Oh yeah. Shopping. I really do treat it like a military operation. Plan the entry point; get in; acquire the gift (identified in the the newspaper ad with the item circled by the spouse for easy identification); have an exit strategy and get out!
Sometimes the wife doesn't give me clear instructions and a cheat sheet with the store and item. Rather, she makes the mistake of giving me a "concept" of what she would like. In these cases, I am forced to adopt the "go it alone" shopping strategy. In this strategy, there is no time to consider such a thing as "price". If you find an item that even remotely resembles the wife's description, just GET IT! You already know there is somewhere across town where this item is on sale, and that you are an idiot for overspending. You get that. That's just part of the battlefield landscape you are given no choice in. So go with it!
On the rare occasion I have found myself in the mall with the wife, she always wanders to the perfume counter, dragging me on her heels. "Smell this" she'll say, as she is already spraying a different scent from a different miniature bottle onto a different part of her clothing. "Smell this one now," she'll say. And then the dreaded utterance that requires a response, "which one do you like better?"
For you young fellas: Don't even TRY to answer this question. It is a trick question. I'm not even sure that your lady can tell the difference between all of those mixed up perfumes... Nah, on second thought she definitely can tell the difference. Woman have extra smell cells or something.
So you go back to the mall without the spouse in hopes of buying the right perfume (hey, you're not a complete idiot! You got the hint from her as loud as if she would have screamed "BUY THIS FOR ME!"). You find the maze of perfume counters and immediately feel like a rat trying to find the right turns that will reward you with cheese. You stumble up to a counter where you are 60% sure is the correct vendor (hey, better than 50%! Can she expect better than those odds?). The saleswoman is like a shark with blood in the water. It is a veritable feeding frenzy, as she somehow convinces me that I would be an idiot if I bought just a small bottle of perfume. NO, I had to buy this scent in powder, lotion, gaseous, and solid forms, all boxed up in a gift box that required me pulling the car around and backing up to their loading dock.
This year will be different. I have learned from my mistakes of the past. This year I have found the perfect gift that will also surprise her. I know it's the perfect gift because professors from Purdue University are saying so. They have apparently discovered seven different bat species and two turtles, and they are auctioning the naming rights.
Purdue has a gift idea for you: Name a new species of bat:
Would you like to name a bat species for a family member or friend this holiday season, and help support important environmental research and conservation efforts?The wife will be so surprised and finally realize I'm not the clueless shopping idiot she takes me for. So next time you find yourself trekking thru the backwoods of a Brazilian rainforest and you stumble upon a little yellow bat, say "hi" to "Mrs. DaBlade" for me.
This unique species is a rare family member of the little yellow bat, the smallest known bats in the New World. They weigh less than a tablespoon of water, and are sensitive environmental sentinels of their habitat.