By Chris Wilson We, the consumers, are berated with every known means of coercion to spend, spend, spend and buy, buy, buy. We even convince ourselves that we are just doing our part to stimulate the economy and help out the retailers. The problem, however, is that in overspending we create too much debt. Now the banks have traditionally enjoyed our pain in this this area because the more debt, we have the more money they make. Now that we don’t seem to be able to pay it all back and the banks are no longer happy with our out of control spending habits. We can swear off overspending all together, but my guess is that for most people that will be as effective as a New Year’s Resolution. I have come to save the day. I have some simple rules that will curb the tide and end this evil cycle of impulse buying.
Welcome to Guy Shopping 101!
All of the world’s economic problems can be laid square at the feet, or dare I say heels, of women. That is correct, ladies, you are the reason for the national debt. You are the reason for the bank failures. You are the reason the Big Three are going under. You, my lovely female friends, are the root of all economic evil. How are you responsible for all these things? You simply don’t know how to shop. You have perverted shopping into an “experience”. You have turned shopping into a “competitive sport”. You have corrupted the word “shopping” and gave it a meaning as if it were an event. This is not what shopping is, ladies. We can cure all the economic ills of the world if you will just learn to shop correctly. You must learn the fine art of guy shopping. Here are the rules::
1. Shop with a purpose and only with a purpose. When you shop, you should behave as though you are on a mission. Seek out the fulfillment of your mission and when it is accomplished. you are done. Simply head to the checkout, pay, and leave. Mission accomplished. Example: You are cold so you go into a store to buy a coat. You exit the store and you are not cold anymore. Mission accomplished. You do NOT go look at purses that match your new coat. The purse doesn’t apply to the problem; it will not make you not cold. You do not need to go look at shoes that match either. Same reason. You do not need to look at the sale rack because you think to yourself, “Heck, I’m already here I might as well see what’s on sale!”
2. Eliminate any and all opportunities to be tempted into a purchase. In order to do this, you must be savvy and controlled. Only shop at stores you know your way around and take the most direct route to your destination. The stores know this is difficult, which is why they put all those tempting sale items on end caps. Do not stop and look at them. You need to have disciplined tunnel vision and see nothing until you reach your item.
3. Never ever do the “stand-and-stare”. The stand-and-stare is what happens when you reach your intended destination and you stand in front of your choices trying to decide which one to purchase. If you do the stand-and-stare for more than ten seconds you need assistance from a buddy to drag you to safety because you have just become a victim. Your mind will begin to race and you will be overwhelmed with anxiety as you try to choose. You will end up thinking about accessory options and buyer’s remorse thinking, “What if I make the wrong choice or what if I see it cheaper tomorrow or a nicer one somewhere else?” Ugh, lady, you’re buying a pair of socks not a Lincoln Continental. Buy the dang gum socks and move out of the aisle.
4. A truly successful guy shopping experience is one of those rare occurrences when you complete your mission with only one stop in continual motion. When we can walk into a store, grab a cart that some stand-and-stare person momentarily abandoned (it’s okay; they stand there so long they forget they even had a cart) and proceed to two or three places inside the store. We pick up our item off the shelf as we walk by and toss it into the cart whilst it is still moving. We then carefully plot our way back to the check-out while avoiding the stand-and-stares. the ” let’s-discuss-it-with-Aunt-Betty’s” and the “middle-of-the-aisle-is-a-good-place-to-phone-home”‘ people. Once arriving at the check-out, we will dutifully pick the lane with the cutest female cashier…er, maybe the shortest line. Yeah, that’s it–the shortest line. When we walk up, man card in hand, we will stop for the first time since arriving. Mission success.
5. If a guy walks into a store and needs help, we will seek help immediately. We will not wonder aimlessly hoping to find something useful or something on sale, we will seek professional assistance post haste. I don’t care if I am buying a gun or a bra, a power tool or a Christmas dress for daughter. If I need help, I get it; guys just shop that way. Example: I walked into Lane Bryant to purchase a requested sweater for my lovely wife. I successfully attracted the attention of not one, not two, but three employees as I approached. I managed to work with two out of the three and called home on my Blue Tooth, relaying information back and forth until I purchased the perfect little treasure in under 10 minutes. Bottom line, ladies, use the employees; that’s what they are there for. They would rather chat and joke with you than count boxes and straighten bags.
All right, ladies, repeat after me. If I don’t look at it, I cant buy it.
Say it with me now.
If I don’t look at it I cant buy it.
Just because its on sale doesn’t mean I need it. I know it’s tough, but just say it with me.
Just because I can get a discount if I buy two doesn’t mean I saved money unless I really need two, and I never really need two unless it comes in a pair, like socks.
That’s it for this edition of saving the world through proper shopping. Give it try. You will be surprised how much more time you have for laundry when you don’t spend it shopping. And by the way, shopping isn’t exercise, ironing is exercise.
Speaking of laundry, the buzzer just went off and I need to get my wife”s sweater out of the washer before it wrinkles.
Chris Wilson in the neighborhood of 40 years-old and has an extremely boring life. He hasn’t really had the chance to do much of anything exciting unless, of course, you count the the 15 days he spent in China while adopting his beautiful Chinese Princess. He also got married to a very beautiful and patient woman on Valentine’s Day in 1992. Maybe his life isn’t so boring after all. You can visit him online at Normal Chaos.