It's a myth that women take more time to shop. There are men who can spend hours looking for a shirt
A hapless member of their sex turning grey waiting for his wife to return from a shopping spree is part of male lore. So steeped is this fallacy in everyone's psyche that some salesmen give women quizzical looks if they leave the store in ten minutes. Like they did to Sanjana. As she walked into a reputed store, her eyes fell on that one sari she felt was woven just for her. After a quick check to see if she had enough money, she bought it and walked out. But not before a flabbergasted attendant asked her how she had made up her mind so quickly. "These pre-conceived notions irk me. Why do they think we take longer to choose? If you know what you want, where's the need for any delay?" she asks.It has not helped that movies and mega-serials have perpetuated the image of the indecisive woman, who looks confused as she sits in front of mounds of saris. The store attendant is treated with great sympathy. He looks tired, having had to model sari after sari for a customer who shows no sign of being impressed. And, he heaves a sigh of relief only when the customer finally leaves empty-handed.
Not just women
Such stereotyping is annoying. "Okay. Women delay when it comes to choosing clothes. But, who says men are different? My husband takes as much if not more time to decide on a shirt; that is after driving the salesperson crazy in at least half the stores across the city," says Sangeeta Sharma, a homemaker. "I still remember the time when we walked in and out of not less than 11 shops in search of that elusive pair of shoes," she recalls. Shopping with such a partner would be fun, right? "Wrong. He takes time, but hates it when I do the same," she complains.Some women have found the easy way out... they shop alone. As someone who shops for a living, Radhika, owner of a sari store, says lazy shopping is more a personality trait than anything else. "Some women will find what they want in two minutes; others will take two hours. It's about getting what you want," she says.Quick shoppers who breeze in and out of stores in record time say their greatest advantage is knowing what they want. Something Kausalya and Usha, partners of a boutique, agree. "Some keep looking, feeling that they have not yet got a good deal. The problem occurs when they are unsure about what they want and are not confident about their choice," they say. Shopping, Radhika says, is therapeutic. "So, why rush people. If they love spending time on choosing something for themselves, what's wrong with that?"While his wife, Namagiri, shops, physician G. Lakshmipathi, who waits for her, says women must be allowed this one indulgence. SUBHA J RAO