- The Washington Times - Monday, July 10, 2006

I am so thankful to be alive writing this right now.

I went clothes shopping over the weekend. With my girlfriend.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think she’s great. She puts up with plenty of my quirks: the nine boxes of comic books, the utter lack of diversity in my diet, the endless film trivia spewed ceaselessly from my lips. But there’s nothing that says devotion like hitting Nordstrom’s, Anne Taylor Petite and Hecht’s in a single afternoon. (Although, in retrospect, it really felt like several.)

Let me explain the gender differences inherent in shopping. Taking in the same stimuli, women will say, “May I please see those shoes? They look so cute.” A man will say, “May I please see those shoes? I would like to stab myself in the eyes with them.”

Back to the danger at hand:

“What do you think about this outfit?”

“Great, dear,” I muttered noncommittally.

You dare not say anything to women about their clothes other than vague generalities, or potentially complimenting them on their shoes. Otherwise, you will either be wasting your breath with your utter and obvious lack of intelligence, or you will unintentionally offend, thereby resulting in your instant and painful death. By shoe.

If you are lucky, you will find a chair or couch nearby and “rest your legs” until the danger is past. Then, depending on your level of desperation, you can: (a) hide in the clothing rack until some unsuspecting shopper comes across you; (b) make your way to Barnes & Noble; or (c) leap over the bar and dive into the central fountain. (Trust me, they’ll never find you.)

Loving boyfriend that I am, I stuck through it. Despite being assaulted on all sides by all manner of feminine things that confound and bewilder me, I made it through the onslaught.

Yet, upon leaving this twisted, mind-numbing house of horrors, I am treated to the killing blow: She’s not even sure if she’ll keep the outfit. We may have to go back.

David Pepose is a member of the Class of ‘08 at Brandeis University.


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