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KOZELSKY: Lessons learned by taking a guy shopping

KOZELSKY: Lessons learned by taking a guy shopping

If you would like to try your patience combined with cultivate your creativity and fine-tune your compassion plus efficiency, take a man shopping.

I don’t mean just any man. I mean take that classic homebody who defines the very stereotype of a man who hates shopping.

I had a round of that last week and bless his heart, it really was like it’s depicted in the comic strips. We satisfied every gender stereotype of shopping there is.

The only mistake I made (and it was a biggie) was to run my one and only errand before going to his several stores.

All I had to do was to pick up an organizer. It was going to be super quick, because I knew exactly what kind of organizer I wanted.

The problem was, apparently what I wanted didn’t exist. I took every organizer off the shelves, opened and closed each, and imagined how everything would fit in its compartments.

He suggested that I should just get one online. No! It would be nearly impossible to imagine my stuff stored away just by looking at pictures.

Since the first round of assessments showed that nothing was perfect, it was time for a second round to reconsider and see if one would work.

His eyes started to glaze over, and I knew I had blown it. It was time to get the show on the road.

Off to the next store.

I never had really paid attention to men’s clothes, so it kind of surprised me when I noticed something that probably always has been in effect: The men’s shopping area is a mere fraction of the size of the women’s area.

Whereas the women’s section had a large sign naming each clothing and accessory group, I had to look hard all over the store to find just one sign that read “Men.”

I started to head off to that tiny men’s section to the right, but my fellow was convinced it was off to the left. I felt like he was wrong, but figured it would be better to kick the session off by agreeing with him, rather than being contradictory. I followed him as we circled the store, ending at that tiny men’s section at the right I had spotted upon entry.

It went much better than I thought: He stood there and fiddled with his phone while I looked through all the selections, picking out what I thought would look good on him.

I was pleasantly surprised when he agreed with each of my choices (even though, for a few of them, dubious eyebrow-raises on his part had to be answered in upbeat justifications on my part).

I never had imagined it would be this easy, when I had my arms full of men’s clothes and announced cheerfully, “OK. Now all that’s left is to try them on.”

“I don’t try on clothes in stores,” he said. “Let’s just go.”

“Oh, you have to,” I replied, chipper and cheerful and heading toward the dressing rooms.

“I’ve already told you,” he said, and my mind flittered back to some grumbling along those lines a long time ago. “I don’t use dressing rooms. They’re nasty.”

I realized that he meant business, and that I had gotten away with all I was going to get away with.

So my quick victory wasn’t as complete as I had thought it would be: We’d buy these clothes, and probably would have to return half of them eventually, but it was still something.

As the afternoon went on, we became so efficient that he just read his book in the car while I took his list to different stores, to text him if I found anything requiring him to show up with his wallet.

I couldn’t believe he actually took me out to a fancy dinner after all that.

It didn’t seem he would want to reward me for hauling him around like that – but maybe he was rewarding himself for having gotten it over with.