Tag Archives: shopping

Men Who Are Miserable, Join the Fight Against Shopping!

An Instagram account called “miserable_men” documents the silent suffering that is the scourge of all men: Shadowing their wives or girlfriends as they go shopping.

You know the scene I am talking about, or perhaps you have lived this nightmare yourself.

Your significant other wants you to go shopping at the mall, which means you sit at the edge of a raised display stand, sharing what little space you have with a mannequin, as she peruses the racks of clothes.

If you are really, really lucky, there is a bench somewhere you can park yourself and people-watch to kill time.

But to complete the humiliation, you are asked to hold the purse or handbag of your wife/girlfriend/partner while she ducks into a dressing room to “just try on a few things.”

Time passes as slowly as a turtle on Quaaludes. All the while you are trying not to make eye contact with your fellow man.

But members of our tribe will not judge you harshly. They will look at you and silently say a prayer of thanksgiving: “Dude, better you than me.”

I am relieved to say that my wife has not once ever asked me to go shopping with her for clothes. She is content to make a marathon solo bid for what she is looking for. She will make a strategic strike at a particular department store, scoop up dozens of outfits to try in one swoop and then get out.

And in further proof that she is a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Patience, she has gone shopping for clothes not only with me but with my two sons as well.

My late fiancée, on the other hand, was a shopper extraordinaire. A visit to the mall was like a hobby to her. She would eye the latest styles, check the feel of fabrics, look for sales and then bring an envelope full of coupons to the register.

I recall one time we were at the mall for eight straight hours. Yes, eight hours. Elephant pregnancies take less time.

Too many men are afflicted with SAD, Shopping Adjustment Disorder, as captured in the miserable_men Instagram account.

A report in The New York Daily News summed it up: “The feed features miserable men of all shapes and sizes — despondent dads, bummed-out boyfriends and even a couple of gloomy granddads — painstakingly waiting to escape from the insufferable purgatory that is the mall.”

This is why today I am founding an organization called CRITICAL MASS: Coalition of Responsible Individuals Taking Into Consideration Always Leading Men Against Superfluous Shopping.

We need to demand that outlet malls truly have outlets for men: Wet bars. Big TVs. Arcade games. Nap rooms.

Think of it as a daddy daycare where men could be dropped off for hours at a time.

Join with me and together we can raise our voices to ask the question that is burning on the lips of all men who are made to endure trips to the mall:

“Does this handbag I have to hold make me look fat?”

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You Wanna Know What Comes Between Me and My Daddy Jeans?

“Dad jeans” are notable for being remarkably unremarkable.

Urbandictionary.com defines “Dad jeans” this way:

“Jeans that are no longer fashionable and are usually characterized by a tapered leg, high waist or brand name that was cool about 10 years ago. Dad jeans are typically worn by aging men with salt and pepper hair who are in denial that they are no longer hip, have children and drive a station wagon or SUV.”

I was blissfully ignorant of this derogatory term until recently, when my wife made reference to it.

It turned out that I was a dad jeans frequent flier. (“Clothes Really Do Make the Man” and “Daddy Jeans Revisited.”)

In my defense, I like to dress for comfort.

I am self-conscious about looking too paunchy in the poochey, which is why I tend to get pants that are a little looser in the waist.

With my height, though, it means they are saggier in the butt.

But when the pants are tighter in the butt, they tend to be tighter in the waist which, I think, accents my gut.

Hence the dad jeans look.

The last time I gave jeans style a thought was when I was a teenager and I owned — I can admit this now — a pair of Jordache jeans.

Hey, don’t judge! It was the ’80s! Everybody was doing it!

My wife, bless her besotted self, tells me I have a comely tush that I keep well hidden in what amounts to balloon clown pants.

Pedro tells me I could rent out the extra space I have in my pants and easily get $1,500 a month rent for it in New York City.

So as a present for Father’s Day, Meg and my youngest son Daniel, took me shopping for pants.

This trip required that I:

  • Try on each pair
  • And model them for approval from the judges.

I HATE clothes shopping. And the only thing I hate more is having to try stuff on in fitting rooms.

I much prefer to go to the rack or the shelves, find my size and proceed to checkout. Easy-peasy!

jeansThe trip to the mall is featured in our latest podcast, which pays tributes to dads, Father’s Day and, of course, dad jeans.

I will say that as a result of the shopping expedition (and Meg’s
abundant patience and encouragement), I am now outfitted with several pairs of good-fitting jeans.

The lesson I learned?

I will take the time to try on clothes and no longer shop for jeans by the seat of my pants.

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Featured photo courtesy of shutupandwearit.com.