Ah, the witty male observer of the screwy, daft, and crazed female other. Whether it's Joel Stein, Dave Barry, or Al Bundy, It's such a time honored tradition that it's hard to think who first said, "Women be shopping!" — was it Martin Lawrence, or was it Jesus Christ himself? We'll never know. These comical fellows have made tried and true observations into an art form for centuries, mostly revolving around the three truths of women: 1. Women are illogical; 2. Women love to shop; and 3. Women love to be illogical while shopping (it's their favorite!). Put a woman in a supermarket, and she'll become distracted by the shiny rows of paper towels (those could be shoes!), chocolate bon bons (edible shoes!), and bottles of rosé (glass slippers!). If women weren't so busy shopping and shopping, what would women shop about? I mean, what would men complain about?
To wit: This week, we're dealing with one Mr. Paul Carpenter, a jokester of an opinion columnist at Lehigh Valley, PA's paper, the Morning Call. Carpenter has some serious opinions about ladies be shopping AM I RIGHT, GENTLEMEN?
"I do not mean this in a sexist, male chauvinist pig way, mind you, but this entire situation illustrates the superiority of male logic when it comes to shopping."
"Men may poke around and waste time in a motorcycle shop, or in a hardware store. That's only natural; those places are full of fascinating stuff. In a supermarket, however, women drive me crazy. They have no sense of the efficient use of time."
Poor Paul :(. Of course, the shopaholic in chief is Carpenter's wife, whom he never names by name. She is simply "wife," as that is all she needs to be.
Anyone can see why my wife's style of shopping bugs me, but she claims my shopping habits annoy her just as much, which is irrational.
What I want to know is, what about wife's story? When do we get to hear from her? The world is full of would-be Al Bundy's (sans Ed O'Neill's impecable comic timing) who think there's nothing funnier than making fun of their wives for doing household chores that would probably be left undone otherwise. I imagine if we could read the flip side of this column, if Carpenter's wife was given her own soapbox, that it might look a lot like this.
I present: The Newspaper Opinion Columnist's Wife:
Every weekend I suggest, gently, that perhaps we should spilt up the household duties. That maybe his skills would be better suited in other arenas. But instead there he is, sighing out in that way he does where you can hear every strand of his mustache flaring. I am thinking of putting antifreeze in his whisky.
Every day. I dream of freedom. Of days spent doing the crossword puzzle without Paul leaning over and shouting out answers. I know that "Before Bono" is Cher. Paul. We all know it. I am trying to do the actual hard clues. I wish we'd never had children together.
I love Paul, in my own way. Marriage is something of a test, both of us as people and two people as a unit. And I worry sometimes, when Paul is off writing another one of his columns, whether he is not perhaps the weaker part. The part I have to carry. I mean, you have read his columns, yes? They are not - They could be better.
Meanwhile, he insists on accompanying me to Costco, a place I only go because I must keep track of his myriad of blood pressure medications, Tommy Bahama shirts (I hate them) and jumbo sushi packs. Paul rolls his eyes and says, "Oh boy, here we go, woman." as I bend down to check the price of his special psoriasis bath salts, knowing full well that my job as a top level analyst for compensation packages at a Fortune 500 firm bring in 99 percent of our income. As he pushes the cart along, he mumbles something about a motorcycle he does not have, this part always confuses me.
I do not mean this in a condescending, pejorative way, mind you, but this entire situation illustrates how difficult it can be to live with such an inexcusable idiot.
I like for him to have his column, I do, it makes him feel useful and important, I guess, and gives him $50 spending cash weekly for "motorcycle parts" (McDonald's hamburgers, penny arcade games, etc.), but sometimes I get a touch upset. Sometimes I get a little angry.
It's during those times, the only way I can squelch this rising tide of rage, is to sit in my corner office and calculate the exact quantity and combination of poison I would slip into his precious microbrew. I have dreamt this dream a thousand times, it's almost as if it's inevitable. After the deed is done, I would move to Chicago and live with my daughter and son-in-law, just long enough to look as a grieving widow would, and to find a nice penthouse apartment overlooking Lake Michigan. It is only then, when I have thought the entire plan through, that I can rest. Finally rest.
Oh hey, look at the time, I need to run to Costco because Paul needs more moustache cream and prescription-strength breath mints. We need those in bulk, trust.
Costco coming to Lehigh Valley means hardships for husbands [The Morning Call]
Image via Zubada/Shutterstock.