December 14, 2009

"[W]hen a woman tells you where she bought some wonderful pair of shoes, say that you believe shopping for clothes is like masturbation..."

"... everyone does it, but it isn't very interesting and therefore should be done alone, in an embarrassed fashion, and never be the topic of party conversation."

A quote from an old Lorrie Moore book, in a review of a new Lorrie Moore book. I realize — because I read that or because I would already have thought it's true — that I think shopping should be done alone and in an embarrassed fashion. And now I think I understand why it troubles me so much when the salesladies come up to me and ask if they can help.

21 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

My wife admits that the DIY network is porn for women.

Synova said...

I really hate to shop. It doesn't embarrass me, it tends to make me feel ill after a short time. I'd rather not shop alone, because a pleasant companion makes the ordeal bearable. I want the salesladies to ask me if I need help, particularly if I *am* alone, and when I'm ignored I figure it's a good thing I'm not black or I'd have yet another proof of racism. I hate being in the shop, whatever it is, and I want assistance, encouragement, and approval of my tastes and choices as well as suggestions, so that I can get done with it as soon as possible.

Angst said...

"I think I understand why it troubles me so much when the salesladies come up to me and ask if they can help."

What if the salesperson is attractive and of the opposite sex? ;->

EDH said...

Why not combine the two and just masterbate, "alone," in the fitting room while clothes shopping?

Now, imagine trying to finish your business in there with the "Yes Guy" (Frank Nelson) just outside the curtain.

Rick Lee said...

My wife has recently begun to take advantage of the service offered at Nordstrom where a professional shopper helps with the process. Sometimes I join in!... I sit in a comfortable chair in the ladies' dressing room while this attractive Greek woman brings her stuff to try on. Are we kinky or what?

Kirk Parker said...

My favorite line about clothes shopping comes from a biography of C.S. Lewis (iirc the one written by his brother.) "[Lewis] dressed as if his method of shopping was a hurried acceptance of the first item offered by the haberdasher--and in fact that's exactly what it was." [paraphrased of course, except for the "hurried acceptance of the first item" part]

Paul Zrimsek said...

You know what's really sick? Window shopping.

Shanna said...

I'd rather not shop alone, because a pleasant companion makes the ordeal bearable.

I like shopping with other people when I don't have anything specific I need or I'm not a short time frame, but if I need to get something specific, like Christmas presents, it's so much more efficient to just go myself! I never get as much done when other people are with me.

Ralph L said...

Measure your inseam, Ma'am?

Or do women's pants come in different lengths, since 95% of their legs range from short to stubby?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Of course you're going to think their legs are stubby if you only measure 95% of them! Besides, that last 5% is pretty nice.

chuck b. said...

Is the same Ann Althouse who went looking for a $500 sweater not that long ago?

Beth said...

Ralph, your question reminds me of the last time I went shopping for jeans. I went into the store I've been going to for a few years and looked on the shelves, only to find none of the sizes were recognizable. A saleswoman came up, told me they'd discovered that people don't come in sizes, they come in "body types" and so the company had changed everything. She then whipped out a tape measure and started to measure me, right there in the middle of the store, in the middle of the mall. I stiff-armed her and left, appalled.

SteveR said...

They aren't the same, one of them is actually fun.

ricpic said...

Unless you're a decisive type shopping is usually a long drawn out trial and error process until you finally come up with an item that looks right and fits right. Under those conditions who needs a salesperson underfoot whose only real concern is that the customer hurry up and buy something?

traditionalguy said...

Ah ha. We men always wondered what was going on in the Changing Rooms while we sat patiently outside.

jaed said...

Or do women's pants come in different lengths, since 95% of their legs range from short to stubby?

Men have no idea. Men can go into any store and get a pair of jeans by waist size and inseam length. Women have to make do with dress size. The inseam is 30 1/2" for all sizes, period, fuck you ma'am.

(Department stores often have a "petite" department, so you may have two choices of inseam length. Talls are rare in actual stores, but once in a while you will see one or two styles of pants in tall... so if you are extremely lucky, you might have a choice of three inseam lengths. Maybe.) A choice of sleeve lengths in shirts or jackets? Don't make me laugh.

Beth, the Right Fit Blue jeans are a blessing for those of us with... how shall I say... well-endowed in the butt. The waistband actually doesn't gap and pull down in back! Wondrous. The Yellow also seems well-received by non-hippy women. The sizes are kind of funky, so it's either get measurements or take half a dozen sizes into the dressing room. (However, she should not have up and done that without asking you first and I don't blame you for straightarming her.)

prairie wind said...

I want help from the sales clerk so I love the stores that have plenty of clerks to help me find pieces that go together, to find clothing that suits my quirky figure. I like to test them by deliberately choosing something awful. If the clerk tell me gently that it isn't right for me, I know I've found a good clerk.

A man approached me once in a lingerie department to ask if I needed help with bra sizes. I was startled, to say the least. Turns out he was a rep from a bra manufacturer and was able to help me figure out a good bra for me. It was a long time ago and I don't remember him touching me but maybe he measured me. I don't know. I was determined to find a good bra, so it was worth it. If he enjoyed it more than a company rep should have, he gave no sign. And if he wasn't really the company rep and was just a perve whiling away an afternoon, I don't mind. I got great bra advice from him.

Shanna said...

Bra people are always wanting to measure you. You have to fight them off with a stick at VS. (I actually just cancelled my card there, because in the great jacking up of terms that is now going on in response to the idiotic credit card law, they have decided to charge 1 dollar per paper statement. The free stuff they send in the mail is just not worth the hassle.)

Methadras said...

Paul Zrimsek said...

You know what's really sick? Window shopping.


Why you piece of disgusting filth.

Bruce Hayden said...

The free stuff they send in the mail is just not worth the hassle.

Maybe if you are a woman. As a guy, their catalogs are great.

Girlfriend modeled that sort of stuff at some point, and has a huge amount of it. So, I keep telling her that she has no reason to have such a wish list around, esp. since she insists on each color, whenever she buys. But, since she has the catalogs lying around, I am forced to check them out. (And, they are far cheaper than jewelry catalogs - her Christmas list this year comes from the Trump jewelry catalog we got when we stayed at Trump Towers in Vegas last month - I wished her good luck, and told her I wouldn't contribute there, until she was wearing what she already had).

Bruce Hayden said...

Women are nutso about shoes.

Girlfriend has about 300 pair (excluding boots, sneakers, etc.), and I told her, one pair in, one pair out, if we ever get married - which may be why we have been together for 10 years now, and haven't gotten there yet.

We had our yearly office party last weekend with our office and our Reno office up at a nice bistro in Reno. So, the women in the office had to go out shoe shopping before they could go. And, then, at the party, one of them spent quite awhile trying to convince the other to spend the night at her parents' house so they could go out shoe shopping the next day too. Their husbands just shook their heads and ordered another drink.

Nutso.

During that discussion at the table at the restaurant, I told them that one of the reasons that I was glad I was a guy, was that we had two colors of shoes: black and brown, and two basic styles: lace up and loafers. Plus, of course, sneakers, and a couple pair of boots (ok, I do have a dozen pair of cowboy boots). Because of what I do (lawyer), I do have maybe 20 pair of black and brown leather shoes, and find I have more than anyone else in my family. Oh, and a pair of white ones to go with my white summer suit.