I Shop Alone
By: Jodi Cross
As the holiday’s approach you will likely have an occasion to do some shopping. I recommend going it alone. My husband likes to shop, or so he says, but not quite as much as I do. Recently, on a Sunday after church, he suggested we check out the book store. I quickly agreed to his invitation. Generally my husband is a patient man except when it comes to shopping. Over the years, I have been able to handle the situation with distractions like food, drinks or big screen televisions. When we are on vacation, a pub or a nice piazza along our route usually buys me some extra time for browsing.
On this day, we stepped into the book store fresh off of a message about love being the greatest gift of all and WHAM it all went down hill. Within five minutes of entering the store and just as a rounded the first row, I could feel his presence hovering like a shadow behind me.
I thought I must be misreading the signals, after all it was his idea to go shopping. Soon came a huff and puff like a dragon snorting in my ear. Confused, I wondered what was going on as we had just arrived at the store. Was this mission aborted? Next came the final clue my name pronounced repeatedly and in succession, “to which I snapped, ‘What, what.’ ” The look in his eyes told me he was ready to go.
We took our hasty departure nearly trampling a couple in the second row. Once in the car, I could not hide my exasperation as he explained he had a project due for work and only intended to take a quick look to see if there was anything of interest in the book store. I was annoyed but tried to be understanding after all, we had just come from church and everyone knows you are suppose to practice the message for at least a few hours?
Later that afternoon, I ventured out to pick up a few things for Thanksgiving. While browsing the decorations aisle I overhead an elderly couple bickering. They were well into their 80’s, the man was closely following the women. I recognized the stalking pattern immediately. He appeared to be hounding her, another commonly used technique familiar to me. Suddenly, she spun on her heel shook her finger in the air and in a feisty voice whistled through clenched teeth, “Oh, no, don’t you start, what is your hurry?” “To which the husband replied, ‘Look at you, you are in your natural habitat here aren’t you?'” The dialogue continued as it obviously had for many years.
Amused by the bantering, I realized that no matter how old you are or how many years of marriage you have under your belt, the battle of the sexes over shopping is a tale as old as time. I shuffling off to another aisle and resolved that from now on, I would shop alone.