Saturday, November 04, 2006

Craft Shows Are Hazardous to Men's Health...

Over the past couple of months, I have attended 2 crafts shows with my wife. They were held in arenas and were generally enjoyable. I was one of 3 men who were not vendors at both of these shows. My goal in attending each was simple: walk with my wife, pretending I was interested in the jewelry, clothes, and and other booths while keeping my eye out for the food related booths. Both shows featured mom and pop organizations which cooked pies, dips, and other assorted sweets; nearly all of these booths also featured free samples.
I freely admit that I was there for the free samples; I was not the only person there for the food, however. I could identify the food booths very easily: they were the ones with a flock of women surrounding them. I generally limit myself to sampling each dip or food type one time; apparently, craft show women do not share my restraint. At each booth, I watched more than one woman sample each thing 3 or 4 times and, it should be mentioned, most of them did not buy anything and the same woman could be seen doing the same thing at other booths later.
Another characteristic that these women shared was that they lacked all social grace when it came to getting to the free samples. As one of the few males there, I felt like I should be courteous and wait my turn in line for samples; in doing so, I became a doormat. I would literally wait in line for a minute or two, finally get an opening to walk up to the booth, and a woman in a sweater with the words "World's Best Grandmother" or "Ask Me About My Grandkids" would cut me off, lowering her shoulder to push me out of the way, and then ignore the fact that I was trying to reach around her to get to the food. I didn't want to ask her about her grandkids, I wanted to tell her grandkids about their jerk of a grandmother.
Before these two shows, I always assumed that men did not attend such things because they lacked interest and had better things to do. After attending the shows, I realized men don't attend because most of us have qualms about hitting, pushing, or shoving women while women have no such qualms about hitting, pushing, or shoving men or women or children to get to free samples.
So guys, if you do decide to go to a craft show with your wife or girlfriend, a few words of advice: 1) Do try the food because it is delicious; 2) Don't expect to get any courtesy from anyone other than the person you came with; 3) Get behind the sweetest looking old lady you can when approaching a food table because I guarantee you she will shove her way to the front; and 4)Wear a cup because that same little old lady might throw an ill-placed elbow while you are following her.

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