|Banks County Opinions...||
MAY 7, 2003
By: Phillip Sartain
Of all the husbanding skills that a man can acquire, the Shopping Badge has to be the most daunting. It requires skill, dedication, and a level of perseverance that most men dont have. And dont want. But that doesnt mean I havent tried.
I dont mean to sound uppity about my badges, but I think Im something of a pacesetter among my peers.
After all, I do have the Dishwasher Loading Badge, the Pack Mule Badge, and the Garbage Badge. And, Id point out that I earned them all in just ten short years of marriage.
Technically, I should also have the Staying In The Delivery Room Badge, but I have been informed that earning badges as a result of something you did to your wife as opposed to something you did for her does not qualify one for recognition.
At any rate, I was feeling good about my progress until I looked at the Husband Manual the other day.
As I was flipping pages, I realized that you can earn upwards of a hundred badges, but without the Shopping Badge, you can never be deemed the Perfect Mate.
According to the manual, the Shopping Badge is the hardest badge of all to earn. In other words, you cant earn it by sitting on a bench at the mall with a bunch of other guys while your wife shops.
Instead, and I quote, In order to qualify for the badge, the spouse must show a sincere interest in being actively engaged in the act of shopping with his wife for wife-related clothing products.
After I read that, I almost passed out. But there was more. The rules require that the husband be physically fit enough to hold all his wifes stuff as he stands for hours on end beside the changing room door.
And, he has to do it without looking like hed rather be at home cleaning out the septic tank.
I gave it some thought and realized that I had in fact done that one time on a trip to an outlet mall.
At the time, I was hoping to spend a few minutes in the Black and Decker store later as my reward. Suddenly, I realized that I might qualify.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the fine print, and I read it slowly to myself, In the course of holding said cloths, the husband shall not, under any circumstances, give any other husbands in the vicinity the Secret Husband Look.
Thats when I realized Id never get my Shopping Badge. And thats because I use the look regularly.
The look can be used anywhere, but it occurs most often when youve been in the same store for a while surrounded by other husbands working on their own badge.
Suddenly, some guy will start to leave with his wife, and his whole demeanor will change from hopelessness to one of total success and victory. It means hes on the way back home to the couch for the rest of the day.
And as he leaves, all the rest of men hanging out around the dressing room give him the Secret Husband Look, the one that says, Please dont leave me here.
Unfortunately, in marriage, unlike war, men do leave other men behind.
I know now I dont have what it takes. Fortunately, all is not lost.
Getting in touch with your strengths and weaknesses as a man is actually on the list of Badges. Its called the Touchy-Feely Badge.
Sure, it sounds squishy. But I guess it depends on how you look at it.
Phillip Sartain is an attorney in Gainesville.
By: Zach Mitcham
The struggle between feeling and logic
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