Going Shopping

By Mike Ryan

Oh boy, am I lucky or what? The wife just informed me that we have to go shopping today.

 “Not just shopping,” she says, “but shopping together.”

 Both of us, shopping together with the kid, Oh joy. The last time we went shopping together, we didn’t speak for days afterwards. I mean the kid and me, not the wife. The kid got offended when we were in the pet store and I saw their advertisements for obedience school. I innocently asked the clerk if they accepted teenagers. I got smacked for that one, and you can imagine the consequences when I saw the ad for their grooming services. You may be wondering why I call them the wife and the kid. That’s because the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Not them; but me.

            I grudgingly accepted my fate, as we are soon to depart on another family vacation to Florida; boy will there be some tales to tell after that (news at ten, film at eleven). The wife says we need new vacation clothes and she’s buying. Well that certainly helps, though I have never understood why the clothes I’m wearing today won’t work in another state tomorrow, but like I said, she’s buying, so off we go.

             The kid says she needs a new bathing suit, or rather, a new swimming suit. Now let me get this straight. We go down to Florida once or twice a year, and every time we have gone, she needed a new swimming suit. I bought my swimming suit, I believe in 1980. You know what? It still works just fine. The wife says I should lighten up because the kid is still growing. Well so am I. She says the kid is not just growing up but she is also growing out. Well so am I.

             The wife says she will buy me a new outfit for our vacation. EXCUSE ME! I am a man and men do not wear outfits. We wear shirts and pants, not outfits.

 I can just hear myself asking my buddy down there, “ How do you like my new outfit? Oh and do you think these pants make my butt look big?”

     I imagine this would be our last visit to his place.

“ Do you need any new undies?” the wife asks, as heads turn towards me from all corners of the store.




“No, but I could use some underwear, thank you,” I reply in as deep and manly a voice as I can muster.

By the way, why is it called a pair of pants, and a pair of underwear, when I only wear one at a time?

“Why don’t you try on these slacks with this top and let me have a look?” She asks, though it’s not really a question.

 Well first of all, I call them pants, not slacks. Second, it’s a shirt, not a top and I don’t see why I have to let her have a look. It’s probably because I am color blind and what I call fashion challenged, though I think her words are more to the effect of,              “ Tacky, with my only taste being in my mouth.”

 I dutifully change in the little cubicle with white walls, and what I am sure is a hidden camera for some future reality show. Why don’t these little rooms have mirrors in them? Someone’s wife probably designed them, so the husbands have to come out, and face the humiliation our mothers used to bestow on us.

“Well the outfit looks good but those shoes don’t work, we’ll have to get you some new ones,” she expertly declares.

“It’s not an outfit, it’s a pair of pants and a shirt, dammit, and these are my best tennies,” I defiantly react. “They’re white and white goes with anything, especially when you’re color blind.” To me an entire shoe collection consists of my new tennis shoes and my old tennis shoes. One pair is for stepping out and the other is for cutting the grass. Problem solved, discussion over. Now that’s telling her.

So now, after she has picked out the new shoes I didn’t need, for my new outfit I didn’t need, it’s time to start shopping for the kid. Luckily this is a big mall that has a lounge with the alcoholic drinks that I do need. I’ve got a little shopping of my own to do

© Mike Ryan 2003

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