The other day we (we being my wife and I) went shopping. It was date night. So the kids were being corralled by someone else and we were left to our own devices for fair bit of time. I know you're thinking it... did we? No. We didn't nap. BUT we did have a lovely meal of food and did a bit of shopping.
It is this shopping stuff that has me entertained. I am very much into advertising, who these stores are targeting, and how they are targeting them. It is fascinating to watch folks be driven to a decision they had no intentions of making and purchasing something when they just came to 'browse'.
One of the most effective stores I've seen was Victoria's Secret. They know who they want in their store. They broadcast images designed to catch your attention in colors that educate you immediately who this product is for. One might argue that they don't market to men. I would argue they market relentlessly to men. For who gets the benefits of the newest latest and greatest lace/spandex blend?
When I was in my formative, pubescent years Victoria's Secret was an attractive mystery to me. Beautiful women, beautiful design, smells great, and they sold----underwear. Not just any underwear. Underwear designed to be seen. A statement piece of clothing typically not shown. A large amount of my teenage years were blessed by Victoria's Secret as my focus became isolated on a chance instance where I got to intentionally encounter said undergarments. We used to call this getting to second base. Or third if you were a heavy hitter (which, I was not). A young man's life changes for the positive the first time his hand contacts the lacy, padded greatness of a Victoria's Secret Bra. Pupils dilate. Heart rate increases significantly and you realize you aren't in Kansas anymore. In no uncertain way you have stepped from the minors into the big leagues. The proverbial crowd is roaring and you feel ten feet tall. A tip of the hat and you acknowledge it: Yes, I did just touch a fancy bra. Yes, it was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. Yes I will not, and cannot, ever possibly view women's undergarments as a routine anymore but rather as an intentional act of attracting a possible mate. Yes, I am a changed man. I promise you if you ask any man they can tell you who this first happened to them with.
From that moment on you realize that a woman chooses things to wear intentionally. Particularly undergarments. And VS has made this dream much more attainable and NORMAL. Thank you. From all of us. Side note: A young man's life changes again when the time comes to be the one to take the bra off and you have no clue how to do it- but that's for another blog ( I see workshop opportunity for Victoria's Secret and a potential niche market).
Anyway, back to shopping. We stepped into VS- the mecca as I like to call it. A large amount of women were carefully and decisively picking through panties. No purchase was made on a whim. Each and every item down to the counter check out fragrance is calculated. There were women of all ages, sizes, and ethnicity all proudly purchasing the next great item. For me, I felt right at home. This was the birthplace of my puberty, the reason I showed up to class frequently, and most likely the reason I have kids.
But something perplexed me.
What confused me were the other men in the store. They seemed put out by the fact their wife had brought them in. They were making odd, uncomfortable jokes about the mannequins, about the underwear, and playfully looking freaked out by them. Loud sighs, irritated glances, and frustrated phone checking or merely standing in the corner were the behavior of these men. How? Why? Make no mistake, anything their wife picked out would be a bug zapper light to the bug in them. So why the feigned ignorance?
You are standing in the holiest of holies and you're putting up a front like you don't care? In what world do we pretend we don't like something when we like it the most? Oh wait....
Seems like Dating in Middle School all over again, waiting for that chance to be at bat. But sadly, our wives are giving us the opportunity to get on base by intentionally walking us. They are literally asking us to simply step up to the plate to play the game, and let her do the rest. You'll likely score. And, yet these men wouldn't even step up to the plate!!
PS- Was surprised by how much this took a turn toward baseball. Maybe spring training is affecting me more than I thought.