Off-duty: To men, shopping is torture, especially at Christmas

Hey, it’s Christmastime. Let’s forget our differences and take to heart the spirit this time of year is meant for us to feel. And while you’re at it — get the heck outta my parking spot, you &$(%#!!!!

That’s right, kids, we’re in holiday mode and it’s everyone for themselves. And don’t let those little old ladies fool you! They’re animals.

Get in your car now because traffic won’t get any better. To make it worse, it’s getting darker earlier, meaning rush hour is illuminated by all those thousand headlights making it seem there are millions of taillights between you and the dreaded mall.

I hate the mall. Maybe twice a year I’ll visit the mall around lunchtime just to break up the excitement of doing all the other lunchtime stuff that gets boring. Of course, after 30 minutes I realize I still hate the mall and I leave — smelling noticeably fabulous.

Quit spraying that stuff on us when we pass down the cologne aisle!

Shopping is not a compatible activity for men and women. Maybe some men like to accompany their wives when they shop — especially during the holidays — but I suspect they’re under duress.

I represent millions, or at least assume I represent millions of men who look at holiday shopping the same way they do a drug-free colonoscopy. Or, worse, being trapped in a room with a TV that has only one channel and, even worse, plays only “Real Housewives of Atlanta” reruns over and over.

Seriously, how can that show not just fade away?

Stop trying to figure out the “in-betweens” of compatible unisex shopping. It doesn’t work. It was never meant to work. And it doesn’t work for a good reason: men are failures when it comes to shopping.

Men are mission-oriented. Our motto: “Go-Get-Out-Drink-Beer-Watch-Football.” Genetically, we’re still in caveman mode while women have progressed light-years ahead of us to whatever super intelligent metaphor fits here.

Men only shop when it’s absolutely necessary

I, for one, am thankful I’m not in charge of anything remotely connected with shopping expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I do the shopping that is required in our marriage agreement. I like to get Detective Sandy a surprise gift for the holidays.

One Christmas when she was expecting some load-bearing suspenders and harness combination for even weight distribution during tactical situations, she opened up the box and what was in there? None other than a tactical S.T.R.I.K.E. Commando Recon Chest Harness! Boo-yah!

Talk about a romantic moment! We were as one, tactically.

I hate shopping, except when I need something that directly benefits me. Tools and other useful things that I can justify to myself are the main focus of any endeavor I take that requires standing in line, watching other people who appear to be enjoying the shopping experience and saying to myself: “How can ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ stay on the air??!! Seriously, are we zombies? This is it? How did we get to the top, or near the top, of the food chain? Or did we?”

Look, from me and the other men of the planet who feel the same way — because I assume they do — thank you for going shopping. Thank you for doing what we not only won’t do, but can’t do. I admit it.

I freak out at Hancock Fabrics and, as exciting as Velcro can be, I just can’t get through the door. Even when you go to the cool stores like Big Jake’s World of Beef Jerky, or that mall store with the cool stuff like the massage chair that nobody really owns, you can handle it and I can’t.

I need you. I can’t go to the grocery store with a list of three things to get. I go in needing cereal, coffee and milk and I come out with a muffler. How does that even happen?

Please, ladies, let us wallow in all those lame reasons for not wanting to shop with you, but know that we’re just plain scared.

Show me a husband who jumps at the chance to “run to Nordstrom’s” and I’ll show you a man who seriously needs a toolbox to serve as his happy place.

You are the Great Shopping Goddesses. Keep on truckin’!

- By Lt. Steve Rose, View from the Cop blog

30 comments Add your comment


December 9th, 2010
7:53 pm

I hate shopping too. Years ago I went to the Mall with a female friend and we ended up closing the place and she didn’t buy a thing! How do you do that!


December 9th, 2010
11:06 pm

haha good post, I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with you, I hate the Mall & Shopping, it’s just a job that has to be done.
oh by the way, *cough cough* I’m a female….


December 9th, 2010
11:22 pm

Hey, where’s the crime stuff?


December 9th, 2010
11:55 pm

My husband is a dear and will go shopping with me whenever I ask because he loves me. But because I love him, I never ask him to go shopping with me. It’s just not his thing. Now, if he wants a computer gadget, new TV, book or some other hubby-specific item, then he will go and get it, and that’s it! No “extras” end up in his shopping cart – brick-and-mortar or virtual.


December 10th, 2010
2:25 am

Avoid most of the rush by going to Wal-Mart, Target and such stores late at night, maybe at midnight. You can dispense with most traffic and crowds that way. Others you hit early in the morning. Make it easy or easier on yourself.


December 10th, 2010
1:07 pm

“We were as one, tactically.”

The couple that strafes together, stays together…

Atlanta Gal

December 10th, 2010
3:54 pm

Happy holidays to you, Lt. Steve and Det. Sandy!


December 10th, 2010
6:14 pm

Steve, you are truly wise beyond your years.


December 11th, 2010
3:31 pm

My husband and I rarely go shopping together but that doesn’t bother me. The one time he really enjoys going is when we go to Florida on vacation and make a side trip to the outlets. That’s when he will buy himself shirts, pants and shoes. It’s like a targeted strike and then he’s done. I’m always happy he is able to get a bunch of stuff he likes. And I buy a few things myself! :-)

Ted Striker

December 11th, 2010
3:43 pm

One word: “”

Mr. Ed

December 11th, 2010
4:45 pm

Black Friday induces nausea with me.I’m confounded when people shop in the middle of the night.No bargain compels me to rise and fight cold weather, darkness, crowds,and face general chaos. Count me out.

