As heard on the Good Stuff wtih Jim Thompson

My mother tried to warn me from experiences she’d had;

‘cuz she once went Christmas shopping and she took along my dad.

 

But I thought that this adventure would be just like a date;

We’d buy some gifts, go out and eat…just me and my old mate.

 

I never would have asked him, but I really didn’t know

How bad that he would hate it or I wouldn’t a-made him go.

 

You can’t take back a yesterday… you can’t unring a bell;

But I learned that Christmas shopping with a man can be pure hell.

 

I’ve seen him sortin’ cattle through the snow and rain and muck.

And I know he’s pulled a zillion calves when some were really stuck;

 

He’s been caught in a blizzard and fought his share of fire;

Been bucked off broncs and hurt real bad, and tangled in barbed wire

 

I could go on forever telling troubles in his life,

But said that nothing was as bad as shopping with his wife.

 

Every year I’ve asked him, and every year he’d just stay home;

And even though I’d beg him, I would have to go alone.

 

This year I put my foot down and the sparks they really flew,

When I told him he should help ‘cause they’re his kids and grandkids too!

 

He asked where we were going, so I told him: “to the mall.”

He replied: “Just hit the farm store ‘cause it would have most all

 

Of anything we’d need to buy,” and thought that it would please

The daughter-in-laws to get Carharts with zippers to the knees!

 

The he said, “let’s try Cabellas, ‘cause that’s his type of store,”

What I tried was to ignore him and that was quite a chore.

 

We finally hit a compromise, deciding on Walmart;

…we finally found a parking place and grabbed us both a cart.

 

I told him we just needed one, to tag along with me;

And that was the beginning of my shopping misery.

 

I won’t go into detail; the bad parts I can’t say,

But I never had a worst time than trying to shop that day!

 

He stalled out at the magazines, I grabbed him by the sleeve

‘cuz the one that he was lookin’ through, you folks would not believe!

 

He grumbled ‘bout the styles of the fashion on the racks;

All the things I liked he didn’t so I put each items back.

 

Of course, I hadn’t realized how high-priced things had got,

Especially when it’s been so long he had ever shopped.

 

And then he saw the lingerie…I thought his eyes would pop

…he didn’t know they made such stuff and he was really shocked!

 

And it was quite embarrassing, you could hear him everywhere:

“What kind of broad would be caught dead in such skimpy underwear?”

 

Well, he was ‘bout the meet her and it gave him quite a start;

He sure received a dirty look as she put some in her cart!

 

As we slithered past the hardware, he said his feet were sore

And he wondered how much longer we would be here in this store.

 

I left him at the deli with a hot dog and a pop,

With several other “tortured” men, where he could sit and talk.

 

By then I had a headache and decided to concede

That a “Christmas shopping venture” is something we don’t need.

 

So, I put away my cart, then went to get my honey,

And said I thought this year we’d give the kids and grandkids money.

 

We spent the next half hour in that great big parking lot

To find where we had parked the … a place we both forgot.

 

If I live to be a hundred, until the day I drop,

I will never ask a man to help me Christmas shop!

 

By Yvonne Hollenbeck

November 28, 2003