Contact Us    
Sort 364

Where to Shop (so you can avoid your exes).

by Dear Jon
December 2, 2008

Bookmark and Share
Sort 364


Dear Jon,

I hate running into old flames in public, like while I'm out shopping. I'm embarrassed, I don't know what to say and I'd rather avoid them, but I don't want to be caught trying to avoid them either because that would be even more embarrassing! What should I do?

A Shopper*

*Note: This letter is the revised version as I promised in last week's column. To read the letter as it was actually submitted, read Sort 363.

Dear Shopper,

First of all, I want to reassure you that you are completely normal. By "normal" I do not mean that you are healthy. Far from it! But your particular neurotic angst is shared by approximately 6.5 billion other people on the planet. There are several million who move beyond neurotic angst to pathological psychoses. There are only 118 healthy well-adjusted people in the world, and two of them are under the age of 6 so there is still plenty of time for them to get illing.

Your angst is universal. Your problem is not. A woman of India who is waiting for her marriage to be arranged, which won't happen until the goats give birth, will not be sharing your particular problem. But she WILL be thinking to herself what YOU would be thinking if you were in HER position, which is: "Please Krishna please don't let the kid be born with two heads or a missing leg or my wedding will be postponed and I REALLY need to get out of this house very soon especially since my younger sister is already married and a mother and I never hear the end of it and unless I hear the end of it I think I shall go as crazy as a rabid monkey please please Krishna amen. P.S. Thank you that neither I nor my fiancee live in Mumbai."*

*Note, the violence in Mumbai last week was cruel and horrible and sick and no laughing matter. However, I have heard similar things said by Americans, in terms of expressing thanks to their higher power of choice, frequently "Jesus Christ," that they do not live in "Detroit" or "certain Chicago neighborhoods which no international tourists possibly present for the 2016 Olympics will ever have to come near."* While nearly 200 were killed in Mumbai in a single night of terrorism, it takes five whole months to reach that total in Chicago, and no one can blame an ongoing civil war over disputed territory either, unless the comparison is to "turf" among street gangs, and there is probably more truth to that parallel than meets the eye.

*Note: Chicago would be a GREAT place to host the Olympics. Chicago street hoods only mean to kill each other, and the collateral damage is only to those unfortunate enough to have to walk to their neighborhood's public school in the midst of the cross-fire. So REALLY, tourists and athletes would NOT be bothered at all. Most foreigners are very welcome. In fact, Chicago is a "sanctuary" city for foreigners, because we can't get Americans to weed our lawns or do our dishes anymore.

The point is, people are the same the world over. We are all sick about love, we are all killing each other for random reasons like religion, politics and cocaine sales, and we are all meeting people we would rather not meet in malls and shops and bazaars everywhere, so we might as well have the Olympics in Chicago because really, the question is not "why not?" but rather "what tourist is going to find better pizza in the whole world?"

So, you need to know what to do when you meet an ex while you are shopping. Strategies differ depending on the type of store. If you are shopping in a department store, and you are in the lingerie aisles looking for something for your new flame and it turns out that your ex-- surprise surprise isn't THIS a small world, is the sales clerk-- that might be awkward. Here it is normal for most billions of people to make embarrassed small talk, and then lie and say, "Is this the right direction to the hardware department?"*

*Note: That is a difficult lie to sustain if you are holding negligees of different color in each hand.

If you really are running into your exes frequently enough to write to Dear Jon, you may be confining your shopping to too small a geographic area. If you live in a huge city, like Chicago, consider hopping a few neighborhoods over to do your grocery shopping, pump your gas, tailor your bullet-proof vests, etc.* In a city like Chicago, chain supermarkets have outlets every few miles so you would be able to use your coupons and keep the same bank, while the extra twenty minutes of travel would give you the peace of mind that you will be completely anonymous to the other shoppers.

*Note: Just be sure to wear neutral earth-tones; at this time of writing no street gangs are identified with beige polo shirts and cardigan sweaters.

Then for your Christmas shopping, avoid commuting to the world-famous places where "everyone" goes to shop, such as Swedish-import furniture stores located next to malls that compete for being the "biggest and/or busiest in North America."*

*Note: I have shopped at West Edmonton Mall, Alberta; Mall of America, Minnesota; Woodfield Mall, Illinois. I cannot honestly tell you which one is the biggest. I can tell you that my "exes" threat at Woodfield Mall has nothing to do with former girl-friends; it is that I might run into former employers with whom our parting did not amount to "sweet" sorrow.

Any city of fewer than one hundred thousand people has too few shopping choices to protect yourself from uncomfortable run-ins. If the city you live in is a suburb in a megapolis, you might want to consider shopping in another suburb--while avoiding the world-class mega malls as already stated. Another alternative is to move to a different suburb.

However, if you have been a "playah" in a small city --by being the campus cad at the university in Laramie, Wyoming for example--so that the city's phone book is filled with your various regrets, there is no escape for you except to move to another state with a lot more people. Or, you can resolve to do all your shopping on-line and never leave your house again except to go to work.*

*Note: People like you who are neurotic and uncomfortable about exes are the reason why human resource directors set policies against dating people at work. Whether your job has that policy or not, you, of all people, probably should not date anyone at work.

Remember though, that our outgoing President reminded us that shopping is our patriotic duty. So NOT shopping is not an option. Get out there and ring it up (or shop from your computer) and do your part to spend us out of this economic crisis. God Bless America!

Note: President Bush spoke to this effect during the Christmas season, 2001, a few weeks after the terror attacks. Look it up. We re-elected him with the first clear popular majority in sixteen years, so he must have been right.

Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*

Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.

Please type the letters you see above.


Bookmark and Share

Dear Jon Letters: Tips for Dating and Mating
Temporarily Unavailable
Published July 21, 2008

Our advice humorist turns his attention and trademark wit to affairs of the heart in his first and very affordable book (only $8.95!).

More Information
RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon
Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Dear Jon
Sort 433: Going on Sabbatical
Miss Me? Let me know!
by Dear Jon, 6/15/10
Sort 432: Jokes and Horse Names
and other Random One Liners
by Dear Jon, 6/8/10
Sort 431: Piggy Tossing
and the new touring show: "Lord of the Flies."
by Dear Jon, 6/1/10
Sort 430: Forwarding Fear
Spam with a side of mashed logic
by Dear Jon, 5/25/10
Sort 429, Mixing Oil and Water
is like mixing politics and humor. All you get is a sticky mess and a lot of upset environmentalists.
by Dear Jon, 5/18/10
Sort 428: Handling the Truth
And other lessons for cable channels
by Dear Jon, 5/11/10
Sort 427: Dear Jon Knew When to Shut Up
by Dear Jon, 5/4/10
» Complete List (462)

RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon

Recently Published
View Article It Was John's Time
Celebrating the legacy of Congressman John Lewis
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/30/20
Here is the Church
A new look at a childhood finger play
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/24/20
The Guardians of Right
Who ultimately should decide what is left?
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/17/20
Wear a Mask!
A pandemic plea for courtesy
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/10/20
A Prayer for the Divided States of America
Interceding for our Uncle Sam
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/2/20
About Those Monuments
Why attempts to revise history is risky
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 6/26/20
A Father's Day Wish List
What I pray for my progeny
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 6/19/20

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.

RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?
Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2020 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top