Get it straight

December 11th, 2010
6:11 pm

When I shop any mall, the main challenge is parking, so I drive around till I find a guy about to pull out and then I wait. Social Behaviorists say that a driver takes twice as long to pull out of a parking place when he notices someone is waiting for the place. They say it’s part of some ancient cave man response akin to territorialism. Of course if he waits too long and aggravates the guy waiting too much, then the parker assumes the ancient man behavior of crouching as he ducks the hail of bullets from the guy waiting.

Next is the gauntlet of deer musk spray cologne made from doe urine that every shopper must run to get to the food court. It apparently induces a fierce sexual response in nearly every single species of mammal. Just hope they never build a mall next to a zoo.


December 11th, 2010
7:13 pm

Get it straight, that’s pretty funny. Have you ever thought about writing your own column?

The Grinch

December 12th, 2010
8:34 am

thanks for the holiday laugh…now if Father Christmas would just give me some money…


December 12th, 2010
10:05 am

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha… True.


December 12th, 2010
12:07 pm

Steve, you crack me up! You are so funny! And it’s all true!


December 12th, 2010
1:31 pm

Re: Genetically, we’re still in caveman mode while women have progressed light-years ahead of us to whatever super intelligent metaphor fits here.

You can rest assured that this anti-male and sexist statement keeps your status as Mangina intact…

Gorgeous Green Eyes

December 12th, 2010
5:52 pm

Out of all of my 3 husbands, only one liked to shop with me….Yeah, as long as we were spending MY money……………….duh.


December 12th, 2010
8:05 pm

Had no idea it was so difficult being a guy. I suggest you boys visit Then come back and let me know how rough it is to shop for your woman.

Spike TV

December 12th, 2010
10:47 pm

Malls are for women! 80% of the stores cater to the female species………..I venture to say that apart from the eateries, 100% of the stores are for women……….they’ll just toss a men’s section in the back or upstairs around the corner so we’ll have something to at least think about buying while the women spend all the money. Women are gold diggers b/c there is sooooo much crap for them to buy! They want men to pay for everything so they’ll have money to buy things for themselves………….and at this rate, they won’t run out of crap to buy until a few years after infinity! One day I just stop in the middle of a department store and almost threw up at the gaudy trinkets and aisles of clothes JUST for women. I NEVER go shopping with my girlfriend! It’s a suicide mission!

Valerie Lyons

December 12th, 2010
11:20 pm

I’m a female and rarely shop at malls. In fact, I rarely go shopping for anything more than food; nor do I shop online… EVER. Most of the products I need are available in my neighborhood… if I pay a few bucks more, so what? I’ve saved the hassle and gas money involved in travel. The times I do visit a mall, I know what I want and look only for that particular item. I’m not an impulse shopper and my late husband was more a shopper than I ever was or will be.

Cop Supporter

December 13th, 2010
2:15 pm

I am a female and HATE shopping. I only go to the Mall to get gift cards and go to the movies. Just too many people trying to cram into those little stores and the kiosk in the middle walkways with the pushy people trying to get you to stop and try out this product and that…no thank you. Wal-mart, Ebay and Amazon are my friends this year.


December 13th, 2010
10:00 pm

Off-topic, I know, but I didn’t know where else to post it.

Just saw your quotes in the AJC story online summarizing some recent events wherein would-be victims fought back (with firearms) against their (armed) attackers. You advised to “shoot until the threat is down” and that most in that position would view it as tragic.

I agree. I live just blocks from where Charles Boyer was shot (and have a relative who lives in the next building where the murder happened). I dread the day that I am forced to use potentially-lethal force to defend my life, but if the choice is mine or my attacker’s, well, it’s not a difficult choice. Nonetheless, I hope NEVER to be in that position.

They can have all the property of mine they want, but leave my body and my life alone, please.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping my carriage, habits, and general aware demeanor cause them to de-select me as a (potential) victim.

happie jackie

December 14th, 2010
8:32 pm



December 15th, 2010
10:49 am

I won’t even allow my live-in boyfriend to shop. For his family or mine, he’s not allowed. I do it all….it just creates tension and arguments and all he talks about is trying to leave…plus he can’t pick out decent gifts to save his life. I just tell him what I want, and that’s all he’s allowed to be in charge of.

Spike TV

December 15th, 2010
11:43 am

The ONLY reason a woman wants you to go to the mall with her is b/c she needs you to approve or disapprove of the hundreds of outfits she will eventually try on. Don’t fall for it! It’s completely inconsiderate to have someone constantly wait for you – for hours – and not expect them to get frustrated or upset. I tested my (ex)girlfriend once…..took her to the mall with me to purchase a pair of jeans and a shirt………..she was showing signs of frustration after the first store!!!! Can dish it, but not take it! JB……..using the word “allowed” is sooooooo condescending……….is your boyfriend 5 years old?


December 15th, 2010
1:47 pm

I’ve successfully avoided going to the mall with the wife for 3 days in a row, and I’m not in the doghouse. YAY! ::):

Spike TV

December 15th, 2010
5:24 pm

@ StJ…………Your wife has gone to the mall THREE DAYS IN A ROW???!!! I think your finances are in the doghouse! Stop being so hen-pecked and praising the fact that she hasn’t “punished” you yet for standing up for yourself!!!


December 16th, 2010
1:53 pm

I beleive that Men look at shopping as a Commando raid and Women look at it as a Campaign.


December 16th, 2010
4:23 pm

In those three days, she spent less than $20. Not henpecked.