If you haven’t figured this out by now, it’s time that you face the facts – men and women view shopping differently.

How a Man Shops

When a man goes shopping for a new pair of shoes, he walks into a shoe store where he has previously purchased shoes or he goes to a store that is easy to get in and out of. He looks over the shoes on display, selects a style that he likes and checks to see if the store has a pair in his size. He may or may not try on the shoes. He takes the shoes to the counter, pays for them, and heads for home where he has important things to do like watch a game on TV or do a little woodworking. Approximately seven minutes will have lapsed from the time he entered the store until he exited it.

He will wear that pair of shoes for at least ten years and the older they get the better he will like them.

How a Woman Shops

A woman will enter a shoe store and look at every pair in the store, including styles that she would never consider wearing. She will find several pair that are “perfect” and she will try them on in her size and in the sizes larger and smaller than her size, just to be sure. Then, she will leave the store empty handed and will repeat the same routine in every shoe store in the mall and in a couple of stores across the street.

Four hours later, she will return to the first store and buy the first pair of shoes that she tried on. There is a strong possibility, after expending this amount of time and effort into finding just the right pair of shoes, she might never wear them even once. Why? It is one of life’s great unsolved mysteries.

A second possibility is that, after shopping for four hours, hitting fifteen shoe stores, and trying on three dozen pairs of shoes, she goes home with nothing because she “Couldn’t find a thing.”

Shopping Together

The reason that I feel compelled to explain this difference in shopping procedure to you is that when you were dating Abby, before she was your wife, you were probably so eager to hang around her that you would have walked through fire just to be with her. In your lovelorn daze, you would have done anything just to be with her and you probably did not even realize that you were on a shopping trip. And, she probably liked having you around.

Now that you’re married, it’s time for you to look at shopping more realistically – there is no way that you can go shopping with your wife. Four hours to buy a pair of shoes? Or to go home empty handed?

The good news is that Abby has undoubtedly figured out the same thing – having you tag along will put a serious crimp in her shopping style. Or, put another way, now that you’re married, trying to go shopping with each other will drive both of you stark raving mad.

So, here’s the deal. When you go to the mall together, you shop your way and let Abby shop her way. Take a newspaper or a book along to fill the three hours and fifty-three minutes of waiting time. Join the other burned out husbands sitting on the benches or couches scattered around the mall but do not engage them in conversation – they’re in no mood for small talk. You might set a place and time to meet your wife to go home from the mall, but this is a foolish and futile thing to do since her shopping is not governed by a time clock. You may have noticed that most women’s clothing and shoe stores are like casinos – there’s not a clock in sight. They don’t want to even give a hint that time matters or that it may be time to go home.

Simply put, your wife will not be ready to go home until she is “done shopping.”

So, just let her shop ‘til she drops and then help her carry the packages. Be happy! Finally, you are on your way home.


Excerpt is from Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel: How to be a husband your wife won’t throw out of the window in the middle of the night