What Hunting is to Men, and a New way to Look at Shopping

28 Jul

It is my contention (or possibly a theory) that when women shop they are actually hunting.

Let me explain.

This recent understanding (could it be an epiphany?) has changed my entire attitude about the process of shopping. When a person goes hunting or fishing there is hope and abundant optimism that the trip will end with getting something. We bait the hook with anticipation and wait patiently for the fish to swallow what he thinks is lunch and we will then have him in our boat to take home. We clean and load our rifle and sit quietly in our perfectly selected spot expecting a squirrel to show up ant any moment with mild anxiety whether we can aim accurately enough.

However if something isn’t caught or isn’t shot then the trip doesn’t exactly feel like a waste somehow. Although we have spent considerable resources in the way of time, money and learning, we can leave the lake or woods feeling good even if there is nothing in our bag. Our mindset with regard to hunting or fishing is such that, although we are full of anticipation, we don’t have strict expectations. We are hopeful, yes, but we also know that there are other forces beyond us that may naturally prevent us from accomplishing the simple task of getting something in our bag. We may sit for hours and even days with no results. We may be disappointed but not terribly frustrated.

In other words, we want to get something but we don’t have to get something in order to have a good time.

When we (men…for the most part anyway) go shopping, we are not hunting. We fully expect to buy something….put something in our bag! We do a similar routine as we do for hunting. We select the quarry (shirt, gift, beer, etc). We choose a place from referrals or already contained knowledge. We bring our poles or guns (credit cards) and head off to the land of retail. But this time we fully expect to get something. In fact we will get something even if it isn’t exactly what we though we wanted. We wanted a pair of jeans…we’ll take close to size and close to color and maybe close to brand name…but we will put a pair of jeans in our bag.

This is shopping to us…putting something in the bag. Women don’t seem as committed to putting something in their bag as we do, so it appears to me to be more like hunting than shopping.

This new understanding has allowed me to enjoy shopping now because I really know it is hunting.

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