One social trend that is no longer confined to the older generations is the practice of wives dragging their husbands everywhere they go shopping. Where I live in Florida, I see young married women in their 20’s dragging their husbands along with them to the local thrift stores, department stores, malls, and grocery stores. Most of the time I see a very bored expression on the man’s face which tells me he would much rather be at home watching the football game and enjoying some sandwiches while lounging on the sofa. But instead. I see them in public, sometimes standing by their wives, sometimes sitting in a chair near the door of the store. Stores that are thoughtful enough to leave a small row of chairs for these gentlemen to sit in near the door while their wives shop are getting more and more common. A few days ago I went shopping at Ross for some home accessories and after paying for my purchases, see three men in the aforementioned chairs. These men appeared to be middle aged and lonely, with lost expressions on their faces. In fact, these men reminded me of the expressions I have seen on puppies in pet stores, longing for someone to spend time with them instead of shopping. I felt sorry for these gentlemen and at the same time wondered why their wives could not be decent enough to leave them at home. I never dragged my husband anywhere like that, so what gives?
Decades ago when many women still did not have their own driver’s license or a car for that matter, had their husbands drive them everywhere they wanted to go. Back in the 1950’s it was still rare for a woman to have a driver’s license, but this was also due to economical reasons. Not too many families of that decade had two cars; having one car plus a mortgage on the house plus the 2.5 children in the post World War 2 nuclear family was considered expensive. Today, the majority of women have driver’s licenses in addition to their own cars, yet many of the married women still drag their husbands out shopping. There are exceptions of course; myself, a few other married ladies I know of who understand the male psychology of wanting to stay at home on weekends after a long work week. Staying at home and relaxing seems to suit men perfectly, even if it happens after they mow the lawn and trim the hedges. Once the wife is done shopping and has her husband drive her home, however, she wonders why he grumbles and meekly says “Yes, that looks perfect” whether it is a new dress, pair of pants, or even a dish towel. Chances are he does not really care, now that he can watch the ball game on television.