This question was brought to mind when my friend Chrishele, who's engaged, told me she and four friends were going shopping for the wedding gown. She was okay with four, Chrishele explained to me, but she absolutely drew the limit at six.
When I heard this, my brain reeled like it had a swordfish on the other end of the line, and spots appeared before my eyes. Then Chrishele said she'd gone shopping for a wedding gown before with up to eight people. And it's a good thing I wasn't the one driving - we were carpooling at the time - because the world went swimmy before me, and I gripped the hand rest and pushed myself back into the vinyl upholstery.
Even the thought of enduring such hell.
What makes this even more astonishing is they're shopping for a wedding dress. How many opinions can they need? It's not like they have to choose a color.
You need to understand that I despise shopping, particularly shopping for clothes, and I think I am like most men of my generation in this regard. I cannot imagine any purchase - wedding tuxedo, new Maseratti, two hundred acres, coffin - to which I would invite even one, let alone two, of my friends to witness. The most a man will do is show his friends something after he's purchased it. "Here's my new cowboy hat." "Nice. Now where's that money you owe me?"
Now how can the human race, which depends for its existence on at least intermittently cordial relations between the sexes, endure when men and women have such divergent world views when it comes to shopping. I have heard my wife and her friends planning a day of shopping together and looking forward to it. Whereas in the early days of our relationship when Nancy took me to the mall, she would no longer even consider doing such a cruel thing any more than she'd throw a kitten into a drying machine, I'd walk beside her like an extra in The Walking Dead, and meeting the eyes of some other poor creature of my gender, we'd exchange glances of fellow misery like the lost souls in hell. Sometimes shopping must be done, but the thought of actually inviting friends to come along makes no more sense than inviting them with you to the dentist. Hell, the main reason I like online shopping is even I don't have to be there.
So there you have it. Our entire species in peril because men and women see shopping so differently. I, who see shopping as a sign of God's punishment on our fallen race, and Chrisele who's looking forward to doing it with four friends.
Excuse me, I have to lie down now. I'm feeling faint.