I've always prided myself as someone who has a great amount of sympathy toward those who may be suffering. That feeling of understanding and tendency to want to comfort and help those who have fallen on hard times may be something I inherited from my mother, who spent her career as a registered nurse, and, even in her retirement, continues to be a good Samaritan to those in need.

Various scenarios in which I find my heart breaking for others range from grave to lighthearted in nature.

One, which may not be very serious, but nonetheless, tragic, is men being forced to go shopping with their wives or girlfriends.

Let me start off by saying I understand there are reasons for which an argument can be made that it is perfectly normal to have your man by your side while shopping.

I am a different kind of shopper, though. I do love to spend money, but I do a lot of my shopping online.

When I have to physically go shopping, I am usually in and out in no time. I have no patience for shopping in stores.

Especially at the mall, I find myself bombarded by helpful, but occasionally pushy, salespeople as well as aggressive shoppers that just mow you over with no apologies, and I typically can't wait to get out of there.

I know not all women are like me, though.

Most women like to take their time, browse (Browse. I got that word wrong in a spelling bee in eighth grade and to this day, I am still mad at it and hate using it) up and down the aisles of multiple stores, try things on, think about it, try it on again, ask someone if it makes them look fat, take it off, try something else on, go through the same steps again, and so on and so on.

As someone who doesn't like shopping, I rarely shop with other women unless I know they only need a few things. A "day of shopping" sounds kind of like a nightmare to me. On Black Friday, I'm avoiding any kind of store at all costs.

I've gone shopping with guys before (not against their will) and I like to think a lot of them either feel the same way about shopping as I do, or just straight-up loathe it.

I honestly feel pity for men when I see them in the mall leaning up against a rack while their girlfriends pull out various clothes they don't care about and ask them if they like them.

Honestly, they don't care.

I understand guys can carry heavy things. I understand he may be paying, but should he really have to suffer through the whole shopping process as well?

A website called sheknows.com offers advice on how to make shopping with your boyfriend less stressful.

They suggest softening him up by telling him that a shirt really brings out his eyes, hitting the sales, since guys always like to save money and looking at things he's into to appease him for a couple minutes.


A compliment, a few bucks off and browsing for hammers isn't going to soften the blow of and all-day shopping extravaganza.

The only sound advice they give is to try on and show him various pieces of lingerie to shut him up for a while. That, I think would work. I think a man would like that.

My advice is, if you really must take him with you, allow him to sit on a bench with the rest of the disgruntled husbands and boyfriends - at least he can people-watch then. Or go your separate ways and use modern technology to meet back up at a certain point.

Just don't drag him into every store having him sniff body lotion and give you his opinion on skinny or boot-cut jeans while holding your purse and 87 of your shopping bags.

It's not nice.

You may have to do things that you don't want to here and there in a relationship, but these poor men are suffering; I can see a look of "HELP ME" in a lot of their eyes.

So, save your extended shopping trips for girl time with the friends in your life you may have lost contact with or channel your independence and just go it alone and let your poor men at home.

(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)