Thursday, May 16, 2013

Shopping woes

I hate shopping. Almost everyone who knows me knows that I do. Very few, however, know why I do. Considering that I have burdened my readers with all the secrets of my life, I see no reason why they must be spared this one. After all, by now they have become long-suffering even if they had not started off by being so. 

The problem for me is that I am badly scarred by multiple choice questions. When I go into the mall for picking up what I need, I find myself facing up to multiple choice questions again. Do I pick the toothpaste that will strengthen my gums or the one that will whiten my teeth? Do I pick the one that will help me crack walnuts with my teeth or the one that will salt my teeth and wipe out germs? Or do I go in for the more exotic version that will drag that girl from the other side of the bus to me by her nose? 

I draw on all my knowledge of decision-making under uncertainty – culled from a couple of years of sleeping in a management institute and a decade and a half of management work - and pick the most effective method to make the decision. I close my eyes and, pointing at each brand in turn, intone “Inky Pinky Ponky..” 

Having successfully managed the decision I move on to the next. I need a deodorant – and how badly I need it anyone who has spent time in my vicinity can tell if only he can stop gagging at the memory. Here the problem is not so much in the different ways in which they will help me. The funny thing is that a deodorant is expected to rid you of smell but all deodorants sell on the basis of what they will make you smell like. All of them, however, have the same effect – they draw girls to you like flies. 

Make no mistake. I like girls. The problem is that I cannot really see how too many of them at the same time is an enjoyable experience. It would be much like being caught in the middle of a cat-fight – with the scratches to show for it. But, if you will use a deo, that is an unavoidable side-effect. I use my trusty decision-making tool – closed eyes; “Inky Pinky Ponky..”; yup you got it right in one - and pick a deo. The sound of giggles behind me makes me turn to see a few Pretty Young Things staring at me. Uh! I had hardly picked up a deo and it had started working its magic! 

I walked over to the next rack to pick soaps. This is actually a very unnerving thing to buy for me. Almost all the world and its aunt seemed to have produced a unique brand of soap. That becomes a problem because my decision-making tool stops before I am through a tenth of the available choices. What was the option here then? I cudgel my brains and come up with a brilliant idea. I shall repeat it ten times and pick the one on which my finger stopped. I close my eyes and start. By the time I finish, there is a whisper, “He is such great fun” from behind. I turn around to see that I had managed to quadruple my following of PYTs – all without even using the deo. The problem was that the PYTs seemed to have acquired a male following too. So, my trip to the next rack seemed more like a procession. 

I was into the soft drinks now. Having repeated my usual mantra ten times over at the last rack, it was too boring to use it again. The good thing about my decision-making tool was that any nursery rhyme would do. So, I closed my eyes and started, “Old Mother Hubbard..” 

“But you said he would say ‘Inky Pinky Ponky.’”, came a shrill voice from behind. 

“Shhh..” 

Oh! God! So these PYTs were following me because I was a figure of fun! I dropped my shopping basket and went rushing out of the mall. 

So, now you know why I hate shopping!

54 comments:

  1. A very enjoyable piece to read first thing in the morning!You are so sly,Suresh.Even before buying a single thing you have a horde of PYTs following you & still you complain?

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    1. If only they were laughing with me instead of laughing at me :)

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  2. Oh, that's a nice read.
    I never thought of using that mantra. I always thought, by doing so I would end up with something that instead of drawing near the PYT's it would repel them away. So, I usually walk up and down the rack, pick everything, place it back and at the end I just come out of the shopping complex without buying anything.

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    1. Thanks!
      At least I hope you do not have to run away like I had to :)

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  3. Haha...this is fun....BTW, even though I am genetically manufactured to thrive on shopping, I can complete my yearly clothes shopping in 2 hours and grocery shopping (if I HAVE to cause my mom is threatening to throw me out) in an hour flat. It's another matter that I end up buying brands that my mom hate but at least she can't throw me out. :) :)

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    1. Thanks Pankti!
      Clothes, now, my sis buys for me - otherwise i would be going around in rags :)

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  4. hee haw haw haw!! I was picturing u surrounded by pyts n cat-fighting... :) N I hate shopping too ,its unproductive n waste f time,unless im buying books..i hv resorted to online shoping to save me from the hassle.. Try it who knows u might get addicted to it.

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    1. I do shop online exclusively these days. No-one can laugh at me when I do "Inky-Pinky-Ponky" in front of my monitor :)

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  5. As a woman I love shopping but when I read it from the perspective of my husband it is hilarious I must say :D he would love what you have written :P

    www.subzeroricha.blogspot.in

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    1. I love women shopping too - esp. when they shop for me as well :) As long as I do not have to go along :)

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  6. I like shopping but only when I am doing that for myself. If it is my better-half, then I am usually found dragging my feet or complaining how slow she is.
    And the next time you see people betting behind your back, maybe you can strike a deal with one of them and share the loot. :)

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  7. haha, that was hilarious! And very vivid. You sound like my husband, only he makes a panic call every 2 minutes to ask which brand to pick for each item on the list.
    Ironically, the sheer choice available is what makes shopping so irresistible for us women. A walk thru every aisle is a good stress-buster! Seeing so many companies produce so many permutations and combinations for each of my needs makes me feel special.
    Now I'm just rubbing salt in your wounds :P

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    1. People with wives make panic calls. People without do 'Inky-Pinky-ponky' :)

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  8. do not go to the mall. buy everything from your next door grocery shop. just go there and ask for any soap, any deodorant, soft drink which is available there. no one is going to laugh at you and you will come back home with the best stuffs.

    fun read as always!

