Women Aren’t Men (2) by Kevin Shipp
April 10, 2007, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Humor

It was brought to my attention a few weeks ago by my pastor, Mike, and one of my closest lady friends, Suzanne, that I lack style and adequate grooming habits. My pastor Mike is awesome! I mean what pastor cares not just for your soul but for your physical appearance, too?

In addition to his input, he also gave me a gift card to go buy some clothes. (For those outside of CCK, I work for Mike and he gave gift cards to his interns as a way to bless us for all our “hard work”.) So, Suzanne and some other folks took me to an Outlet Mall to buy some new clothes. It got me thinking about the difference between what guys mean when they say “I am going shopping” and what ladies mean when they say “I am going shopping”.

For guys shopping looks like this:

1. A pair of pants that was given him (most likely by his mom) several years before, after being converted into shorts about 3 to 4 years after they were given, actually disintegrate and cease to exist, leaving the guy without proper, lower body coverage. It usually takes the better part of a year (maybe less if they disintegrate during the winter) of going without his own pants that a guy will actually go and get a new pair.

2. Normally, a guy will borrow/steal pants from a roommate as long as he can, that is, until his mooching begins damaging the friendship. In most cases, the guy’s mom or grandma or other family member will give him a new pair before he is forced to buy new ones.

3. But when the guy has lost all of his friends, his parents/family fail to come to the rescue, and he has gone a week or two without leaving his house because he has no covering for himself, then he puts on his ARMY sweat pants that he stole from his deployed friend who is serving in Afghanistan and goes to the outlet malls.

4. Guys know what they want before they go to the store. They predetermine before they even leave the house what store they are going to, what kind of pants they want, the size, the color, even the price they are willing to pay. They go in the store, find the pants, and buy the pants. That’s it. Some guys who live a more slow paced life may even try them on first, but this is usually only done to pad his pride thinking, “Yeah, I knew these would fit, I’m so good!” That’s it! Done.

Not so with ladies.

This is what it looks like for ladies to go shopping:

1. Gal A thinks to herself one day while she is choosing between 7 different pair of white khaki pants, “Hmmm, I wonder if Banana Republic is having a Sale? I’ve been wearing these same seven pair of pants for almost a year now…it would be nice to have a fresh pair.” Then, a 6 to 8 week process begins.

2. Gal A mentions these thoughts to Gal B, C, D, and E over the course of a week.

3. Gal A, while shopping for groceries, explores several fashion/pop culture magazines for ideas on what she would like to wear. (This means what started as a thought about a new pair of pants transitions into an all out wardrobe overhaul.)

4. Gal A, B, and E have a slumber party where they surf the internet looking at fashion websites, musicians’ clothing, and clothes from movies/actresses.

5. Gal A, B, C, D, E rummage through Gal A’s clothes to sift the “Wheat” from the “tares”. 20% to the Goodwill. 40% to Gal B, D, and E. 10% to Gal A’s sisters. (This step allows Gal A to justify buying a new wardrobe even though, initially, she was only considering a new pair of white khaki pants.) The last 20% of the remaining 30% will be on a type of clothing probation, probably only making it into the wearing rotation once a month, if that.

6. About 4 weeks after the initial thought, Gal A plans a weekend of shopping at three different outlet malls in the surrounding area. This includes calling Gal F and G that live 4 and 6 hours away to come join in the fun. Gals A, B, C, D, E, F, and G all take a Friday off from work, rent a cabin or reserve a hotel near the outlet malls for the weekend, and order dozens of catalogs for the stores they plan on exploring in order to get psyched about the trip.

7. Then the weekend comes. Gal B and E cancel, so this leaves Gal A, C, D, F, and G. They arrive at the outlet mall where they proceed to go into EVERY STORE, even the knife and trinket store. (Usually they go into shops like this thinking, “In order to keep this trip from being totally about me, I will pretend like I am considering buying my dad/husband/brother/boy-friend a gift in this store” No purchase like this is ever made.)

8. At each store, every rack is thoroughly examined. Each possible article is pulled off the rack, held up with other items to see how they look together. No purchases are made though until every store has been thoroughly picked over, all prices have been compared, and each gal has given her input for each item considered.

9. That night, 3 hours are set aside to discuss in detail every article/idea that the ladies considered that day. They stay up until 3AM telling stories, watching romantic comedies, eating unbaked cookie dough, ice cream, and drinking fruity teas.

10. The next morning, despite being up so late, all the ladies are up at 6AM and dressed and ready to go by 8AM for a whole other day of shopping. The process of the previous day is repeated, except this time, only the articles that were deemed worthy are looked at again. Then Gal A tries on EVERYTHING in multiple sizes and colors. (Of course, while Gal A is trying things on, Gal C, D, F and G try things on too. Usually Gals C, D, F, and G end up buying almost double what Gal A buys even though Gal A was the one that initiated the whole excursion in the first place.)

11. Finally, Gal A buys the articles that “work”. (Which involves juggling/passing tons of coupons.)

12. All the ladies eat a late dinner where they go over every deal they found with exclamations like, “I can’t believe I found that pair of capris IN MY SIZE for thirty bucks!” (This is also the point where two things creep in. One: Buyers Remorse. Certain articles that seemed kinda iffy but were good deals start to bother Gal C, and G. Two: Expense Justification. Gal A and F convince Gal D that her expensive (probably unwise) purchases were worth it. After all, it’s hard to find her size and that cut of pants this time of year, etc.

