FLORIDAYS: Fun in the Sun With Grumpy

The Science of Power Shopping Explained

Greg Laden (http//scienceblogs.com) had this to say about, what he believes is a common myth concerning the difference between men and women shoppers.

MYTH: There is not a good argument to be found in the realm of behavioral biology for why American Women shop while their husbands sit on the bench in the mall outside the women’s fashion store fantasizing about a larger TV on which to watch the game

Well, Greg, I beg to diifer, and here’s why.

As a male, I claim no real knowledge when it comes to the mind of a woman, especially when in reference to the hunter/gatherer impulse involved in power shopping. However, there is one strategy I frequently observe, which might be called “diversional buying”. What I mean by this is the propensity of female SHOPPERS to bring something nice back for their not so significant other, their “Hubbards”.

Indeed, when our wives shop, they most often scurry up to Willy Boy and me, all excited and bubbly, ready to show their soul mates what they have purchased for US – not them.

In Florida, after a great Monday run on the Beall’s Outlets, I scored two great T-shirts and a cool bathing suit. One of the shirts declared BUCKET LIST and showed a bucket of beer in ice, while the other was a really wild Bob Marley graphic. Was I excited? Well I guess!

Willy Boy did as just well, in fact, I wish I had one of the shirts he got because it was from the Caribbean Soul line, most often associated with Jimmy Buffett.

After all of the hoop-la involved in the presentation, the girls believe we will forget the scores of packages that were secreted through another door. It’s like clapping your hands to make a dog forget.

“Clap, clap!”

GRUMPY: “I can’t remember what I was thinking, Willy Boy? And, what were we doing when the girl’s walked in?”

WILLY BOY: “Drinking massive amounts of beer, duh!”

GRUMPY: “Oh, ya!”

So, it doesn’t matter, because after massive amounts of beer, the boys don’t give a rat’s ass anyway.

The Monday raid on Beall’s is the kick off for a week of shopping for our girls (mother’s, daughters, aunts and grandmothers). It’s Senior Discount day and the mother-in-law has a punched card to give an even bigger price cut. Usually they’re looking at about a 45% cut in price. The herd is made up of 12 women (driving two vehicles) with pupils dilated as wide as strung out crack addicts. They invade about five Beall’s Outlets in the Winterhaven/Lake Wales area in an early morning pre-emptive strike.

Folks, this is nothing more than a marathon race for the big “DEAL!” With lists in hand, our ladies dismount their vehicles not unlike commandos in the jungle. This is a “search and purchase” mission that includes tactical strikes in every aisle and on very shelf within 100 meters of the checkout counter.

The SHOPPERS pool their purchases to get the big discount. The first checkout had a price tag of $1530, for which they paid $841, while the second stop rang up $721 for a $396 bill.

Inevitably the girls will pull these lines on the boys.

“We got some great deals!” “This is a quarter of what we pay in Canada!”

“We’d never pay full price for these things!” “Oh, my God, we did so well!”

“I got five things for what I’d pay for one in Canada!”

To which Willy Boy and I are thinking: “That’s a lot of bovine excrement!”

If we had big enough onions we’d be throwing out the line, “But do you need any of this stuff.” You see we are privy to the inventory of their closets and drawers at home. We see their spoils of victory.

I’m not kidding when I say, that when we hold a yard sale it’s like we have enough female clothing to fill several Target, Payless Shoes and Super Wal-Mart stores.

Sometime we’d like to say, “What would you girls do if we spent that much on beer?” However, we are rather fond of our cojones and would sooner have them hanging in place than nailed to the wall.

We both know that all of this stuff has to be packed and lugged home in the cramped Space Shuttle. On the morning of departure, Willy Boy might just blow out an artery or three.

“Where are we going to put all this crap?”

Oh well, a happy wife makes for a happy life. Right!

Guidelines for Shopping Widowers

OK, you get that it is the prime purpose of this Florida visit to go SHOPPING, that is, for the girls. Oh, yes, tanning is part of the protocol, but there are 24 hours in a day, my friends.

Because of their schedule, Willy Boy and I feel like we’re shopping widowers. We spend a whole lot of time together, walking, sunning at the pool, and drinking massive amounts of beer. (The “massive amounts of beer” is a definite reoccurring theme for us.)

The problem is that we both fear that the residents of the park suspect that we’re a couple of men who have switched sides, since we are rarely, if ever, seen with our spouses. You see, we’re always seen together hanging out at the pool laughing and carrying on like a couple of goofballs.

So this year we instituted the following rules.

We don’t slather suntan lotion over one another at the pool! That’s verboten!

We never enter the showers or washroom at the pool at the same time.

We space our lounge chairs at least 10 feet apart – with backs facing.

We try not to giggle like little girls when we think something is funny.

We avoid bright colors and flowers on our Hawaiian shirts.

The “No Speedo” rule is in effect.

The novels we read must be high action, adventure, blow-it-up conspiracy thrillers, preferably with a lot of blood and guts on the cover.

We shave every other day to get that swarthy tough guy look.

We swear and cuss like a couple of sailors.

We only play “Marco Polo” when the pool area is empty.

We drink massive amounts of beer.

The creepy thing is that when we’re alone, we get a lot of flirtations from 80 year old women. I guess when your 50 or 60 in a seniors park, you are looked upon as a potential “boy toy”. After all, this is the Viagra generation!

In the long run, Willy Boy and I don’t mind the isolation. After all, our prime motivation is to . . . you guessed it . . . . “Drink massive amounts of beer.”

But, no matter what I have written here, we all love and look forward to our “Floridays” come March Break. The only thing that suffers is our bank accounts and our midriffs.

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