Man’s Man’s World Ex­cept when we take a shot at shop­ping …

CLEO (Malaysia) - - YOUR LIFE, YOUR RULES! -

My wife and I re­cently had a day out shop­ping in Bukit Bin­tang and it un­der­lined both how sim­i­lar and dif­fer­ent we are in many ways. Our first stop was Sephora, her happy place (as I’m sure many of you can re­late). She prac­ti­cally hears a heav­enly cho­rus upon en­try and is drawn, moth-like to the flame of eye­shad­ows, lip­sticks, bronz­ers and what­ever the hell “con­tour­ing kits” may be. Be­ing a man who’s in­ter­ested in groom­ing, I hap­pily bus­ied my­self among the male po­tions, lo­tions and scents – at which point, I was asked by no less than three staff mem­bers if I needed help. To which I replied, “No thanks, I’m here with my wife”, and to which they all gave that un­der­stand­ing “Sure, you are, buddy” smile. Next stop was Pav­il­lion, the over­whelm­ing, me­galithic, re­tail tsunami (or at least it is to me). Jen­nie, how­ever, is like a state of the art GPS that pin­points spe­cific stores like a lo­cal. While she shops up a storm, I peeled off in search of free wi-fi and be­fore hunt­ing for my own goods. When we meet up af­ter what seemed like 48 hours, it be­comes strik­ingly clear how dif­fer­ent men and women are as re­tail crea­tures. I bought three T-shirts un­der RM100; she, one item for dou­ble that amount. As a pro­fes­sional woman, she can spend what she wants, when she wants to, but I can’t help but gloat on my bar­gain-sniff­ing skills. How­ever, this will last ap­prox­i­mately one month, un­til my shod­dily made ul­tra-cheap pur­chases have ei­ther shrunk, run or frayed, while hers still look shop-new and con­tinue to do so. I will then con­ve­niently ra­tio­nalise – a lit­tle too stri­dently, might I add – by say­ing “Well, they were only RM100”. If she’s keep­ing track of the times I’m re­peat­ing this mantra, she doesn’t men­tion. Af­ter all these years of shop­ping and trail­ing be­hind Jean­nie, I’ve no­ticed another pe­cu­liar phe­nom­e­non. Shop as­sis­tants – of both gen­ders – brazenly flirt with me when she’s out of sight. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s got noth­ing to do with my at­trac­tive­ness or other­wise. They sim­ply want an ally to join in their cho­rus of “OMG, that looks amaz­ing”, then to me, “Doesn’t she look amaz­ing?” And if I ex­press the slight­est bit of doubt or hon­esty – which is the rea­son Jen­nie wants me there in the first place – the staff glares at me like I’ve just stood them up at prom. Ad­mit­tedly, Jen­nie and I en­joy these mo­ments more than we should. Af­ter all, mu­tual en­joy­ment is what shop­ping with your part­ner should be all about, right?

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