Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pointless Purchases

Every trip I take to Montreal, I am expected to bring back presents for each member of my family. This is in addition to the 50 pounds or so of assorted truck parts, alcohol and computer peripherals and supplies.

In the eyes of a northerner, Montreal is just one incredibly long strip mall. Back home, the range and variety of consumer goods is very limited, so any traveller to southern climes is expected to return laden with silks and spices like Marco Polo returning to Venice.

In a family predominated by females, it is not unexpected that the bulk of requests centre around clothing. My success rate in this sphere of purchasing has always been a dismal failure: wrong size, wrong style, wrong material, wrong colour, etc. But for some unfathomable reason, my wife and three daughters continue to burden me with requests for jeans, blouses, shoes and the like.

I've tried to get them to identify what they want on the Internet, hoping thereby to increase the odds of making the right purchase, but once inside the physical stores they NEVER have on the shelves what they display on line. And don't get me started on women's sizing - a size 10, say, can span the gamut from the petite to the elephantine. And what the hell is a medium? Why can't they just size in inches or centimeters or some other standard unit of measurement?

So today, my final day in the south, I will persevere with a deep-seated feeling of futility once again into the department stores to trade my hard-earned cash for a bunch of clothing I am certain will never be worn.

Note to Yuri: buy your own fucking underwear.


Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Hell, you should be happy Yuri wears underwear.

The odds are against you ever picking the right clothes. On a happy note, those are the same odds that keep you from getting struck by lightning or eaten by polar bears.

6:30 AM  
Blogger fairscape said...


MMMmmmm....scarves,hats,gloves.perfume,shampoo, jewelry,watches, socks, lapblankets, neck pillows, ponchos. feather boas, journals, pens, totes, umbrellas, chocolate...nope, I can't think of anything that comes in one size fits all.

7:09 AM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Oh yeah, FairScape is going into a shopping trance. Just goes to prove the hunter/gather thing.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Fuff said...

He he. Good luck, I loathe shopping.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Eternally Curious said...

You've hit on something I've bristled over for years: why do clothes makers make women's sizing so "foggy", complicated and impossible - when they make men's clothing so simple, straightforward and most of all - uniform?? Man wants a pair of pants - no problem 'cuz 38" waist x 40" inseam is the same no matter what store you go to. Woman goes to buy a pair of pants - best to have several good stiff drinks first, before going shopping!!

AHA - Nanuk!! This is most likely why your wife and kids send you to do the clothes shopping, rather than stressing themselves out!! Grin!

7:06 PM  
Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

Good luck, Nanuk. Perhaps this time your women will be happy with your purchases.

7:30 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

We have trouble finding clothes to fit us when we go shopping and we have our bodies with us. Usually.

Trying to buy a piece of clothing to fit a female who is not physically there to try it on is next to impossible. Eternally curious hit the nail on the head, as did you. The size on the label means nothing. It's a plot to drive us all mad.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Annie Drogynous said...

I still think Yuri is your imaginary friend.

10:49 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

It would be funny if Yuri's last name was Nation...

11:46 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

The thought of you holding a list and wandering impotently through the ailes of women's clothes excites me in a way I don't understand.

4:16 AM  
Blogger nanuk said...

TPK - It's true that women have a totally different perspective on shopping than men. Kind of mirrors their different perspective on sex.

Fairscape - c'mon now - umbrellas in the Arctic?

Fuff - we're in the same boat (unmotorized)

Eternally Curious and WoD - but why, why, why do they do it?

T&B, etc. - I got them socks. One size fits all and enough of them that I hope they'll be able to pick out one that they like.

Blair Bitch - Yuri thinks you're imaginary too!

Mr. Fab - why do I get the impression you're excited by all manners of things - the sound of a car honking, the smell of Pinesol, the taste of water, the sight of small furry animals, the feel of latex?

7:44 AM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Good choice! Hope they all like them.

9:30 PM  
Blogger SC said...

Baffling creatures aren't they Nanuk? This doesn't fit, that doesn't fit, wrong style, wrong colour? Sounds in this instance like some subtle and possibly unconscious communication to Dad that 'we are developing into young ladies now'. I made the mistake of buying my Mum and big sis some not-inexpensive jewelry last Christmas. Never, ever again. It's a terrible affliction, femininity, and women all over the world suffer from it. Thank God.

9:38 PM  
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