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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Evil of Sales

I'm a bloke.

I freely admit it. I also freely admit that while I'm fascinated by the fairer sex, I am also confused.
I have been happily married to my beloved for 34 years, but I'm still not sure what actually goes on in her brain. Males and Females differ (thank goodness), and mostly we complement each other (no Second, I don't go round thanking her every second, or saying she's got lovely hair, we just fit I think I'll rephrase that. My weaknesses are her strengths etc.)

I'm good at carpentry, home decoration and repair, setting up and fixing computers, fixing cars and all electrical appliances, all heavy labouring, washing and cleaning dishes, and ironing and vacuuming.

My beloved cooks some lovely meals.
And shops. Dear God, why do women enjoy shopping?

The last time I bought a pair of shoes, it took me about 30 minutes, in 4 shops. In, look at shoes on offer, if any look my type I try them, and if they fit I buy or leave. Price not really that important, comfort number 1 priority, then style and price.
I no longer accompany my beloved on most of her shopping, as the last time we went shoe shopping, I got so bored and brain-damaged that I began to develop a tic under my left eye, and some of the other women in the shop thought I was winking at them.
I had to leave hurriedly when one of them winked back, and spent a happy time looking in hardware and computing shops.

4 hours later, my beloved and I met up again, sans shoes. She said she'd go back the next day just to check out some more styles.
Eventually, after repeating the whole process over several more days the shoes were finally bought, and they did look very attractive, but my beloved admitted that she wouldn't be wearing them for long periods because they weren't that comfortable. Now quite honestly, I just don't understand this. If I'm going to work or a walk or a party or whatever, I want to be able to walk without pain. Silly of me I know, but I don't really care too much about appearances, just comfort. I won't take it to extremes (like a couple of my friends) and I won't actually wear trainers with a suit to go to a funeral, but comfort must be there as well as style.

While I was in Scotland last month, we both stocked up on good quality clothes and shoes. I bought sensible stuff. A Gor-Tex jacket at £70, a good quality woollen jumper at £12, a couple of shirts from the Marks & Spencer sales at £6 each, and finally a lovely comfortable pair of shoes by Doc Marten at £80. All cheaper than NZ prices, all good quality and all practical and comfortable.
My Doc Marten's Shoe

My beloved spent over £400 on what I would call non-essentials. I'm not complaining about the cost (much) but the items bought just seemed wrong. Most of the stuff was Vyella and Country Casuals. All good quality, all (well actually most) on sale prices, but none of the jackets would really keep you warm, the blouses would disappear in a gentle breeze and the shoes looked....weird. Nobody's got feet shaped like that, I think they may have been designed by Torquemada.
This is a Shoe?

Now what sparked of this post, seeing as we've been back in NZ for almost a month now?
I got home last night, tired from all the school-work and as i came into our kitchen, I saw a pile of large (very large) plastic boxes with lids.
"What are these Dear?" I said to my beloved; a bright and charming smile fixed to my face.

"Plastic boxes" she said.

"I know Dear" I said, the bright and charming smile beginning to morph into a fixed grimace, "But why?"

"They were on sale at the Warehouse" was the reply, delivered with an inevetable finality.

"But what are they for?" I persevered hopelessly.

"They were only $5 each, $20 reduction"
I smiled again, a winsome boyish smile, a smile which recognised defeat.
What was it for? It was $5 each. The logic escaped me.
I retreated to our bedroom to get changed out of my school clothes into sensible kiwi home kit. $6 Warehouse T-shirt (too big, but very comfortable) and an exceedingly disreputable pair of shorts which I brought with me from the Army, and have been involved in every gardening, building and decorative project for the last 25 years. They are very comfortable, but getting a little tight nowadays. Must be shrinking after all these washes.

What was it for? It was $5 each. Fascinating. I wonder where they would end up? And what would actually be stored in them?

We'd see. They must be good. They were only $5 each. They had a $20 reduction.

Function pecuniam sequitur

For those non-Kiwis reading this, The Warehouse  (aka The Big Red Shed) is a NZ institution, importing all sorts of goods, piling them high and selling them cheap.  Quality can be extremely variable.  As an example, just after I arrived in NZ, I bought a can opener from the Warehouse.  It cost only $2.50, and broke after a week (3 cans).  They refuse to take anything back if you don't have a docket (receipt)


  1. It's good that women take the trouble to look nice for us. I'm chewin' a carrot here, but I'm thinking that maybe you should take more care with your clothes buying.

  2. Look - no-body CARES what men wear, especially on their feet :-)

    Plastic boxes are VERY important. For storing stuff. ONE DAY.

    Shoes - all you need to know about women's shoes is that we need them. LOTS of pairs.

    That is all.

    Ali x

    PS - where in Scotland did you go?

  3. Ali: I can understand (just) the need for clothes, but not the shoes. I think I've got 7 pairs. 2 black, 2 brown, a pair of sandals, a pair of gumboots and some steel toed workboots.

    My beloved has an entire cupboard full. I'm talking a cupboard 2 metres high and 1.5 metres wide and deep.
    We're talking over 60 pairs. Why?

    When we were in Scotland, we visited my Dad & my Brother and his family up on the Black Isle near Dingwall, my cousin near Perth, my Daughter near St. Andrews nad my other cousins in Airdrie. Plus multiple shopping trips to Dundee and Edinburgh.
    I take it from your posts that you live on an island on the West Coast. Is it the Isle of Bute or Milport? I originally come from Glasgow, and spent many happy hours in Milport, and been to Rothsay a few times as well,

  4. I'm not saying I have the same experience but we have two cardboard boxes full of hand bags. Shoes avalanching out of the double ward robe. My clothes get squeezed into about a fifth of the closet space. I don't even believe it relates just to obsessive disorders anymore.
    A man came to pick up a trademe sale this evening and made me laugh when he said his wife can't stop buying things, anything almost.

  5. Jings, Crivens and help ma Bob. Ali, My Mum was originaly from Coatdyke, all of my Aunties and Uncles lived in Airdrie (Whifflet) and Coatbridge.
    It's a small world innit?

    So is it Bute or Milport? gies us a clue, woman


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