You have all seen them. Men sitting on a bench in a store usually with a thousand-yard stare in their eyes. More often than not, they have a variety of bags and packages stacked around them. Occasionally, there will be a purse sitting on the bench next to them.
I have named this group the Guardians of Go Ahead. The reason for the name stems from their responses to statements and or questions from their significant others.
The spouse will say things like, "I need to run in this last store for just a minute."
The Guardian responds, "Go ahead, I will wait here."
The partner will say, "I will be right back, I just need to return this."
The Guardian answers, "Go ahead, I'm fine here."
I have noticed there are not a lot of younger men in the Guardians. That is because those youngsters have not learned the valuable lessons that only a true Guardian understands. These lessons are learned over time and after great suffering.
There are three basic rules that someone needs to understand before they can successfully enter the ranks of the Guardians of Go Ahead.
The first rule is, never try to speed up your better half when they are shopping. This only prolongs the shopping experience and in many cases results in an argument. It is best to not utter a sound when shopping with your spouse, but if you do, only offer words of encouragement. If they say they need to look at the bedding section for just a second, trot along obediently or say things like, "Great, I know we need more pillows."
The second rule is if you are shopping with your spouse be prepared to ask store employees questions that could make you look dumb. For instance, the other day my wife had me ask a grocery store employee where I could find the Christmas socks. My 12-year-old needed a pair for a school event. I asked the employee and she politely took me to the Christmas stockings, to which I replied that I needed actual socks. The employee said the grocery store did not carry Christmas socks. The look on the clerk's face told me I had forgotten the second rule of the Guardians.
The final rule of the Guardians is in every shopping situation it is best to remove yourself from the situation and just man your post. If you tell your wife that while she shops in one store, you are going to another store, it will only lead to trouble. Because, invariably, your spouse will be unable to find you at the second store and she will go to a third store. Then when you cross paths, she will tell you about all of the great things she surprisingly found at the third store because she could not find you. Thusly, more money is spent and more time is used up.
Being a Guardian of Go Ahead is a universally accepting club. So the next time you spot a fellow Guardian on his bench, give him a thumbs-up. We have all been there and ultimately it is a small price to pay for a harmonious marriage.