Shopping epiphany realized in Vancouver

By Les Kollegian

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It’s 6:10 am and I have just hazily wandered from my hotel to the Canada Line train for a 25 minute ride to the airport. I just spent a long weekend in Vancouver with Allison (my wife) and was reassured that we have completely different interests as we spent our days walking around downtown. How did I reach this conclusion? As I boarded the train, a copy of “The Vancouver Sun” newspaper was just waiting for me on my seat.  I picked it up and went  straight to the Op/Ed page where I stumbled upon a great article written by Celia Walden with a subhead… “There is little women find less attractive than a heterosexual man who knows about clothes.” I’ve always thought this but never knew if I was right… Okay Celia, you’ve got my attention.

During travel, my expectations and “shopping” habits seem to be quite different than Allison’s. I am fascinated and drawn to virtually every pub or cool looking restaurant with wide screen TV’s, dim lighting,  cute waitress staff, and a well stocked bar. Allison on the other hand wants to stop in every store and touch each article of clothing. Now…with all due respect to her, she doesn’t spend TOO MUCH time (like spending hours under the clothes racks when I was a kid waiting for my mother to stop shopping) in each store but when she sees stuff she likes, it’s off to the dressing room while I await to critique the outfits. So as we walked down Robson Avenue, we made a deal. For every three clothing stores we go in, we get to stop in one bar, get a drink, and sit one out for a few. Sounds good right? Didn’t last long. The good news was, after the first stop, I was just told that I could stay and watch football. YAY!!!

Anyway, below is the article by Celia that I thought was particularly relevant (to me and most likely ALL men) and funny.

It happened again the other day. I wandered into a women’s clothes shop to find the place strewn with unclaimed men. They were cluttering up the aisles, lolling unhappily around the entrances to the fitting rooms and reluctantly inching their credit cards from their wallets at the tills. They were sitting in the armchairs designed to lessen their agony and staring with glazed eyes at their dithering partners (“The red or the black? Or maybe I should try on the blue?”)

As with wayward dogs and their owners, I don’t blame the dog — I blame the owner. Leave men at home or tie them to a lamppost outside, but spare them the misery of the high street store — and us the unnecessary traffic. If you think your husband or boyfriend finds it titillating to watch you emerge, Julia Roberts-like, from your curtained enclave in a series of coquettish outfits, you’ve been watching too many rom-coms.

For them, the reality is hours spent doing up zips and seeking out ever larger sizes as the house music rages on. And when you do wear that LBD for the first time, it’ll only provide memories of purdah in the bowels of some Oxford Street emporium.

People say that there are men who enjoy taking part in the female retail frenzy; I’m deeply suspicious of those men. There is little women find less attractive than a heterosexual man who knows about clothes. If your husband decreed that “the skirt would work well with a leather t-shirt and that Farhi cape we bought the other day,” you’d take him straight down the Manhood Clinic for testosterone injections.

Real men should never notice what you’re wearing, just that you look good in it.