I’ve got to admit that like most men, I find the idea of shopping pretty distasteful.
It’s one of the scariest things my wife can throw at me other than the dreaded “We need to talk.”
I don’t mind, however, the occasional shopping trip to purchase groceries. As long as it’s not more than once every six months or so.
For one thing, I can always slip a couple of items, like olives and craft beer, that only I like into the cart. The kind of things she wouldn’t bring home for me if she had to go by herself.
She often catches me in the act of doing just that but never says much because she knows it’s the cost of dragging me along.
It’s kind of like giving a dog a treat when they’ve done something good — and in most cases, something they should be doing anyway.
But when my wife tells me we need to go to one of those shopping centers where there are multiple stores, including those selling makeup and perfume, I just cringe.
Just like the treats, she has found a way to lure me into going by mentioning there are some big-tickets items on the list that I have already agreed we need to get. And of course, she needs me to come along so we can make a mutual decision about what’s to be purchased, although I don’t why.
We recently wound up at Target in Columbus on such a trip. For the record, it’s one of the few stores of that type that she knows will even get me out of the car.
I’m not sure what we were after that day, but when she couldn’t find it, we spent some time in the women’s clothing section — another place I avoid like the plague.
As usual, we walked out of there empty-handed.
So in a desperate bid to ensure our trip to Columbus wasn’t in vain, she brought up the fact that our coffeemaker is on life support and is likely not going to make it through the rest of the winter.
I concurred, so off we went to housewares to check out the latest and greatest in coffeemakers that neither one of us can learn how to use.
When we were young, she and I wouldn’t spend much time shopping for a coffee pot. Usually, we picked out the cheapest one we could find that met our needs because there were more important places we could find to spend our money.
Now, there are so many options, and it doesn’t end with just your run-of-the-mill coffeemaker. Now, you can buy ice coffeemakers (we have one), one that makes espresso and lattes (I bought my brother one for Christmas and liked how well it worked on a recent visit to his home), Keurigs (we did that one years ago) and so much more.
Target had just one aisle of coffeemakers, but it was packed full of many of the coffeemakers already mentioned. I know because we’ve visited there recently with the intention of buying a new coffeemaker and walked away empty-handed.
When we arrived this time, there was another couple standing in aisle in our way. They also were debating the merits of each type of coffeemaker and what each of them was looking for in a new one.
The man, who may have been slightly younger than me, said he just wanted one so he could fill his Thermos bottles as he headed off to work. The woman wanted something a little more modern.
We went around them and came in from the backside and started talking about our own wants and desires in a coffeemaker.
Shortly after that, we struck up a conversation with the other couple and had a good time talking about coffeemakers and our expectations for our morning cup.
The four of us seemed to have so much in common when it comes to coffeemakers that I was surprised we didn’t exchange phone numbers so we could explore the subject even further.
There was a time when most of our friends were the parents of our son’s friends whom he was playing ball with at the time.
Now, we have gone to making friends on shopping trips. Imagine that.
For the record, we left Columbus empty-handed that day. Why? We need to do a little more research before making the purchase of a big, fancy and expensive coffeemaker. No surprise there.
Aubrey Woods is editor of The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected]