. I found out quick
that a women's shoe department on a Saturday (and a few weeks shy of
the holidays!) is not a place for the faint of heart, and definitely
not a place for me. There were shoes and boots scattered EVERYWHERE.
The looks on peoples' faces were fierce and SCARY. I had to keep
pulling my daughter out of harm's way. These women at this place were
seemingly completely out of their collective minds! This was not going
to work for me.
to' people that are willing to help when a situation like this arises.
I called my wife's good friend, Nancy, right then and there. I
explained to her the situation and she talked me off the ledge. Nancy
is a seasoned shopper who had some great tips for me. She told me to
just call the store, tell them what you want, give them your credit
card number, and they would hand deliver the item right to my house! I
did just that . And what do you know? It worked just like she said.