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Examiner
  • Jason Offutt: Shop from your desk, like a man

  •  The differences between men and women are vast, polar and usually purple. These differences can be easily divided into two categories, 1) things men and women like to do together, and 2) things they don’t.

    For some reason these activities are either helped or hindered by chocolate.

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  •  The differences between men and women are vast, polar and usually purple. These differences can be easily divided into two categories, 1) things men and women like to do together, and 2) things they don’t.
    For some reason these activities are either helped or hindered by chocolate.
    I’m intentionally leaving out some of the things men and women like to do together mainly because this is a family newspaper, but here’s a short list of the other things: watch movies, go to football games, hike, ski, and any activity that involves mojitos.
    But the things men and women don’t like to do together can be summed up with one word – shopping.
    I’ve shopped before. Shopping means you intend to obtain something, such as ammunition, an air hockey game or beef jerky. Shopping does not mean wandering, stopping for a double-mocha latte, and going home without obtaining anything. That’s why most men quietly cringe whenever their wives suggest shopping, and deep down the wives are cringing also. No one likes a whiner, especially if he has a beard.
    But my shopping experience suddenly changed.
    The phone rang at work. Not answering the phone at work is dangerous – not for any work-related reasons, it’s just that my wife is the only one who calls me there.
    “Hi, I’m at (insert name of the nation’s largest discount store),” she said. “I’m in the exercise aisle.”
    I’m not sure where I fit in with that. All I know about exercise I learned in junior high school, which may be the last time I exercised.
    “Do you think they still make ankle weights?” she asked.
    Hmm, an exercise item I knew something about. Ankle weights are heavy, adjustable bands that fit around your wrists or ankles that help tone muscle while you go about your daily routine, like killing zombies on a video game. Does some company still manufacture them? I had no idea.
    “I used to have some,” I said, and I did. My wife is the most efficient mover I’ve ever met. Every time we move, we take less and less stuff with us, like my beer-making equipment, my entire VHS collection of the original “Star Trek” I recorded off a fuzzy UHF channel, and presumably my ankle weights. “Yeah, I don’t know where they went.”
    “I found some,” she told me. “They’re $12.”
    “That’s a lot,” I said, knowing exactly what she was thinking. Being married 10 years does that to you.
    Offutt Family Rule No. 248: If an item costs more than $12, it better be able to signal the International Space Station. The ankle weights didn’t do that.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I’m not going to get them,” she said, and walked over to the hobby section to look for snap beads. I’m even less of an expert on snap beads, but I was there with her, on the phone, so I contributed. I was part of the whole “do you like this color? How does this look? Do we need one of these?” process. The best part is, I didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything.
    There. Shopping done, and I didn’t even get in trouble for not bringing chocolate.
    Follow Jason Offutt on Twitter @TheJasonOffutt.
     
     

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