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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: Shop Talk
By Bob Zoellner


“C’mon, kid, get out of the way! Isn’t your mommy around here somewhere?”

I hate the mall. Too many people. Too much time spent going into all these stores, these aisles, these racks, only to go back to the first store and the first dress she saw. Or at least that’s the way it usually is.

Why didn’t she just buy it then and save me all the hassle? We could have been home already watching the game.

“Honey, does this look right on me?” my wife called out. Oh, please don’t ask me that other question.

“Sweetie, does this make me look fat?”

She asked the question. The no win question. The “if I say yes, I’m on the couch for a week” question. Or, the “if I say no, I’m either lying or just humoring her, so I’m on the couch for a week anyway” question.

I think I’ll ignore her.

“Love is patient, love is kind...It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.”

Or maybe not. Lord, why do you do this to me?

“Well, honey, it’s not the most flattering dress on you. I don’t like the color, and it just doesn’t bring out the best in you. It’s not one of those ‘knock the socks off of me dresses’ you seem to find, so let’s keep looking.”

I can’t believe I just said that, Lord. “Let’s keep looking?” You know I hate shopping.

“Oh sweetie, thanks for being honest with me,” my wife said, without making me feel like the couch was in my foreseeable future.

“I really didn’t like this one either, and I’m starting to get really frustrated. I want to look nice for your office party, but I just can’t seem to find the right dress. Thanks again for tagging along today, I really do appreciate it.”

What choice did I have? Well, I guess I could have turned her down, but it is for my office party after all. She knows how I hate the mall, or any shopping excursion for that matter. How I feel is no secret. I guess she just wanted some companionship and an honest opinion. I just wish it didn’t take all afternoon.

“Love is patient, love is kind...It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.”

You’re right, Lord. It is my turn to be patient and kind. Forgive me for being so angry. She does after all do a lot of things for my benefit that I know she doesn’t really enjoy that much, but does it for me. Like this party thing, for instance.

“Sweetie, tell me again your theory on the shopping differences between men and women,” she said after coming out of the dressing room.


“I just think it’s funny, and besides, I think you’re on to something,” she said.

“Okay, it’s like this. Shopping is like having a conversation. Men go into one and only one store, get what they want, and get out. End of story.

“It’s the same when they have something to say. They know what they want to express, say it, and they’re done, end of story.”

“And women?” my wife asked with a chuckle.

“Well, when women go shopping, they like to shop for shopping’s sake. They meander through the stores, taking their time and trying on everything, only to go back to the first place and get the first thing they saw.

“Trying to talk to a woman is the same. They talk for talking’s sake. They meander until they’ve said all that they need to say, only to return to the first thing they brought up to finish the conversation.”

“And,” my wife said now, beginning to laugh a little harder.

“And, just like with shopping, we guys are exhausted. Why can’t you ladies just get to the point and be done with it?”

“I guess that’s part of the differences our Creator thought of when he made us ‘male and female,’ ” my meandering wife said.

And I guess that’s why you gave us instructions on how to love one another, huh Lord?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.” I Corinthians 13:4,5 (NIV)

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This article has been read 671 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 03/08/07
Loved it, loved it, loved it! Such a wonderful, down to earth, regular, everyday type conversation between a husband and wife with love and wit entertwined. Great ideas, common sense musings, and a super read for a reader, and a masterful write for a writer! I repeat - I loved it!
Loren T. Lowery03/08/07
Not sure if what you've written is a profound truth, but it is certainly one I can identify with. Your article gave me a chuckle and your scripture reference is one I need to re-call all too often.
Joanne Sher 03/11/07
Love your use of the verses throughout to remind us. This definitely felt genuine and SO true! I think we've all been there. Great writing!
Jacquelyn Horne03/12/07
Good job. Good relationship story. I liked how the husband listened to God about his attitude.