Will Shop for Ads

Most women don’t realize how much men love to shop because most of our shopping takes place in a store. I have yet to meet a man who isn’t crazy about browsing up and down the classifieds.
Men favor a good classified section the way women patronize a particular department, grocery, or craft and hobby store. The classifieds are the one section of a newspaper I rarely pay attention to but guys find them irresistible to overlook.
Classifieds also appear to be men’s preferred secondary education because they like gaining new information from ads and exchanging it with each other. I’ve observed many men studying the classifieds with determination as if he was taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test the next day.
If my husband’s not researching the entire classifieds section, he’s tearing off a square with an ad, scratching information down on a chew can or his record book and sporting a studious look like he’s memorizing key details for an exam. He recalls this knowledge amongst neighbors, friends or relatives to start or enhance conversations or uses it in digging for more knowledge about a topic related to an ad. There isn’t a family or community function that I’ve attended where I didn’t overhear farmers and ranchers having one or more discussions over some ad listed in a daily, weekly or ag-related newspaper.
The information men gain from what they read in the classifieds amazes me but not as much as how many different guys see the same ads. They commonly talk about current prices in ads and are all aware of area auctions, whose land is listed for sale and for how much, what the going rate is on hay, horses, used equipment, vehicles or trailers. They pay particular attention to good deals which make for hot discussions.
For-sale ads suit men because ads list only necessary facts in as few words as possible and the classifieds aren’t embellished with the extras that women are drawn to. Flyers with colorful pictures of sale items and big numbers like 30, 50 or 75 with percent symbols attached are the sales hooks that tend to snag women.
Browsing through people’s goods listed for sale can be done without someone trying to persuade, pressure or disrupt frequent deep-in-thought decision making moments. A guy can study or shop and compare the merchandise as long as he wants, return as often as he wants, and doesn’t have to wait in line or talk to someone about it unless he decides to.
A majority of men find newspaper ads a convenient way to shop right from their recliner. Classified advertisements also allow for mulling over a prospective purchase and provide adequate time to come up with justifications for buying if there’s a good deal on a trailer, tractor, baler, etc., that a farmer or rancher doesn’t need but could use or upgrade with. Men dream up uses on the ranch for desired equipment the way women create reasons to buy new cookware, kitchen appliances or another pair of shoes.
Reading classifieds also entertains and reduces stress in men. Riding along for women’s type of shopping can be a torturous way for most husbands to spend their time unless he has some classifieds to read. For lack of a better place to be, men want ads.
column August 30-September 5, 2009

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