The Man’s Survival Guide to the Mall


Every man needs a survival guide to the mall. Let`s see. You hate shopping. You think shopping with your woman is a fate worse than death. You lost a bet. You got caught doing something really stupid. Your woman has special skills that cause you to promise ridiculous things at inappropriate moments. Whatever the reason, you are in it and there is no escape. Don’t panic. All is not lost. Go ahead, put the noose down. With a few clever strategies, you can not only survive the mall, but you can come out looking like a champ.

Arm yourself

A pen and piece of paper are your new best friends. These will give you a roadmap to safety. Next, you must discern your lady’s objective. Does she have a list, or does she just need some retail therapy? It is best if you can find out before you leave the house. Asking on route will just make her feel that you are resisting spending time with her. The best possible scenario for you is the one where she has a list. In this case, you can copy her list and make an offer to help her find what she needs. Don’t get complacent, though. It is a woman’s prerogative to deviate from the list, at any given time. You can help keep her on task by seeming genuinely interested in helping her. You may have to resort to purse holding, but the trade-off is a shorter time in the mall. When she is down to the last item, you can offer to go get a table at the mall restaurant. When she has checked out she can join you. You must present this as a benefit to her. Really sell it. Offer to have her favorite cocktail waiting for her. This approach will give her a reason to wrap it up. Nobody likes a watery drink. The most dangerous scenario is the one where she just feels like going to the mall. This means there is no plan and the timeframe is open-ended. If played wrong, you could be there all day. However, this scenario offers the most opportunities for you to turn events to your advantage.

Coffee Sneak

After you have been at the mall for about forty-five minutes, you will be feeling rather twitchy. Pull out your pen and paper and have your dearest write down how she likes her latte/chai/coffee/froo-froo beverage of choice. Caution: don’t try to wing this. You will lose more points than you will gain if you get the drink wrong. Hand the recipe to your smiling barista and relax. You’ve just bought yourself twenty minutes of non-purse holding time.

Gift Lure

Now that your mental powers have been recharged with caffeine and sugar, it is time to put your powers of observation to work. As the two of you are perusing the merchandise, keep an eye out for inexpensive accessories that she favorably comments on, but doesn’t buy. Make a note of the store name. When you are ready for a break, tell her that you saw something that you think she will like. Slip away with a sly grin. Go ahead and spring for the gift-wrapping. It will give the trinket an air of mystery. This side trip will give you another twenty to thirty minutes to yourself. When you return to her side, tell her you have a surprise for her when you get home. This is bound to quicken her pace.

Restaurant Wrap-Up

It is the same as in the best-case scenario, except now you have your wrapped gift. You might hint that she might get the present at lunch, if she doesn’t take too long in joining you.

Congratulations! Your sentence has been served, and you did it with grace and creativity. Next time you bow out of a trip to the mall, you can say, “I hate that I’m going to miss it. We had such a good time last trip.”