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    1. I do one better now, Debs - I order online :)

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  9. Hahahaha - online is made for people like you. And also for people like me who dont have the time to undertake journeys to the mall

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  10. That was a standard CS fun read.

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  11. Ha ha. Inky Pinky Ponky is the right way to chose a deo. The market is flooded with so many options that it is impossible to select one.
    I am a decisive quick shopper, but when it comes to clothes and sizes I do take time.
    Loved reading this.

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    1. Good that I have other people supporting my scientific decision-making procedure :)

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  12. Oh..How well I connect to whatever you said...Toothpaste with Extra Salt or Toothpaste that makes the Teeth sparkling white....Those Shopping Woes...From under-wears to Toilet Cleaners..Its so confusing...

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    1. And it is not as though I need any reason to feel confused :) I was born that way :)

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  13. You are exactly what the advertisers did not order tossing their hair-brained efforts out and relying on your own formula at shopping. I like online shopping too or stick with the brands that I've used. And the best part is I go with a list and am zipping in and out quickly :).

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    1. My whole problem is that I am not brand-specific :)

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  14. Oh damn! So now we know why they roped in Sreesanth! There was a whole 'spot fixing in Shopping' industry that was organized around the selection criterion you would base your groceries shopping on! When you decided to drop all that with your shopping cart and walk away, the bookies had to me alternative arrangements! :D

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    1. You should blame that PYT who spoke loudly enough to spoil the betting :)

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  15. Personally< I'd stick to inky pinky ponky. Old mother hubbard doesn't really have the style and elan of inky pinky. But then, that's just me.

    Dagny

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    1. I agree :) But even the best gets boring when repeated too often :)

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  16. I never thought of Such multiple choice questions haunting anybody specially...while shopping...i would surely be a follower of any who uses baby rhymes to choose...products in a shopping mall...hilarious...!!!

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  17. Suresh, MCQ's give me the willies too! Liked the metaphor of shopping. Come to think of it, blogs also present a daunting set of multiple choice options!

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    1. Now you have the mantra for dealing with all MCQs :)

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  18. LOL! Please go on shopping, may be you hate it but your post is so much fun. Do it for your readers.

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  19. I know when I have nothing to do in the office, I need posts like these. Brilliant Suresh!

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    1. You mean my blog is an idle mind's workshop? :)

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    2. Fulfillment, not a workshop :)

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  20. I hate shopping too Suresh, and was nodding my head as I read your selection strategy. I use it for all the time :-)

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    1. Ah! Lots of people like me then :) So maybe those PYTs were also not making fun - only trying to learn the mantra :)

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  21. PYTs. :) I wonder which radical feminist is readying her sandals for calling women 'things'. :D Loved it. I do hope you had enough paste, deo and soap at home to make the PYT from across the bus come swimming, gliding and smiling towards you, considering you left your shopping undone. :D

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    1. Oh! I found a nice online portal to order from :)

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  22. Suresh, you need lessons on how to deal with the opposite sex. You should have turned around and Inky Pinky Ponky-ed them. The shrieks would have multiplied and they would have fled. Tut Tut ---- never mind, next time, keep this strategy in mind

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  23. Now, who was the first one to categorise shopping as a womanly trait? Accha, did you bring home anything at all or just came back reciting, "Inky, . . . donkey . . .?"

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Not me, Susan! :) Yes I came home empty-handed and reciting :)

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  24. Shopping time is revenge time for me. I cannot stop grinning whenever I take husband/son grocery shopping.

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  25. I am imagining you rushing between aisles, peeking around a ketchup shelf, to see if you're being followed by the PYTs, when you hear 'peek-a-boo, guess who' from just behind. :) By the way, what's a PYT? And you on a bus and a girl dragged by her nose from the other end. You are a riot, Suresh. :D My dislike of you is growing. :D

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    1. Ah! As if you did not know that a PYT is a Pretty Young Thing, Achyut :) Well! never mind I like you better by the day :)

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  26. So, quite the Pied Piper, are we? That guy had to put in some effort, but all you had to do was an Inky, Pinky, Ponkoy... boy, I am guessing he would have to gulp down untold liters of Bagpiper if he ever comes to hear of your success. He had to make do with children whereas you effortlessly 'captured' PYT's, another bone of contention I am sure.

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    1. Now THAT guy is going to be on my tail as well? :)

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