Thursday, August 28, 2008

I suffer from Shopophobia Mallfeorosis


We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls. – Bill Bryson

Shopping as an activity was something that did not exist in my life for a very long time. When I was a kid I used to jump at the opportunity to buy a litre of milk, a kilo of sugar, etc during emergencies (read ‘unexpected visitors’) at home and used to think that I was an eager shopper. But now when I look back, I realise my motivation was the odd 25 or 50 paise that I could make in the exercise. I probably never shopped for more than an hour or for more than Rs.1,000 of groceries till I got married. Since then, however, household and grocery shopping has become one of the biggest activities of my life.

I read about people who are in the search for the purpose of life or understanding women. I feel that they are still in the lower stages of their philosophical quest compared to me, since I am already seeking answer to the bigger problem of how shopping can be enjoyable. I have also not been able to find the answer to the question, ‘if I am shopping for windows would I be window-shopping’?

One major thing that irks me about shopping is the increasing cost of living these days. I am so worried that I could launch into a tirade about prices these days, covering everything from gas to chocolates. However, when I accidentally mentioned it to a store salesman, he retorted, “Sir, if cost of living is so high and obviously offensive to you, then why do you bother?” (to live, that is) After that, I have wisely kept my feelings on cost to myself.

I found a different approach to counter the rising costs. This is a secret and I would appreciate if you would keep this to yourself. Last time I went shopping at a store, I asked the vendor, "How much are these oranges?" "Two for ten rupees," answered the vendor. "How much is just one?" I asked. "Six rupees," answered the vendor. "Then I'll take the other one," I said.

Since I detest shopping, my wife, the nice and wonderful woman that she is, has volunteered to do shopping for the entire family. This sounds great, right? I too felt the same when I heard it. I thought I had figured out the solution for my life’s suffering. That is… until I found the catch. I had to drive her to the shops, accompany her down the aisles while she made up her mind deciding if chocolate coated almond cookies were better than peanut butter nut cookies, and – here comes the tough part – also offer my suggestions.

The last time I refused to accompany my wife to the store, the billing clerk at the store had a good laugh. After putting the stuff my wife bought in three hours into some thirty seven plastic bags, he asked her, “Cash or card, madam?" As she fumbled for her wallet, he noticed a television remote control in her purse. "Do you always carry your television remote?" he asked. She replied, "No, only when my husband refuses to come shopping with me. Since the India-Pakistan cricket match is going on, this was a sweet revenge." The genius that I am, I took the opportunity to call up my girl friend and asked her if I could come over to watch the match saying my television broke down – but then that is a story for a different blog.

The other thing that I find difficult is the vast areas that shops and shopping malls cover. I doubt if shopping as an activity existed during the times of Mark Twain. Otherwise he would have remarked that ‘shopping is a good walk spoiled’ rather than ‘golf is a good walk spoiled’. I often get lost in the vast shopping malls, which annoys my wife as evident from her question which I encounter when I catch up with her later on, “Why on earth can’t you keep pace with me, you snail?” (On that note, do you know why they don’t serve snails in McDonalds? Because McDonalds is a 'fast' food joint.)

Hence I have devised an ingenious method. Whenever I get lost in a supermarket, I approach the nearest beautiful woman and ask, "You know, I've lost my wife here in the supermarket. Can I talk to you for a couple of minutes?" You may wonder why; because it so happens that every time I talk to a beautiful woman my wife appears out of nowhere.

I thought my aversion to household shopping was a peculiar psychological condition that I suffered from. I was thinking about getting medical help, when I learned that all harried (read ‘married’; I somehow find it impossible to spell the first m in ‘married men’!) men experience from the same condition. I wonder if there are any shopping malls in Mars. I guess not…

This is the era of outsourcing and I would like to outsource my shopping activities. Those interested may write to me separately with references.

23 comments:

Devika said...

Good Title and a good read...
Nice one, Salil!

But unfortunately can't take the job on offer ..I too suffer from that illness --and I am chronic, I feel...
But in this shopophilic society, you are sure to get a good buy there....Give an add in Delhi :-)

Joseph said...

oh my dear snail; sorry salil. what a post it is. you've poured your heart out.

when you say you want to outsource -which one you want to outsource - marriage part or the shopping part?

btw: read http://ouchmytoe.com/ if you tease your wife the way jammy does (his wife) you'll be thrown out of your house (oh! well, yes you are already thrown out)

cheers,
Joseph

Sreejith Kumar said...

Good to have a comment from you on my blog. I liked your blog, especially its title. Loved the post on Aishwarya Rai! :D

Salil said...

@Devika:
You have the honour of being the first to comment. Congrats!
I am currently living in shopper's paradise - US. I hope there are some takers for the offer.

