Monday, May 01, 2006
Shopping: To Have To Stoop So Low
Shopping is the most nonsensical, tiring, frustrating, and irritating activity ever! I absolutely, positively, completely, totally hate, detest, scorn, neglect, abhor, loathe, despise picking clothes, shoes, chaddis, banyans, caps and whatever else that has to do with going to a mall, shopping-plaza, market, dukaan, retail outlet, or road-side wala guy.
Aaaahh! That felt nice. I cant speak for all guys, because now there are far too many hybrids, but in general most guys will whole-heartedly agree with my ranting above. Dont get me wrong. I like fresh new clothes. I like being dressed really well with the right shirt, the right trousers and the matching-matching joota-moja combo. What I dislike is having to go and buy them.
Im just fresh back from the heat of the battle at 22, Camac Street. And I am completely clueless as to what girls like about shopping. Nothing to do, so they go shopping. Give me anything else to do instead of shopping and I'll sit down to it religiously. Obviously, when you're hanging from a cliff, you will grasp even a blade of grass if it saves you.
There are so many things that I hate about shopping that getting started is a bit of an issue. Several different thoughts and ideas are clammering for individual attention in my head, demanding to be put down first. Let me try and do them all justice.
WHAT I HATE ABOUT SHOPPING (in no real order of importance since everything is equally important)
1. You have to, atleast I have to, be dressed properly even before I go to a mall. If you're going to pick out snazzy jeans and cool t-shirts, you have to dressed in something that shows you have taste in the first place. So I cant do my usual practise of closing my eyes and pulling the first thing my hands clamp down on.
2. There are so bloody many shirts and pants and things. Its not "so much to choose from", its like "so much to confuse you with". From pink three-quarters (for girls I'm half-sure) and bright yellow "cool" shirts to fashionably-conservative blue jeans and beige cargos, everything is there. And the biggest problem is, you cant really point at something and say its ridiculous.
You cant say that those pink things are just for girls or that only guys can wear that strange little thing with arms over there. They play mind-games these designers. You can never guess what the next trend is going to be. You might point and laugh at the 5/8th pants (I swear they do exist, its not just a legend), but as soon as these people put up a picture of Yuvraj Singh dressed in them (looking positively hideous but that doesnt matter), you're going to find yourself buying them.
3. Hell hath no place for the fool who goes shopping in company. Im half afraid of picking up something I like, for fear of seeing disgusted and shell-shocked faces around me. I tend to go - "What do you think of this thing?" as I casually extricate it from the complex hoopla that clothes are normally arranged in. Even before the person can reply, you tend to be all guarded and defensive for associating yourself with the particular ragpiece - "Or you know, whatever...Its ok..Not too bad...You like it? I love it too!"
4. Everything you pick, everything you like, you have to try on first. Thats something I've had drilled into me by my parents and so its become a habit now. Whatever I like and plan to buy for the insane amount its kept at, I have to try. That means going all the way to the trial room, finding one empty, locking yourself in all its claustrophobic glory and facing three of yourself. Mirrors all around, and I've never quite been able to resist maroing a couple of poses or just nodding at my reflection.
This is probably the single-most tiring part of shopping for guys. Kholo, pehno, pose maro, bahar dikhao, phir kholo and get back into the stuff you came in.
5. Even before you can take stuff into the trial rooms, comes the mental strain of selecting something good. The selection process ka criteria for "something good" and worth the fortune you're spending is that it musnt of course be exactly like something you already have back home. Also, and here is the most excruciating bit, it should fit in with whatever you own already. When you pick up the hideous pinkish-green shirt that the mannequin is looking cool in, you have to hold it and mentally browse through your closet for which pair of jeans or shorts you're going to disgrace with this.
6. Shopping is perhaps the most awkward and embarrassing time to meet another male friend. Both of you know exactly what the other's doing here, but then its the easiest question so one of them goes -
"Hey man! What YOU doing here?"
"I was just playing football with my buddies there near the counter. Why? Do you SHOP here?"
Ok, that doesnt happen. Whenever a guy is asked what he's doing at the shopping mall, he has the grace to look embarrassed and properly ashamed at being caught in this compromising position.
This isnt the end of the shopping list of woes, but I think I've covered the top five contenders for top-spot in guys' minds. Other honourable mentions would be tasks such as:
i> Shaking off the shop assistant tailing you like you're going to run off suddenly with something.
ii> Doing your best to not always pick/like the stuff you can't afford.
iii> Trying to look casual and confident about your choice in front of the cash counter people.
iv> Trying to make yourself believe that the cashiers actually smile that way to all the customers and it doesnt have anything to do with that pink-vomit-on-green-grass shirt you've bought.
v> Walking down the road with your shopping bag and trying to look cool and unruffled, while being acutely conscious of looking stupid with it. Guys do NOT carry shopping bags!
This should pretty much cover the essentials. All guys are requested to share their own woes and miseries from their shopping-experiences. And may all the girls please try and explain what they enjoy in shopping.
A great poet (which would be me) once said:
Where the clothes are properly priced,
And a man isnt embarrassed to purchase,
Where the shirt looks like a shirt,
And the pants are still just things to wear,
Into that heaven of freedom, O Father,
Let My Country Awake.
I know, I know. You dont have to point it out. I'm a genius!