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Sharing time with my bride is a blessing.  During our busy days I eagerly look for opportunities for us to merge our schedules into fun times together.  Some times I even take her shopping.

Yes, that is a perfectly allowable choice.  It is in the fine print on my “Man Card”.  The explanation is under point 27, subsection 12, footnote 75.

We entered a specialty store.  The exclusive product was women’s accessories.  There might even be a subset of specialty stores that describes this venue better, but I frankly do not know what it is.

My bride made her rounds.  Women have a peculiar shopping technique.  The must bond with the products by tactile interaction.

When a woman touches a product she is sensing something about a possible purchase.  Some just use glancing tips of their fingers.  Others grab and others hug the items.

Then, there are those who hold the product up in the air.  Maybe they are attempting to get different lighting angles to help them make their decision.  Yet, others pat the product as if to assure it that their decision NOT to purchase is not personal.

My eyes widened suddenly.  She was coming to me with several products in hand.  “Yipes! She is going to ask me my opinion.”  I force myself to remain calm and act confident.

She assumes the role of a TV Show Hostess Spokesperson.  In turn she displays one choice, shows me the features, talks about the pros and cons.  I listen, acting as if I am tracking with her.

While uttering a timely “Um” or thoughtful “Ah” I miss the transition to a question.  My “Uh huh” is obviously misplaced. “What?  Oh, I’m sorry.  I was thinking about this one here.”

It is a clumsy recovery.  I have been discovered.  Yes, I am a dolt.  I do not understand colors.

In fact I was getting dizzy staring at the wild patterns and countless colors.  How does anyone know how to describe these items?  For me to give an opinion is like throwing dice and calling out whatever numbers happen to land on top.

Knowing what the numbers mean is the trick.  But, I can’t get past my panic attack that feels like being asked a question by a professor in front of my learned classmates and I haven’t a clue as to the answer.  Now, the sweat starts to pour off of my head.  Help!  I feel nauseous! Really!

photo credit: brucefong photography

IMG_3408Some time in my past a revolution took place.  I was completely unaware of this swirling massive historical moment in my culture.  It made me feel out-of-touch.

My awakening took place in a moment in time.  There was a need for me to shop for a new pair of kick-around shoes.  They would be for times when the weather was hot and shorts were in order.

Color was a feature that did not particularly enthrall me.  I just wanted these new shoes to match the colors of Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall.  What surprised me was how much my expectations were to be stunned and shocked.

Normally, aesthetics are not a forte of mine.  I leave color choices to those who have a knack at design and color coordination.  These people never cease to amaze me.

They explain why they chose certain colors to match with others and it perfectly makes sense.  Or least I am so confused I nod in agreement just to expedite the conversation.  After all, grey and black are colors too are they not?  Even fancy color names can handle the never ending conversations around design.  Names like gunmetal, battleship grey or raven black make a lot of sense to me.

My hunt for a new pair of kick-around shoes began at the local sporting goods store.  When I arrived at the Men’s shoe department, what filled up my senses almost took my breath away.  Colors of the rainbow stunned my visual senses.

Frankly, I looked for a sign to verify that these were in fact men’s shoes.  Every color especially bright and pastel selections dominated one shoe or another.  Florescent colors were very evident too.

Maybe the bright colors were to shield your eyes from the prices.  I wanted a new pair of shoes not a second car.  Who on earth can budget for shoe money like these?

Dominant colors were not the only surprises.  Pastels were all over the selection grid as well.  Pink was even a highlight for some shoes.

It took a while for me to find some options.  Two sales personnel asked if they could be of assistance.  They were young kids asking out of obligation.

“Point me to the MEN’S black shoes with silver highlights,” I requested.  They both looked dazed as if I had asked them to solve the problem of world hunger.  Oh well, after poking around I found my new shoes in basic silver with black highlights and in my size off in a lonely section of the store.  They were not on sale.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

At first blush a simple task to buy a flower-pot doesn’t seem challenging.  If the emphasis is on “buy a flower-pot” then it is a piece of cake.  I can do that without any problem.

I am wired to hear a direction, understand it and make it so.  Simple.  My mind hears two important words: “buy” and “flower-pot”.

When I go to the local home improvement store, I check out the pots.  They are arranged from the simple to the sublime.  The simple are the clay pots that are reddish clay in color and have no shiny finish.

To be fair I do scan down the shelf and look at the increasing scale of decorated and glazed pots.  But, my eyes also scan the price tags below each display.  I can’t figure out why these pots with decorations cost two or three times more.

So, I buy a flower-pot as requested.  I am pleased that I stopped in this store for a mere 12.57 minutes to identify the target and take it to the check out counter.  With satisfaction I even pull out of the parking lot with plenty of change.

Yvonne was so kind when she saw my purchases.  I was very proud of fulfilling her request.  But, she looked at the pot, looked at me, looked at the pot and carefully chose her words, “Hmm, these kind of pots are better suited for outside use, Honey.  Didn’t they have anything with color or shape?”

Back at the store I stared at the selection of pots.  I picked each different style up and wondered, “How do I know which one works inside?”  Even though the selection of these size pots were limited I must have picked up each possibility a half of a dozen times. 

Yeah, I’m aesthetically challenged.  My usual reaction when people tell that one color or combination is better than another is, “Really?”  My wardrobe is predominantly black, my pickup truck is white, my motorcycle is black and my bicycle is black.  Hmm, there seems to be a pattern here, eh?

I wasn’t getting any where with reason.  So, I went with my immediate instinctive subjective wild guess.  Then, I held four different colors and also took a wild guess.

At home I waited with deep curiosity.  Yvonne arrived home from work.  She walked into the kitchen and I pointed nervously to my flower-pot choice that took me 37.84 minutes to make.  She loves it!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography