I have always wanted to know what it feels like to be a man holding his wife’s handbag, waiting outside a trial room in a mall teeming with women. And then as the wife emerges and gently hurls that dreaded bomb, “What do you think” does the man have options?
Long ago I did ask my husband about it but he brushed aside the topic. ‘That of which we cannot speak, we must remain silent’, he says. I understand. The predicament of evading uncomfortable questions with guarded answers can be daunting.
The gut feeling is that such a situation could be a nightmare for most men. As a result now I prefer to shop alone. Though, it is a possibility that some men might enjoy the entire experience of family shopping. But they are mostly the newly married ones who are intoxicated by the novelty of marital bliss. Once the novelty of it all fades, the brutality of it all sinks in. Anyways, kudos to those who endure the entire experience and dare to be candid!
However, if you want honest advice on how the dress is looking on you, or how you are looking in that dress, then go with your mother, sister or a friend. Even the maid is not a bad idea in desperate situations. Spare the husband. Men are used to asking for the color and size, and pronto, their job is done. Whereas shopping for women is a cumbersome, complex ritual which requires patience and leisure both.
It so happened that while I was waiting at the cash counter, I witnessed the plight of a Levis clad, Polo adorned man maneuvering a pram with one hand and conversing on his blackberry with the other. His petite and perky wife strutted in and out of the trial room.
“How does this look?”
It amounted to asking the obvious. Hmm.., hmm.., umm.The guy was cautiously nodding his head to whatever wifey and the person on his phone was saying. It was clear as UPAs conscience that the guy’s heart was somewhere else and he needed desperate evacuation. But his infernal agony did not stop here. The toddler in the pram started crying for attention. If it was his boss on the line; my heart goes out to the poor guy. Handling two bosses and a bawling baby, all at a time can be pretty nerve racking.
For a minute, my wayward imagination took me on the man’s mental roller-coaster. I could hear the voices strumming in his head. You know something like ‘raaz pichle janam ka…’
“Only for the fact that she ticked me off for leaving that wet towel on the bed…. I wish I could tell her that her contours are bulging out of this dress. The pizza which she gorged on yesterday is resting on her derriere. Anyways she has two similar dresses. What’s the point of buying a new one?"
"My mom saw me ironing her blouse yesterday. I have never ever ironed clothes or made tea. My mum never let me. But look at me now? Those seven swings around the fire and life changes.
The hot chick that passed by smiled at my plight, and not at me. Who would look at a man holding a bawling baby?
If only she makes up her mind, we can go and watch the remaining match. That is if I manage to get the remote…”
My imagination is going wild but I am sure you get the drift. Surely the guy is not thinking, “Ahh.. the sweetie charms of my gorgeous wife. What fun it is to select a dress for my beloved.”
Alas! He will not speak. All these voices brimming in his head will be muffled the moment wifey makes up her mind. And then he will graciously hand over her handbag and take over the shopping bags.