Men around the world, if your wife has a $10 coupon at a department store, do not, I repeat, do not, accompany her to the department store. You are risking your sanity, your good nature, and your eternal salvation. The Curmudgeonly Professor made this egregious mistake yesterday. I was warned that I probably should not come. But, as any rational thinker would think, I figured 10 minutes and she could stimulate the economy with a $10 coupon and we would be out of there.
Here is my sad story. I walked around the perimeter of the store, skipping quickly past the five acres of bras, which appeared more than enough to clothe the entire female population of Salt Lake City twice over, to check out the picture frames. I noticed at least three other geezers dutifully following their spouses around with a glazed and pained look in their eyes while the spouse was loading up a cart with doodads that she likely didn't even need anyway but that she thought were "cute," the female word of choice to describe everything from shoes (how and why did shoes get to be "cute" for heaven's sake?) to dish towels. Tiring quickly of this deadly foray into department store hell, I escaped to the geezer bench located between the two sets of doors by the entrance/exit, expecting my dear wife to have completed her $10 purchase within moments and we would be on our way to Rumbi's Hawaiian Grill for lunch. The Curmudgeonly Professor was sadly mistaken. He sat there in a stupor while both sets of doors banged countless times. Out of dozens, maybe even hundreds, of women, plus three old geezers, only one was observed wearing a skirt or dress. I was reminded of Saturdays on Main Street in Powell WY when all of the farm women came to town all decked out in their Sunday best and with some of them even wearing hats. Now the decor is jeans, tee-shirts, and grunge. I did push the button for the automatic door several times to facilitate the passage of women with five or six kids plus one or two in a stroller, and for a lady on a scooter chair, thus making myself useful.
Still no wife. This situation reminded me of our last trip to WalMart, during which trip to the store I was informed that "I am already regretting bringing you," a complaint totally unjustified due to some minor whining. But, at WalMart, my wife instantly disappeared while I was searching for a cheap bottle of salsa. A WalMart Associate, as clerks at WalMart are ceremoniously termed, asked if I had found what I wanted, to which query I replied that I could not find my wife, to which she replied "We do not locate wives." Well. Hoity Toity. I thought about going up to the front and asking them to put this spousal loss on the loud speaker so I could meet her at the front. I thought about installing a GPS on her cart next time. She took my cell phone away from me a few months ago because I had only used it a couple of times in the last year or so, so cell phones were not an option. Eventually she showed up from some unknown destination and we were able to escape the store, pushing our cart past the two greeters who were so busy chatting with one another they had no time to say "Welcome to WalMart" to any of the new customers entering by the exit doors. In fact, there is probably little point in welcoming anyone to WalMart anyway since the main reason people go there instead of Nordstrom's should be obvious to the densest observer.
But I have digressed. Eventually, after 40 painful minutes of waiting, my wife emerged. With three pair of socks. Which cost her exactly 58 cents over the $10 coupon. Ordinarily, she would have found a blouse or something that started out at $80, was marked down three times, and had an extra markdown on geezer day, so she would come out with a better bargain. "I warned you," she definitively stated. In other words, save your griping, whining, bellyaching, and complaining. In other words, this egregious wait was all my fault for coming, so I had no recourse. Except to remind men around the world and myself that, in the future, if your wife has a $10 coupon, do not accompany them to Kohl's Department Store. Or any other department store. Stay home and watch Matlock. Do not even think of asking your wife how she could spend 40 minutes to buy three pair of little white socks. If you want to stay married, that is. Unless you want to figure out how to pay the bills this month, which I haven't paid for 40 years and have no idea how to do.
Now I have just been informed that my presence is desired to accompany my spouse to Home Depot to buy some potted petunias. Heaven only knows how this trip will turn out. Wish me luck.