Ms Pretty's Prattle August 12 2014

Some reasons not to take your man clothes shopping -

My man's chosen pastime at the weekend is golf. The clue is in the golf clubs that forever take up room in the boot of the car, leaving minimum space for my supermarket shopping. Dragging behind me as I enter the clothes shop, he knows he is outside his comfort zone and hopes that there's a chair he can unobtrusively slouch into. Perhaps it will remind him of the one he occupies most nights watching Sky Sports.

If it's a large store, he will somehow get lost between the aisles and end up in the lingerie section where, without meaning to, he will look and feel like those men who steal underwear off washing lines. His eyes will be drawn to red or black undies and his face will turn one of the colours while mine, on finding him, will turn the other.


But I really know there’s no point in having him there when I try on a few outfits and ask what he thinks. When he keeps repeating, ‘That’s nice’, that’s when I  metaphorically bash him over the head with my handbag, and ask if he has ever heard of the words, ‘lovely’, ‘stunning’ or, even better, ‘gorgeous’?. Because ‘nice’ is just not nice enough.

Sometimes, just to feign interest, and presumably thinking that he may please me, he picks things from the rails, but invariably gets the size wrong. Size is a difficult concept for men. For example, it's a well known fact that men can over estimate the size of some body parts (often their own), yet under estimate the size of their long-term partners. He seems to think I am still the size that I was when he first met me. But two children and many years of wine and roses (the chocolate ones) under the belt, that belt is a few notches wider, and my chest is a bit nearer it! So No, I 'm not a size 10 any more! Try a few sizes up.


And then there's the funny little asides that you've heard oh so many times before. It helps to cover his embarrassment at being found lurking around the changing rooms, and getting in the way of other shoppers, (assuming the chair's not available). He'll say things like. ‘Why are you needing a scarf/handbag/shoes when your wardrobe is full of them?’ Oh how I laugh, at the time. But the minute we are out of the shop, an icy chill descends and I grab his hand and march him to the car. Goodness, do I still really do that? I've just stepped back into the past and described what I used to do with my rebellious toddler son.

And, of course, there is another huge drawback in having him there. Because as I near the till, he seems to become joined to my hip to see just how much I’m about to spend. On those happy days when he’s not gone shopping with me, and if he asks, I knock £20 - or so - off the price, just in case he accuses me of squandering my money on fripperies, and things less important than strange foreign beers, or golf clubs.

Of course, there may well be some of you lucky ladies out there who love shopping with your men, and there are always exceptions that prove the rule. I particularly like the ones who leap to the credit card machine before their loved ones can even pretend to be opening their purses. Sometimes, they’re not even the second husband!