Shopping rules

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Shopping at Regent’s Street

One of the nightmares of any man on earth when on vacations with girl friends, girlfriends or wives is shopping. It can be a new place, it can be a place you have visited a thousand times, it can be London, Paris or a small Icelandic village you are visiting for the first time, but women are grand masters in finding places to execute shopping even in the remotest places on earth.

Of course I have to say that shopping (the act of paying for something you have just decided to buy) is not necessarily a bad think. What is bad is the endless process of looking and searching for things to buy that ends up with the act of paying.  I would not mind shopping something that I have searched for for 10 minutes before making up my mind! What I do mind though is spending 1 hour, hopping from shop to shop, under the pouring rain, just to decide on the colour of a 5-pound pen from London for a present, for somebody I barely know, who has actually been to London.

So is there some advice we can follow when asked to accompany females during the .. dreadful process of shopping when on vacations? Let’s see some basic rules.

Rule. 1 Never try to change a woman’s mind about shopping.

No man living or dead has ever managed to persuade women to cut down on shopping, especially on a foreign destination. Even if they do so, that would be temporarily and in exchange for something really big and definitely we don’t want to do this! So just … go with the flow. The unavoidable will happen in any way!

Rule 2. Avoid at all costs being present when shopping is executed. Find something else to do…anything.

While they are having multiple orgasms shopping, you can tell them you will call friends you had not seen for ages (of course you will be the only one to know that these were fictional friends – to be more persuasive just add a name and a random number in your mobile phone). You can go walking alone, go bird watching or just have coffee. Otherwise go sightseeing or if you have exhausted all other options just go back to your hotel and sleep.

Rule 3. If you cannot avoid being with them, try to shorten the time allocated for shopping.

Give wrong bus times or shop opening times, tell them there is a strike, when navigating just make a wrong turn left or right (you would rather walk more than stand in a shop looking like a fool), show them airplanes flying when passing next to a shop so as they don’t turn their heads, pretend you have developed a problem in walking or just walk slowly. You will most probably delay the whole process and if you are really the LOTTO winner you will be asked – definitely not politely but you just don’t care- to leave them alone and do something else while they shop.

Rule 4. If you cannot avoid being with them, reduce the level of involvement.

In the case you cannot do anything else other than being with them, then try to keep away from them at a safe distance – you don’t want to get involved too much in the actual shopping process. If you are then, don’t give just general opinions as these may complicate and delay (!) even more the shopping process (and we don’t want that) or even being blamed for accidentally steering them towards a bad decision. Put your earphones on and in the case you are asked and you just cannot avoid speaking up your opinion, just always say what they (probably – you can never be sure) want to listen. Avoid listening to discussions they have with salespeople as you will lose any credit you had for them – … not the salespeople! Try not to look what they have bought as your blood pressure will most probably hit the ceiling and a rule of thumb is to never suggest to check another store thinking … cunningly you might buy something cheaper. What you will succeed will be to just add another half an hour going to that store and then returning to the first one because they had also seen another piece of equipment they would like to buy!

Rule 5. Offer strategically thought advice only at strategically selected instances.

Only and only in specific time instances or points at shopping e.g. when you are ready to explode or you are sure you will be missing the plane back home, offer carefully thought advice!

“How nice this looks on to you” if they seem close to buying it and at the same time

“This you wish to buy, mom would like it for her” so that you immediately, in a split of a second cancel that option. At times of indecisions or low self–esteem such advice can be priceless and they will even listen to your opinion!

You can also tell them you remember the same thing costs less on Duty Free, but you will only be the one to know that most probably nothing similar to this exists in duty free.

Rule 6. Offer a good exist strategy

After some time when they will most probably be tired, offer some good advice in order to stop shopping. This can be anything like related to going for a coffee, lunch or dinner.

Good Luck!

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