13. The ladies repeat the previous night, except this time they stay up until 4AM.

14. One last visit is made to the outlets on the way home to return the items that Gal C and G regretted buying. Gal G buys a frappaccino, Gal A buys a gift card for her brother to go buy some new pants because his disintegrated a few weeks before.

15. After returning home, Gal A makes a scrapbook of the weekend for herself and each of her friends and uploads her pictures online for all to enjoy during their breaks at work.

16. Gal A and G have ongoing buyer’s remorse and end up spending two or three nights laying awake in bed thinking through their purchases.

17. Gal A takes the article (which ironically was a pair of white khaki pants) to a second hand store to get some of her money back.

Now, I know that these two scenarios are at either extreme of the shopping spectrum. Some guys, like Austin Clow and Clay Allen, probably fall closer to Gal A’s shopping habits, where some girls, like Suzanne Holbrook or Anna Priestley fall closer to a guy’s shopping habits.

So, men, let’s hear it. Do you like shopping? Is it acceptable for a man to get really into clothes shopping? What rules should govern men’s shopping? Do you ever suffer from buyer’s remorse or engage in expense justification?



13 Comments so far
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Point #2 for the guys describes my strategy quite accurately. Being that I have a mother and a sister, if they see me with pants/socks/shirts with holes in them, they tell me to go and buy some new ones. I think, “I probably should do that,” but forget like 10 mintues later. Two months pass by and they see me again in the same ragged article of clothing. They tell me to buy new clothes again, and the process repeats. This will continue until either my birthday or Christman rolls arond where the item in question will be given to me on the stipulation that I throw away the one with the holes in it. I forget about the stipulation and my mom and sister are a bit frustrated when a couple of months later they see me in the same article of clothing with all of the holes.

(This process is currently underway with undershirts, socks, blue jeans and boxer shorts.)

To my shame, starting a job where I actually have to look nice has resulted in two different occasions in the past year where I actually went out and bought clothes. My parents, noticing the desperate nature of my action, have since showered gifts of workish clothing on me so that my closest has gone from empty to girly regarding the amount of clothes contained therein.

Comment by psteele

Kevin….[insert angry girl music here, followed by teary “when harry met sally” theme]…are you calling me…a…sniff sniff…MAN?!?!

tee hee.

Comment by Anna

Your story contains 4 points for men and 17 for women:

2 + 2 = 4 (Men = simple)

17 is the only known prime which is equal to the sum of digits of its cube and the Pythagoreans were horrified by the number 17. (Women = complex and scary)

Coincidence? I think not!

Comment by Squatty

Kevin, thanks again for explaining the mysteries of life…especially reiterating the fact that women indeed are not men. Thanks also for faithfully posting your “humor” column — it’s a highlight to my Tuesdays.

Comment by Jillian

Kevin, my shopping habits are a little more complex than the four-point summary you gave for men But that’s mostly because of my body size. “Extra Puny” isn’t a recognized measurement.

Comment by Cap Stewart

The gal’s excursion sounds like an absolute ball!!! Except for I think I’d do it for only one night because I do get a little weary and footstore at malls all day.

Did you know some ladies take an entire day all over town hitting all the best spots and not-so-best-stops–some as many as three times in one afternoon–with the “urgent need” of spring clothes and come home with nothing but a pair of gotta-have-those-cute-froggy-socks to add to their wardrobe and think they did good?

Comment by BrittLeigh

Cap, I’m not so sure that that is the only reason. You tend to be a bit more stylish than most of the rest of us…

Comment by psteele

Paul, if by more “stylish” you mean more “feminine,” then yes, Cap is certainly more stylish.

Comment by Jonathan Oldacre

Hardy har har. Jonathan, don’t you have things to go do in the “real world”?

Comment by Cap Stewart

actually Jonathan, that was exactly what I meant.

Comment by psteele

OK, since you did call it “humor” and you clarified that there are men and women that tend toward each extreme, I won’t be too hard on you, but honestly, this is such a sweeping generalization.

I know plenty of men with a better sense of style and more fastidious grooming habits (defined by how long it takes to get out the door in the morning) than I have.

I hate to shop – it’s a duty I perform once or twice a year – does that make me less of a woman? When I do shop, I hunt much more than gather and I almost NEVER discuss my shopping habits or purchases with other people as I consider doing so to be a poor substitute for meaningful fellowship (which is wrapped up in ideas).

On the other hand, I do think less of a guy or gal who is so poorly groomed and dressed that s/he could pass for John the Baptist. Just take care of the necessities at minimum expense and don’t waste too much breath on the topic, already. 🙂

Comment by em

My husband doesn’t enjoy the actual shopping, but he does enjoy new and stylish clothing.

I don’t think that the girl’s steps are applicable after the age of 16. Though, it does sound like fun!

Comment by Chelsea Bass

[…] to the numbers: 1)Women Aren’t Men 2)Women Aren’t Men (2) 3)Cereal, Glorious Cereal 4)How Can I Prepare Myself? 5)Who Shouldn’t I […]

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