There and Back Again

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Oh the shame to come.

That’s right folks, it happened again. Somehow I was dragged out to the place I least enjoy yet find myself visiting the most. The mall.

Now I know that there are a lot of events going on in the world today such as the passing of a great former president and the execution of a foreign dictator. It almost seems kind of trivial and a little irresponsible to ignore this groundbreaking news to write about something so…average.

However I believe that the world will get enough coverage on these topics without my commenting upon it. There are a lot of better informed people who could talk endlessly about the facts and opinions regarding these events so they would be the ones to seek out for articles relating to these topics.

Do I choose to ignore theses occurrences? No, but I am twenty years old and the world looks like its falling apart in front of me. All I want for a few weeks during my winter break is to enjoy these magic moments with those who matter the most to me. My friends and family. No matter what insanity is going on the world, no matter what depressing news comes your way, there is always someone in your family who can lift your spirits and remind you that in the end, everything will be just fine.

Anyway, back to the point of this article.

I had grown as a person a little since the last shopping trip. Honest, I’m like 5 pounds heavier after all that holiday food. Alright fine, you know what I really meant. A little mental maturity magic had been sprinkled my way with a good chunk of holiday cheer. It wasn’t the location that mattered, but the people I was with. A year from now I wouldn’t remember visiting a massive crowded shopping area on the days between Christmas and New Years, but I will remember the good times and pleasant feelings I had with my relatives.

One of the best parts of this mall adventure was how many new friends I made while I was there. Sometimes boredom sets in while visiting various shopping outlets and that only leaves so many things to do. So I did what was most natural to me and just started talking to whoever was nearby.

Boredom seems to have a lot to do with not knowing enough people. Think about it, if you knew more people someone would always be calling you to do something or to just hang out and talk. It’s a numbers game really. Now I am not saying dump your 5 quality friends for 1000 fake friends on Myspace that you may never actually meet, but you won’t lose your top 5 by making new acquaintances.

I had a lot of interesting conversations that made me feel more at ease with the place I rarely visited. To think, if I hadn’t come, how many people would I have missed out on meeting? This was becoming almost…fun.

Of course it helped that this time I wasn’t the only guy there. I was prepared. HQ had sent backup.

My father, brother, and some uncles had also agreed to join me on this outing and that made all the difference. Sure we split up at times but for the most part we stuck together and shared laughter and good nature towards one another. It feels good to be surrounded by people you love though it feels even better to know that the people around you feel better since you also love them. Isn’t this what Christmas is really about?

Well, partially.

The other part has to do with gifts. Oh and there is some religious significance here and there but I am not the right person to talk about that.

So this time while everyone was walking from store to store I didn’t feel as awkward when the girls all headed to the swimsuit department and demanded everyone come to give their advice. Strangely enough it was here that I received some very wise consul from the elders around me. This squire in training was ready to learn. LvL. 4 here I come!

So I thought that I should post the advice I received and get the perspective of some other people on how effective it is.

Now even though I find that the women have made up their mind on which items they would like to select, they will ask a guy what they think on the matter. It’s like creating a false sense of purpose of being there. Personally I didn’t care. In a way it made me feel important.

Now it was here that I saw the advice given to me in action. A wife would pick out a swimsuit or article of clothing that they had decided they liked and judged it for some time. Having determined that the piece of fabric is worthy for further examination above and beyond quality inspector number 8, they will bring it to their respective husbands and ask them what they think.

Now I know what you are thinking. Movies and television have made this appear to be a lose/lose situation no matter how the guy responds. Well if I have learned anything in my short twenty years of life it is that for every situation there is a solution that can be hammered out. One just has to think on a different level. Thank you Albert.

I believe that if a man was heavily influenced by forms of mass entertainment they would have chocked or said something stupid yet humorous. The person would have already admitted defeat in the situation and would not have looked for that perfect way out. Instead what I heard was this comment. A perfect blend of people skills and practice.

“You make that look great.”

Not too much emphasis on the clothing while putting more favor on the girl. It sounds like a good thing to say and it did work for my uncle. Afterwards I would talk with my uncles and discuss the merits of his response. That conversation I choose to leave out due to personal reasons but it basically flowed around that comment.

The truth of the matter is I am a young boy in college with very little experience in these things. Any advice and experience I pick up on such matters is material that I have no basis to compare against. So guys, does this work for you? Gals, if this response was genuine, would you avoid giving ‘the look.’ I had to add the genuine part because there have been times when I thought a girl what I genuinely thought about something and I nearly ended up in the hospital. Yeah, I have a lot of work to do.

So, does anyone here have any advice for a young student eager to learn?

5 thoughts on “There and Back Again

  1. “a great former president”? Uhm… ok.

    As for advice: I think the best advice you can get is found in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Unfortunately, that’s easier said (and read) than actually done.

    As for me, I’m just always honest. Sometimes blatantly, other times diplomatically. Does this get me in trouble? Sometimes. However, I’ve learned to take a little “fault” men find in women and turned it to my advantage. See, most men think that when women complain to them about someting (say, a rough day at work) they’re looking for an answer, when in fact, most of the time, they’re just looking for a sounding board. This propensity towards solving problems and offering advice has gotten men in to trouble since the days of Patanjali. However, when your opinion is being asked, give it. If someting looks good, tell it. If something doesn’t, tell it. (A simple “That fails to accentuate your best features” usually does it.) Then, you can proceed to tell her *why* you think it looks good or bad. (“It makes you look professional and relaxed” and “It accentuates your best physical traits” are good explanations for the former. “It looks good, but only because you’re in it” and “Some designer obviously expected a much more mundane woman thank yourself to wear this, since it down plays your best features” are good responses for the later. “Dear god, what are you thinking” is never a good response.)

    Luckily, I’ve never had to worry about The Wife on this one: all through our relationship I’ve been blatantly honest with her, and she’s returned the favor, lying to me only when absolutely needed. You may want to ask her about that next time you see her, thouhgh 😉

  2. I think the line can be said in a genuine manner if it comes from someone you believe to be genuine. I must agree with gnorb in the sense that if you start out being honest and throw in a little tact in your use of words, everything will be alright. At least that is what a few other people have suggested unto me.

    I also believe this is easier said than done…at first.

    Also to the president comment, i was referrign to gerald ford.

  3. So was I. “Great”? The guy who was never technically elected to anything, lasted only 2 years, and pardoned Nixon? Hmm… I guess my definition of “great” is just a bit more narrow.

  4. I figured taking up the presidency of the united states for any amount of time requires that something extra that most people don’t have, regardless of their boo boos.

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