My husband hates to shop. Now I’m not talkin’ about goin’ to the grocery store. The guy adores anything remotely involved with food. When we do go grocery shopping together, I sprint up and down the aisles slow-pitching stuff into the shopping cart. Remember the game show “Supermarket Sweep?” That’s me running madly through the aisles. Only I don’t have four large hams and three kegs of detergent in my basket. Yep, figured out eons ago, if I give Rick a couple of items off my list to fetch, I can get through the whole store quickly without him putting anything too weird into the basket. Upon my reaching the finish line, it’s a cinch, and with a little backtracking, I’ll find Rick engrossed in the middle of the condiment aisle with the simple deli order I asked him to commandeer. He does so love to drool over an exotic mustard, a tangy salad dressing, or new barbecue sauce. Nope … I’m talkin’ about clothes, shoes, or anything else you can find … at an actual mall. Several weeks ago, I mentioned to Rick that the two of us had a date on Saturday to meet our oldest daughter in Houston for lunch and tennie runner shopping. Even he will admit his shoes have seen better days, or should I say decades. With a trip to Italy on the horizon next month, I thought he was long overdue for a new pair of PF Flyers. “Geez dear, I COMPLETELY forgot that we had this shopping trip planned. I’m so sorry, but I already scheduled something and I can’t get out of it,” Rick apologized, looking like he had dodged a very large bullet right between the eyeballs. “How convenient. Of course you know that means no new shoes for vacation. You gotta break shoes in for at least several weeks before they are remotely comfortable for lots of walkin’,” I said, wagging my left index finger at him. I did kinda feel sorry for the guy. The mall really does make him physically nauseated. I could somewhat relate. The hardware store makes me feel the same way. It is why I try to carry a soda and some soda crackers in my purse in case of mall emergencies. Like morning, mall and motion sickness, it helps in a pinch to settle the upset tummy. We finally came to an understanding that he was most certainly going to accompany me a few weeks later for some clothes shopping. So as not to have a repeat of the scheduling conflict, I mentioned our shopping expedition several times a day for the next 10 days. After dropping our special needs daughter off at her event last Saturday, we finally headed to the local mall. I promised that if he cooperated, we could be done in a couple of hours, tops. “Where did Foley’s go?” Rick asked, as we headed for the men’s department. “Geez dear, you really haven’t been to the mall in ages,” I said, as we searched through stacks and stacks of Dockers’ for his size, style and not-too-scratchy slacks. Found out there was no way the guy was going to compromise his principles for the flat-front style of slacks, when there were surely pleats to be found. After some painful comparison shirt shopping at another department store requiring hiking to the other end of the mall and back, we finalized our purchases. We had several nice extra-comfy shirts, a couple pairs of not-too-thick socks, and several pleated slacks. Yep, we were pretty much done and, as expected, it only took a couple of hours. Now I just gotta figure out how to tell hubby we need to take just one more trip back to the mall to purchase a new piece of luggage. Our son, Ricky, took the large rolling suitcase when he left in January for Spain. If I’m not successful, we may be lugging our possessions in a couple of Glad 13-gallon, 3-ply drawstring garbage bags. Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 12 years. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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