Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Shopping Trip

Every now and then my wife approaches me while I am watching a game on TV and asks me a question. I've learned the default for most wife questions is "Yes, dear," spoken with as much verve and enthusiasm as I can muster with a count of three and two, or it's fourth down and inches, or there are seven seconds left, or it's a long putt in a playoff, or any one of a number of other sports scenarios.

And here's how that default answer can get you in trouble. On a recent Saturday morning, I awoke to the announcement that this was the day my wife and I were going to pick out her new dress for the upcoming party.

Oh, goody!

Now I must admit my first words were not that well thought out, as I inquired when in the Sam Hill I would have ever consented to such a trip. She then reminded me of the "Yes, dear," reply I had given her just hours before in the final seconds of an NBA game. Not wanting to go back on my word, I headed to the mall, hoping the ordeal would soon be over, since the third round of that week's PGA tournament was being televised that afternoon.

Wandering into the dress section was pure revelation, I didn't know the store was that large; there was a whole floor dedicated to ladies' wear. She started through the racks, her eyes drawn to things like color, style and fit. As she shopped I flipped price tags from dress to dress. It was during this review, I made the mistake of laughing out loud and saying, "They can't be serious; the cost of this dress could feed a family of four for a week." And with that maladroit remark, all eyes within earshot were turned my way. I caught my wife ducking around the corner, shamed at my comment.

Well, it was now "game on!" I was determined to find her the perfect dress at a reasonable price. I queried her (tactfully) about her size, her preferred color and anything else that seemed important. I then headed into the maze of dress racks.

Finding the discount racks was easy, as they were all labeled "Discount Racks." Following the crowd I dove into the floral jungle and scoured every hanger looking for the perfect, bargain trophy. After a couple of stern glances and what felt like a body check thrown by a woman old enough to be my mother, I found three dresses that would do the trick -- all in her size and under $25.


I tracked down my wife and handed her the prized selections. She looked them over and with a measured response, said, "I'll try them on, along with the one I found."

I have to admit it's a whole different world waiting for your wife outside dressing rooms these days. This store nailed it too. They had couches, easy-chairs and ESPN on a large screen TV. As I settled in to watch Sports Center, my wife flitted in front of me and asked me about the dresses she had just shown me. My response to her vague question was, of course, "Yes, dear."

And with that, I emptied my wallet of another $200 and took home not one -- but two -- dresses.

The moral of the story: watching TV is expensive.

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