When we asked our Facebook friends what to talk about this week, we got unanimous approval to talk about the shared agony of men going shopping with their wives.
It’s been stereotyped to death, but there are fewer things in life truer than this: ladies, your man would rather be in a dentist’s chair than at the mall with you.
Why is this? A lot of theories fly around (and we’d really love to hear some of yours, along with your painful shopping stories).
Psychology Today has a wonderful article giving an evolutionary explanation. You see, in eons past, during the hunter/gatherer days for our species, men hunted for wild game and the women foraged for fruit, nuts, etc.
Men are wired to decide what they want, go look specifically for that thing, hunt down that single thing, and return home victorious. On the other hand, women were programmed to go looking for lots of the same thing. They had the time and patience to be choosy on which ones they took (whereas a passing antelope might be the only one that day).
That makes perfect sense to us.
If a man feels cold, he goes to the store, really any store will do, to buy a coat. He finds a coat on the rack and tries it on. If it fits, he proceeds to the checkout, pays for the coat, and leaves the store. The hunt is completed; he has his coat. Now to hurry home before the game starts.
A woman will start foraging for a winter coat as soon as they’re out on racks… in July. Then they need to try on every style, look at every color, and find the best price in eleven different stores.
So it’s just our biology. Women love to forage. Men love to hunt one thing, kill one thing, and go home. (There’s probably a game on, anyway.)
Fast forward to the modern era, and we see this truth played out in hilariously predictable scenes at every store in the country. Bored, frustrated men drag painfully behind their attentively-price-comparing wives. Fitting rooms in ladies’ departments always have husband chairs. Or, husbands get dropped off at the row of couches and benches in the main part of the mall, to be forgotten for hours on end.
We’ve had our own man-mall moments, too, but usually, Jeremy tries to put a fun spin on them. Behold, a real Facebook post from 2014, as he sat waiting for Kari outside a fitting room (with a massive storewide sale going on):
And here is yet another from 2018, when he reminded the entire world that he was hungry and she wouldn’t stop trying on bras so they could go eat.
As funny (Kari would call them “pathetic”) as these posts were at the time, there are hundreds of other photos of men online, begging for death at malls the world over (see this hilarious Instagram account dedicated to the plight of the Mall Male), the almost universal response from the ladies to these photos is, “then why the hell do you go with us?”
After giving it a whole afternoon (there wasn’t a game on), Jeremy can’t answer this question. We wonder how many men who do go with their wives might have a reason.
“I honestly don’t know. I think it’s because we don’t see all that much of each other all week, so when the weekend finally shows up, Kari usually has a long to-do list that includes shopping. To spend time with my wife, I tag along. And then I hate every minute of it, and I make her miserable in the process.” – Jeremy
As our bevy of photographic evidence will show you, Jeremy is definitely not alone in repeating this traumatic cycle.
So what’s the solution?
Ha! You think we, your humble bloggers, are going to solve this one for you?
Not a chance. There is no known cure for this relational disease.
The obvious answer (that no men seem to follow anyway) is, men, if you don’t like to shop, don’t go with her. Kari assures you that every wife reading this will gladly give you permission to stay home.
So guys, let’s commit to let our wives shop in peace in 2019, while we nap someplace cozier than the sticky local mall “pleather” couch.
Besides, there’s probably a game on.