1. Money

Don't get me wrong, I'm really not complaining. There is no telling how many hundreds of dollars my wife has saved us in our 10 years of marriage by finding bargains. I know that I am truly fortunate that she goes out of her way to always find the best deals and if she doesn't find a deal, she doesn't buy it.

But...

It can be a bit frustrating sometimes. I guess it emphasizes the basic differences between us. I'm a man. Men don't shop. We buy stuff.

It's simple, we drive to the store, go get what we want, check out, and leave! We know generally where what we are looking for is in the store, so we go directly there and find it. We don't have to go down every isle of the store first. We don't have to read the flyers to see what else might be on sale today. We don't NEED anything else, we only need what we came for in the first place!

Of course, if what we came to buy is not in the section of the store that we thought it was, we don't ask for help. We just keep looking until we find it, but that's another story.

My wife is different. She shops. I mean SHOPS. It took her 3 months to buy the dress that she wore at our wedding. It took her that long to find a "deal."

That's the way she is with buying clothes. Before she buys anything it must be the right style, the right color, the right fit, and MUST be on sale! If it fits all of the first three criteria but is not on sale, she doesn't buy it. She waits. Deep in her heart she knows that someday it will go on sale.

I don't understand this. It's hard enough for her to find things that she likes and then harder still to find them that fit her correctly. When I see her put something back on the rack that she already said she really liked and she tried it on and it fit, I ask why. "Why did you put that back? You liked it."

"It's not on sale," she says.

"But, but, but..." I can argue until I'm blue in the face. It doesn't matter how much she likes it, if it's not a deal, she's not going to budge. She refuses to buy it, like it or not.

This is why I rarely accompany her on shopping trips. It drives me crazy. Don't even talk to me about picking out furniture!

The other day she was headed out to the grocery store and asked if there was anything I needed. "We are out of soda," I said. When she returned from the store, I went digging through all the bags looking for the soda. They were not there.

"I don't buy soda at the grocery store, I buy them at the discount store and I didn't go there today," she explained.

So, here I sit without a cold drink until the next time she schedules a trip to the super discount mart, which won't happen until there is a "critical mass" of sale items advertised in their flyer.

Men don't do that. If we go to the store and we are out of soda, we buy them! Simple! We don't even LOOK at the price. Who cares? We don't have soda and we need them now!

Another conversation goes like this. "Where's yesterday paper, there was an article I haven't read yet."

"I took them all to the recycling bin this morning," she says, but I notice that all of the advertising flyers are still here -- stacked up neatly on the table with her coupon file and her scissors. Never mind the news, weather and sports, we saved the important stuff!

I have to say that some of this had rubbed off on me over the years. I hate to admit this, but I find that I sometimes do occasionally compare prices before I buy something. Sometimes I even find myself saying, "Wow, this is a better deal!"

Don't tell the boys down at the shop about this. I would never live it down! They would think that I have lost it totally. I can hear them whispering behind my back now, "Hey, did you hear that he actually shops?"

Oh, the shame of it all!

Signed, Sodaless in the South

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