Monday, November 17, 2008

The Miracle of the Season – Or Maybe I’m Just Getting In Touch With My Female Side

Sometimes, when I’m feeling down or sad, I go shopping. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, real men don’t shop – that’s a chick thing, right?

Maybe it’s just another distraction, like going to the movies, reading a book, or surfing the net – but I go shopping. Mind you I don’t shop for clothes, I’ll usually go to the technology stores and salivate over the latest electronic gadgets and gizmos.

When I was in university, there was one very enticingly hot babe, all the guys wanted to date. Well, all the guys would swoon all over her, practically stopping traffic to get her attention. Being the slightly crazy over-achieve-type, I asked her out.

She was happy to go out with me – but on one condition. First, I’d have to get in touch with my female side. I asked her what exactly that meant, to which she just giggled, and walked away.

Days turned into weeks, and as she sat in front of me in class, occasionally she’d turn sharply to me, smile, and ask if I’d finally got in touch with my female side.

I’d smile back – who wouldn’t, one of the hottest girls in class flirting with little old moi? But I always came up with some excuse, or quick-witted comment, because I really didn’t know what it took to get in touch with my female side. I didn’t even know if I had a female side.

Eventually, we did go out. Maybe I managed to entice her with my quick-wit and dashing good looks, or more likely, she just finally gave up on getting me to sense something I wasn’t able to figure out at the time.

Maybe this whole shopping thing is part of that female side of me? I enjoy other things too – but shopping is one of the surest ways to get me out of a bad mood.

And by shopping, I mean SHOPPING. Real shopping, in real stores.

The internet makes it easy to shop, without actually really going anywhere. You can go to just about any store online these days, fill up your electronic shopping cart, type in your credit card information and with a couple of mouse-clicks, buy until your eyes are blurry and your fingers numb.

But that’s not really shopping! Real shopping involves going out into the stores, getting bumped and pushed around in the crowds, listening to the dreaded “mall music” and being approached by overzealous sales people, or being ignored by sales staff that really just don’t care.

Real shopping involves going out and investigating what is what. I do a lot of research online before I go to the stores. I’ll compare items, prices, brands and selection online. But I’ll still take my leisure ass-time as I browse the stores, because not everything in the store is online (and vice-versa).

To this day, I still don’t know what that babe of a girl meant by getting in touch with my female side, and I may never really know. For all I know, she didn’t mean anything by it, she was just flirting with me.

But if there is a way for a guy to get in touch with his female side – and presumably for a woman to get in touch with her male side – then at least I can say, I feel a little closer to figuring it out, as the holidays approach.

As the Christmas season sales fill stores with red and green balls, snow flakes, and jolly old men with red outfits, I’ll be hitting the stores, shopping more and more, wondering: Am I getting closer to touching my female side?

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