By Jason Tudor
Black Friday is little more than a notation in the margins of an accountant's ledger now. However, the consumer zombie walk that is the holiday shopping season is underway! That said, many men are not predisposed to this euphoria of wedging into a packed mall in Bayonne and fighting tooth-and-nail for the final ShamWow. Many men believe that December is when NASCAR dies, pro football comes to a head and Santa drops 72-inch LCD televisions down their chimneys.
Many of us just aren't wired to shop. We're wired for laughing at monkeys, nodding our heads in agreement about the Turf-and-Turf, and a whole lot of other things that don't come close to stepping foot in the Yankee Candle Store at the Paramus Park Mall. That said, I'm happy to provide a bit of insight to that wiring and what can be expected over the next 24 days or so about male shopping and co-shopping habits. Even better, it's in list form! I would recommend making this bad boy credit-card sized and stuffing it into your wallets. It could save a marriage. On we go:
1. Men do like to shop. That's why God invented Bass Pro Shops.
2. Men don't like to "shop." That is, if we're the third wheel on some "me and some new FMPs scavenger hunt," that will wear us down quickly. The whole notion of joining a hoard speeding from sale to sale on Black Friday is about as appealing as a canker sore. On the other hand, if it turns out to be a barbarian hoard with looting, plundering and generalized mayhem along the way, we're in.
3. We don't like to shop for clothes. We just go buy them. Really. Clothes are utilitarian. When we walk into a store, we think, "Shirt. Pant. Shoe. Sock." Colors and seasons are best left to foliage experts. In fact, if our clothes are washed well enough, we'll believe those are new. And if you don't believe this, think of how many times a guy has picked up a shirt or pair of underwear off the floor, buried his nose in them, turned to you and said, "Yeah, I think these are still good."
4. We like parking. This is hunter-gatherer material at its finest. There is also a level of hubris generated by the proposition of cramming a Dodge Ram 1500 into the space the size of a Smart Car. There's another joke here about the euphemism that same hubris creates, but I'll refrain.
5. We will form fraternities of the moment.We know each other, my brother. We're standing in Victoria Secret with our hands in our pockets looking for anything that might be vaguely smeared with testosterone. We see each other from across the store. We nod. Though we're trapped in the girly underwear armageddon, you and I are staring at each other silently saying, "Let's smear each other with deer urine and get the hell out of here." Or something like that.
6. We want to do the thing that gets us back to the remote control fastest. We realize when we go shopping, many times, our roles include chauffeur, skycap, and unshaven sycophant. If that social lubricant gets us home before the kickoff of Roll Tide and the return of our left hands down the front of our pants, the more the better.
While this wiring schematic doesn't cover all guys (insert trite 99-percent joke here) and is incomplete, it gives insight to those men who will stand in the the Mall of America, the North Star Mall and elsewhere with those Thousand-Yard Stares on their faces. Good luck and happy shopping.
Jason Tudor is something of a multimedia alchemist who likes buying gadgets and shopping online, mostly because he has to. He's a three-time Department of Defense first-place winner for feature writing and has three published books of poetry. His illustration work appears on websites like the Zombie Dating Guide, and has commissioned work in anthologies "The Undead That Saved Christmas," volumes 1 and 2. Jason is currently working on three novels, including two science fiction books. As such, he the host and producer of "The Science Fiction Show," a weekly podcast on the topic available on iTunes. His website is www.jasontudor.com.