IT’S CALLED SHOPPING NOT BUYING

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          In his short story, Delta Autumn, William Faulkner wrote: “But women hope for so much. They never live too long to still believe that anything within the scope of their passionate wanting is likewise within the range of their passionate hope…” What Faulkner was trying to say in his Nobel prize-winning, world-renowned style is: Women are nuts and believe anything they want, they can get. (If you have a problem with that, get a hold of Bill. I don’t make this stuff up; I just report it.)
When I first read that passage I thought, when did Faulkner meet my wife? My wife will hang the laundry out on the clothesline even though every weather report says there is a three hundred percent chance of rain, thunder is rattling the windows and quarter-sized drops of rain are dotting the cement of our patio.
“The storm might miss us,” she’ll say as a gust of wind comes up and flips over the garbage can, the grill and the Chevy Equinox.
When we take a trip, I live in constant fear of running out of gas because my wife is sure it will be cheaper in the next place down the road. If it is cheaper, she is certain at the next place they will be giving it away in some type of promotional deal. So we drive on with the yellow LOW FUEL light dinging as she searches for the mythical free gas. Normally we end up paying a higher price than we would have if we had just stopped at the first place, not that my wife doesn’t suggest driving back to the place where it had been the cheapest. But by then I’ve chewed off all my fingernails and half my toenails worrying that we’re going to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. I don’t want to hike fifteen miles to the nearest town to get a can of gas. Even then she’d probably make me hike to the town after that one, because that might be where they are having the free gas promotional deal. Gas is not something you should do a lot of shopping for the best deal.

Shopping is my wife’s downfall. When I need a pair of black socks, I go buy a pair of black socks. All you men are saying, “Tell us something not so obvious like the Chicago Cubs won’t win the World Series this year,” while you women are rolling on the floor in fits of laughter. There is an old saying among fisherman: If you caught fish every time you went, they’d call it catching not fishing. There is a reason women call it shopping and not buying. My wife will go to a fabric store to get a couple yards of muslin. I don’t know why she needs muslin, but she’s constantly running out of it–one day I’m sure I’ll find one of the rooms in our house wallpapered with muslin. While she goes into the store, I’ll wait in the car, because men are not allowed in fabric stores. There is no law forbidding it, but common sense dictates unless you want to hear volumes about gingham, calico, crepe, swansdown and aba–which men think was a Swedish singing group but isn’t– you’ll stay outside in the car and listen to ABBA on the golden oldies station.

Three days later my wife finally comes out of the store carrying ten bags.
“That’s a lot of muslin,” I’ll say.
“I didn’t get any muslin,” she’ll reply. “It wasn’t on sale.”
“So what’s in the bags?”
“Other stuff that was on sale.”
Sale is the magic word, and if it’s on sale and there’s a coupon, she’ll buy as much as they’ll allow, even if it’s aba.
Okay, I’ve had some fun at my wife’s expense because today is her birthday. I married an older woman, so for the next four months she will be a year older than me—not that I would ever mention it. Age seems to mean less every year. When I look at her now, I still see the same cute long-haired high school girl I saw when I first met her, because I’m old and I really need new glasses. No seriously, physical looks mean so little when you get down to it. Looks attract. Eventually Time sculpts all of us into wrinkled old people. If looks is all you have in a relationship, you have nothing. So happy birthday, Beautiful. I got you a card, a cake and some muslin.

sticks          gohpl     cover

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About thewritingdeputy

Joel Jurrens was a deputy sheriff for 26 years until he retired in 2013. He has published three novels: In The Sticks, Graves of His Personal Liking and County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald. He tries to keep his blog light and humorous and sometimes downright silly.
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One Response to IT’S CALLED SHOPPING NOT BUYING

  1. G JoAnn Collins says:

    I missed this one earlier. I KNOW about shopping with your wife though……I don’t like to shop but I like to watch her sort out her coupons and run around stores (Kohls seems to be a favorite) looking for stuff! LOL

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