Dear Ladies: We hate being dragged to shopping

Recently I was a victim of being dragged to shopping by ‘headquarters’, even worse to help her buy items for a friend’s baby shower — a ridiculous concept if you ask me. Between baby showers and bridal showers, I have come to believe jumping from the top of a mountain cliff makes perfect sense. But I digress.

Ladies, I am here to deliver a message on behalf of men. Yes, I have appointed myself a speaker of men, and brothers I trust that you will not take issue with this decision. Let us be honest, someone has to address such matters. The message is simple, succinct and clear: we hate being dragged to shopping. We like shopping but we hate being dragged to shopping. What is the difference, you ask. Bomma, grab a glass of wine, beer, whisky or something stiff and let me enlighten you. When we as men, the gentle brothers whose voices, thoughts and opinions I am communicating decide to dash off to a shopping mall, we know exactly where we are going, what we are going to buy and how many of those items we are acquiring and so on and so forth and that is it. And this is a very quick process. An hour is sufficient, and at times this mostly includes the trip to the shopping center, buying what we need and coming back. That is the shopping we like: brief and precise. You will note that when we dart out for this shopping, we don’t forcefully drag anyone with us. We are happy to go at it alone.

Now dear reader, I am in no way lampooning the ladies for the innumerable hours they spend shopping. I have come to understand that those hours spent in shopping malls represent more than shopping. As I have come to learn they are a form of relaxation, a moment to release pressure and an escape from the buzz of everyday life. I know very well that to this day women still cannot fathom what drives men to spent countless hours in shebeens, sports bars, taverns, shisanyamas and pubs swimming in raving rivers of alcohol while their spouses wait at home. ‘What is it that you guys do in there’, the women often ask. I also understand that when we sit down to watch soccer on television or play computer games — hobbies that are so dear to our hearts — the women in our lives find it ridiculous, stupid if not infantile.

Thus I, on behalf of the gentle brothers whose message I am transmitting, cannot judge the ladies for finding pleasure in the therapy of shopping. Admittedly the acts we get up to sometimes can be justifiably deemed as childish but the point is that we enjoy them. Don’t judge us. Anyhow, ladies what I am asking for, on behalf of the gentlemen, or more like pleading, is not to be threatened into going shopping with you. The hours are just unbearable.

However, there is a condition that we might convince us to be open to this form of abuse. To those of us, who like that American writer Ernest Hemingway enjoy those beverages that threaten mental faculties when consumed recklessly, if there is a sports bar in the vicinity we are happy to accompany you to your weekend shopping ladies. Bomma, open the bar tab and enjoy shopping. In fact, take however long you wish to take, you shall find us where you left us; at the bar, safe and relishing a pint or two while taking in the beautiful game one moment at a time.

So ladies, while I prefaced this piece by saying that men hate being dragged to shopping — which we do — what I am saying is that it is okay to drag your man shopping so long as you make it worth his while. As for those men who, unlike me do not have an appetite for ale or any sort of alcoholic beverage, I am sure you they will appreciate a glass of milkshake, a smoothie or any of those sweet beverages designed for the palate of a kid. But never just drag us shopping for hours with nothing to dangle before us. Note that I used the word ‘like’ to describe our relationship with shopping and not ‘love’. The choice of the word was deliberate to emphasise that our toleration for shopping has limits. A minute more than we can take we automatically become miserable. It feels like we are being tortured and slowly being led to our death. Sitting at a bar nearby helps us cope with this abuse.

It is my utmost belief that the message has been delivered and clearly understood. Bomma, the next time you go shopping and there isn’t a sports bar nearby, please leave that poor bastard of yours at home and let him be. For the sake of peace please plan ahead. If you don’t believe me that endless hours of shopping are a torture to us, the next time you are in a shopping center look around and see how many men look like they are ready to shout, ‘Jesus, please take me now.’ The ones that are smiling and happy are pretending. Lahla lonto. Pula!

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