Top Tip For Shopping with Men

I understand that men who like shopping do exist, but I have yet to meet one.

In my experience, shopping with a man who doesn’t ‘shop’, is worse than dragging a kicking toddler.going shopping with my (other) two men (DSC02536) by King of Monks at

The old man is not what you’d describe as a male fashionista. He buys clothes when he needs them and for no other reason than body coverage. Clothes are functional. He doesn’t care about fashion or trends or frankly, what he looks like.

I am lucky if he commits to one shop per year. If I am fortunate enough to get him into a mall, he can buy everything he needs for the next twelve months within ten minutes. ‘Browsing’ and ‘window-shopping‘ are not words he comprehends. He never buys a lot, because a) he is an accountant with associated tight-arse sensibilities and b) he would wear the same outfit every day if society let him.

One of his work friends told me the other day that he owned in the region of 150 office shirts. When I told him that the old man has five, he blanched. If I allowed the old man to carry on wearing his baggy pink sweatshirts, high-waisted jeans and hightop runners from the 80’s, he would.

The annual shopping trip has to be prepared for rigorously. It has to be booked at least two months in advance so that he can mentally prepare for it. During that time he will convince himself several times that he doesn’t actually need anything and attempt to back out.

Surely his one pair of old jeans are fine for another year, he will try to justify.

He did try on-line shopping once – a few months ago when I inadvertently dyed all five office shirts pink in the wash. It seemed the obvious solution for him at the time. The process was relatively stress-free until the new shirts didn’t turn up on time, then two batches arrived at once, (rather like buses), so he had the torture of having to return one set to the UK which involved finding the local Post Office – can you imagine the horror?

When he finds ‘his’ shop, he is loyal to it. He is a committed one-stop shopper.

Last Sunday he was forced to add a second shopping event to his very busy weekend diary of sport versus naps because he needed snow boots for Thredbo – (for the ski trip that he forced on the family but due to his recent wrangle with the courtyard steps he can no longer actually participate in because he is under doctor’s instructions not to ski).

I had in mind some nice waterproof Ugg boots for him for his morning walks in the mountains (scheduled before his first nap of the day); he had firmly decided on some cheap Target work boots. True, Ugg boots are in the region of $200 but they would probably have lasted him a lifetime; the Target $29 work boots will last him this holiday.

But he could not physically part with $200 for a pair of boots – the ensuing physical and mental anguish would simply be too much, especially as he is still recovering from his recent dice with death.

You see, any money we spend is allocated to the ‘retirement’ spreadsheet and every item of what he deems ‘unnecessary’ spending is like a dagger straight through his heart. Expenditure, such as my hairdressing costs, the kids extra-curricular activities, Kurt’s medications and medical bills and Nerd Child’s academic books all fall into this category. Ugg boots would be thrown into the ‘Shamefully Wasteful’ column.

My anxiety levels began to mount as soon as we entered the mall. Even though the mall is home from home for me, the old man’s malaise is infectious.

We raced through the crowds of relaxed Sunday shoppers on a mission to complete our purchases well within the first hour of our free parking time – a first for me. Mothers and children were forced to part as the old man marched through them, his eyes firmly set on Target, his shopping mantra still ringing in my ear of ‘a quick shop is a good shop’.

He was paying for his work boots ten minutes later. Great, I thought, that gives us time to buy the new heater we need.

Woman logic. (Have I ever mentioned that logic often deserts me in shopping malls?)

‘We could get the new heater while we’re here,’ I ventured nonchalantly.

‘Why? I’m not cold.’

‘But we are.’

‘Hmmmmph! (Much eye-rolling, looking to the ceiling, teeth-grating, clenching of fists – you get the picture).

I hurried off in the direction of Harvey Norman without looking back at him in case he could smell my fear. Eventually I heard the distinctive dragging of his fifteen year old boating shoes behind me, like some resistant toddler. (Yes, he is still wearing boating shoes; and no, we don’t have a boat).

Did you know that ‘heating’ is actually quite a complex subject and can be quite scientific in its detail? (There is now the complication of balancing heat output with cost and carbon footprint).

So there I was, under-researched, flailing amongst a bed of assorted heaters that all looked the same with the old man giving me ‘that’ look. So I resorted to ‘phoning a friend’ – Nerd Child.

Meanwhile the old man slowly became more and more agitated as Nerd Child and I discussed the ruminations of wattage and cost, and he began rubbing his forehead fiercely – (the warning sign of one of his middle-age shopping tanties). Unsatisfied by NC’s logic, I then decided to consult Google for further information, at which point the old man let out a loud roar, briskly turned on his heel and left.

So this is what I have learned about shopping with men who don’t shop:

  • DON’T

Going shopping with my (other) two men (DSC02536) by King of Monks at

15 thoughts on “Top Tip For Shopping with Men

  1. I don’t think there’s ever been a correlation between men who wear boat shoes and men who own boats? I am in the rare position of being married to a man who I think likes clothes shopping more than I do. And he doesn’t even like it that much.


  2. My husband works in sales for a shipping company and has many great clothing customers. His access to the Employee Store sends him directly to the seconds pile where he buys $5 cargo pants in horrific colors. SInce when are burnt orange pants w/ many pockets ok on a forty something year old man. The answer is never. Great post!


  3. I have the opposite problem, my man loves shopping but he is so frustratingly inconsistent! One minute he is Mr Tight-arse and refuses to spend an extra $1.80 on cereal but then he will spend $90 on a pair of brand name shoes when the shop does not even have his size so he now owns a pair of $90 shoes that he physically cannot wear! I guess we can’t win either way!!


      1. Oh dear! I might just top that though – we went bed shopping (because, you know, we actually NEED somewhere to sleep!) but then he refuses to buy a bed, walks out of the furniture shop and goes next door to the electronics shop.. And then without hesitation he buys a plasma TV instead! It has been 6 months and we still do not have a bed… Sigh!


  4. Haha! LMAO. 🙂
    I hate shopping with guys. In all my years I have never gone out with a guy that likes it! Actually a couple faked it , just to get into my pants! Lol I would love a guy that wants to shop. Go Target! Lol
    Huge hug… Paula xx


  5. The only thing worse is the annual trying on of clothes to see what the boys have outbgrown from year to year. Like catching greased pigs!!!
    Love (LOVE) your writing!


  6. I am one of those women who has a husband that likes shopping, although now that we have kids he does tend to do most of it online from the UK because he claims it fits him better. He is actually known for his pink shirt collection (possibly the only person ever to wear one for a photo in the AFR). I tend to be the toddler dragging her feet.


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