@Joseph:
Thank you for understanding the snail-side of the story.
I don't intend to outsource the marriage part. Then who will do the shopping for me? Btw, which one are you interested in?
I have recommended ouchmytoe to all my friends. But then again, which husband in his sound mind would dare tease his wife, that too in public?!

@Sreejith:
Thanks for passing by. But, Aishwarya Rai who? My blog was about Aishwarya 'Ray'. :-)
Do keep coming back.

satish said...

ok. you are good.

Gazal said...

am looking for such a facility myself.we have much in common,esp when it comes to aversion to shopping...sigh

loved the previous post.

keep writing

Salil said...

@Satish:
Thank you. But my, what a comment to get from the guy who writes the greatest blog ever!

@Gazal:
Thanks for passing by. Will share the proposals I receive that doesn't get shortlisted. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, that was pretty funny. Shopping sucks big time.

zombey_-/\-_ said...

gr8 blog!! :P
u rock boy!!

Salil said...

@Anon:
Thanks for the comment and venting out your feeling about shopping.
But I will give you this tip : �The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her�

@Zombey:
Thank you for coming this way and leaving a rocking comment.
Talking about rocks, did you know:
: What does a rock want to be when it grows up? - Rockstar
: What is a rock's favorite kind of music? - Rock and roll
: What do you do to a baby rock? - Rock it!

MAN IN PAINTING said...

Very nice post..
Shopping nowadays is more than just shopping..Like eating in Mc Donalds.
We eat because we can gossip..We shop because it pacifies our craves. for our eyes and the our ruling boss'the central nervous system .And the all the Big firms know that well.
me too blog
do visit..
i have a cartoon..
MIP

anilk said...

Title was funny and so was the post.
You are lucky. I and my wife share the shopping duties and still she is not satisfied.
Regards,
Anil

raj said...

You are getting better day by day. Keep pouring in such amazing posts, I would like to take some lessons from it

Salil said...

@MIP:
Thanks for reading and commenting. That is a nice way to look at shopping. If that is the way people think about shopping, I might as well set up a shopping mall asap.
I will check out your space too.

@Anil:
Thanks. I agree I am lucky as my wife does all the shopping.
I have a tip for you. Next time you go shopping, try messing it up real bad. If you are lucky, you will not have to do it again.

@Raj:
Thank you. So you think I am blossoming, eh?
Disclaimer : You can take lessons from these, but at your own risk.
(I don't like fighting legal suits)

ANWESA said...

@salil,
the only solution is,let ur daughter grow up,mom n daughter wud shop themselves,but keep saving till then,i personally believe that men rn't meant 4 shopping!

Calvin said...

hey man!! the 'lost my wife' was just awesome.. i dun care what they say abt we cant understand girls.. this one is for sure.. they do have something in them to find out trouble out of nowhere.. :). nice read..

SAURABH AGGARWAL said...

this always affraid me should i marry.. i dont wanna become snail... i enjoyed reading..

mathew said...

hahahaha..i think i ll need to buy a book "shopping for dummies"...i think shopping is kinda therapy which works wonders on woman..;-P

Ranjani said...

Very interesting read! You have a nice space..:)

SAI said...

Salil...now, I am not sure if I shuld really get married..you are confusing a confused bachelor.. who is having little hopes for life (till just now)....Hope Gopu and Rohit too realise the facts of life..

Salil said...

@Anwesa:
I hope my daughter will not insist that I accompany her on shopping trips when she grows up.
If you think men are not made for shopping see this video -
http://www.c00lstuff.com/1043/The_truth_about_men_and_shopping/

@Calvin:
Thanks. But it is not ‘lost wife’ but a ‘lost husband’ story; my wife has lost all hopes on me!

@Saurabh:
Shopping chores has nothing to do with marriage. Even if you leave alone, you will have to do household shopping.

@Mathew:
Yeah, believe me, you will need the book and more.
Shopping therapy could be the next breakthrough in women psychology.

@Ranjani:
Thank you for coming this way.

@Sai:
You need to find somebody who will do your household shopping for you. Marriage might be a good way to get help, as in my case.
I hope you know that Gopu has also solved his shopping problems :-)

nimis540 said...

"“Sir, if cost of living is so high and obviously offensive to you, then why do you bother?” (to live, that is.."

Lol..Exactly what corporates think of it..If yopu can;t afford,that is your problem and not ours..This in turn leads to greed and running after many evils...

Salil said...

@Nimis:
Thank you for passing by.
If we all don’t run after material things, the world economy will collapse and we will all be out of our jobs. So let greed and evil prevail and make the world a better place :-)