Different Strokes

  • Lipi Patel
  • India
  • Oct 29, 2012

As  Sophie Kinsella, of Confessions of a Shopaholic, rightly says “When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again.”

Witnessing women attack the stores while the holy period of “SALE” descends on this shopping-mall infected neighborhood named Gurgaon is a remarkable sight. Women of all sizes, XS to XXL, go berserk in these malls. Be it multi-brand outlets like Shopper’s Stop, or brand showrooms like Aldo, Mango, or USB, you will not get an inch to move without stepping on someone else’s foot. What makes us women so enthusiastic and charged up about retail therapy is something a male brain can never decipher. 

I entered into a “Catwalk” store today (after getting attracted to a “SALES” sign board of course). I had firmly promised myself that I will not spurge if I don’t find something which is worth buying; but, by the end of it, I had decided to blow up a sufficient portion of my credit card limit. I justified to myself that had this been a normal day (without any discount) I would have had to shell out a lot more for the same stuff. Being a marketing professional myself, I know that many ‘discounts’ are ‘not really real’. But what I don’t understand is how, despite all of this brilliant knowledge, most of us ‘intelligent’ women folk fall prey to these woman-baiting signs.

Let’s just say God has made us this way; or better, let’s just blame it on Science – as men and women’s brains are differently wired. I can confidently say that if the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then the way to a woman’s heart is through her shopping bag (consider yourself to be an extremely lucky man if your lady love is an exception). 

Researchers have shown that that the corpus callosum, the fibrous tissue connecting the brain’s two hemispheres, has much more connectivity in women’s brains then in men’s. This enhanced connectivity allows women to multi-task better. In lay man’s language this means that, while shopping, women will take the time to compare, evaluate and process information – while men are on a mission to get in and get out. This explains the impatience that most men show during shopping sprees; whereas the women folk enjoy every bit of the ordeal of standing in the long trial room queue, and trying out even one dress a multiple number of times (just to be doubly sure that the ‘chosen’ one is the best of the lot).  

Similarly, we women will never understand what motivates a man to wake up in the middle of the night, to catch the “European League”. As one wise old man rightly put it - When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping;  men invade another country.  It’s a whole different way of thinking – a different ball-game. Let’s just accept our different wirings, and insulate certain sparking points. 

To you, Princess, next time you want to go on a shopping spree, do leave your Prince Charming back at home. Let him laze on his couch with his cricket match and popcorns (but of course don’t forget to take his credit card). 


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