There was a time I couldn’t understand why some women defined “shopping” as “recreation “. Walking through stores, pondering the choices and possibilities, maybe actually buying something – it all lacks functionality.
Men look at shopping as functional. It’s a chore, like laundry and the dishes. You do it because it’s necessary, not because it’s fun. Their idea of passing time has nothing to do with doorbuster sales, markdowns, or any kind of shoes. Men would much rather construct/deconstruct something. The ends result must have practical value. It must have a purpose. Women. of course, will disagree. For them, shopping does have a purpose. It’s the thrill of the bargain – finding that deep discount or markdown. The practicality lies in the new outfit, accessory or pair of shoes that become part of their fashion arsenal.
If you ever witness the man-woman shopping ritual, you’ll observe the bored, exasperated, and somewhat agitated look on the man’s face. He gets stuck holding the bag – literally. The handbag, the bag of booty from other stores – he gets to hold it all. That’s not much fun. Neither is the critical feedback the woman wants. If you have to honestly answer, “Honey, does this make me look fat?”, the relationship wouldn’t last long afterwards.
Last week, I was blessed with discretionary income. Money that wasn’t earmarked for bills, rent, groceries or gas – spending money, walking around money, money I could spend on anything I wanted. These are rare times, times that usually coincide with a birthday or Christmas, when you can engage in frivolous consumerism. You scan the brain for those objects of your desire – books, music, good pad Thai, a movie, but somehow you can’t conjure up anything.
The first place I usually go is my favorite music store. This visit was preempted by a local police office; lone justice on a Friday afternoon. You’d think there were more pressing legal matters on hand other than failure to stop at an intersection (No Right On Red). Once inside, I was immediately overcome with a lack of purpose. Why was I there? Nothing seemed appealing or remotely interesting. I then began to browse, aimlessly wandering up and down the aisles. Nothing I picked up had immediate interest to me. The anticipation of hearing new music for the first time was abscent.
This hasn’t been the only time this has happened to me. I will go into a store, thinking there is something I need or want, only to find myself wandering and not making a purchase. It’s as if I am looking for something, anything that holds meaning but finding nothing that satisfies my needs. What am I really shopping for? I am looking for something to fill a void in my soul. I’m looking for fulfillment that doesn’t come from material goods.
I have consciously avoided dating. My rationale being that I have nothing to offer a woman – at least what a woman wants. I recognize this is self-imposed, this character asessment, audit of potential financial feasibility – whatever you want to call it. I don’t have what it takes to make it work. Go ahead, pull out your hair and scream at the screen – I am an idiot for believing this to be true or real. It’s not that I believe it. I understand that there are certain requirements to dating/relationships. One of those requirements is to have enough financial stability to sustain the relationship. Women want to go places and do things. They want to whisked off for a weekend getaway. Sorry, I can’t help you there.
Prove me wrong. I know that one person tells me that’s not what all women want. I need to hear from more than one person.