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Shopping With Your Husband Is A Mixed Bag

The best way I can describe my husband is that he’s like an old hippie. Not that he is really old and he was never a true hippie as we’d imagine one to be. He was, after all, a very good student his whole life, was an excellent running back in high school and was actually accepted into a pre-med program in college, although he never became a doctor.

So, he doesn’t really qualify as a hippie, but he’s just older enough than I am to have picked up some hippie qualities in his steadfast travels through the 1960s. For example, he’s an excellent guitar player. He’s extremely laid back. And he once traveled across the country in a rigged up school bus with friends just to see the country.

He also likes Eric Clapton and a band called Little Feat.

So, he’s not really interested in the world people like our children occupy. He doesn’t care about shopping, clothes, culture, gossip, social media and the latest music, which he insists is not even music. His life is mostly about work, family, football, and most recently, making his own beer. Oh, and he likes our dog. And nature. And me.

For some reason he likes me enough, although I do care about shopping, culture, social media, talking on the phone and politics. Opposites attract, I suppose, because we fill in gaps in our partner’s personality. He is steady Eddie; I’m all over the place.

What all this means is that if I didn’t buy him clothes he wouldn’t have any. And it means that he gets “dragged around” an awful lot to places he doesn’t really want to go, but he tries to be a good sport.

So, it surprised me the other day when he offered to take me shopping for Valentine’s Day. Normally, I’d rather get hit by a milk truck than take him shopping. He kind of stands at the door of stores and broods while I look around. Even when I’m in the dressing room, I can feel his signals across the store: “Get me out of here.”

But not the other day.

We went shopping for a Valentine’s gift and he was an active participant. He held up dresses for me to consider, picked up a sweater or two and said, “This looks like you.”

Who are you and what did you do with my husband?

I think the change in his attitude came from talking to guys in the office, several of whom I know to be active shopping participants with their wives. One wife is the definition of a shopaholic, and if her husband didn’t join her, he’d never see her. Never does a day go by where she doesn’t come home with an armful of shopping bags. Last week, they went out together and picked up a scooter that doesn’t go anywhere. It’s just a decoration for the backyard. The husband picked it out.

“It was on sale,” he said, as I stood looking in their backyard at a scooter without an actual engine.

“But what do they do with it?” I asked my husband on the way home.

“It’s like a prop on a movie set,” he said. “They want to look like people who have a red scooter in their backyard. It’s a lifestyle thing.”

“Then why don’t they just buy a real scooter, and actually be people with a scooter?” I wondered out loud.

Anyway, that’s the kind of shopper this guy is and I say, he’s every woman’s dream. He’ll buy things you like even if they’re not useful. He once bought his wife two live llamas but that’s another story in itself.

I’ve started noticing men accompanying women on errands that are traditionally reserved for girls only. I got my nails done last week, and two women walked in at different times with their husbands in tow. The guys sat in the chairs next to their wives and watched them get their nails done as they chatted.

Welcome to 2020.

But it’s not all rosy out there. Some things are just never going to change. Men are just never going to be as interested in parading around the mall as their female counterparts. And to prove my point, I encourage you to visit a website called sadanduseless.com, which shows a compilation of pictures of men sitting around waiting for their wives or girlfriends to shop.

One picture shows a guy who went and collected pillows around the store, stacked them up, and basically built himself a nest on the floor while he waited for his wife to emerge from a forest of clothes.

Most of the pictures showed men asleep on store furniture, on the steps of a store’s front door, or sitting on leather poufs near dressing rooms. Almost all were holding their significant other’s purses and shopping bags and the thing they had in common was that they were all pretty miserable.

But as I’ve just demonstrated, times are changing. If my husband can stand in a store and pick through a rack of dresses, well, then, nothing is impossible at all.

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