I've really been thinking about how dating is like window shopping lately. Have you ever felt like you were just looking, but weren't sure what you wanted so you just kept looking?
Finding the perfect man is a lot like window shopping. Lisa Loeb wrote a song years ago that defined it quite perfectly. I am like one of a million women out there browsing the shelves. I walked out of that store with high hopes that he will fit quite correctly. In the same aspect he, too, took a chance on me as he cautiously picked me up off the shelves. So far he’s a pretty good piece of Ralph Lauren. But what happens when we realize sometimes those we walked out with turn out to be Levis?
I began to ponder the Lisa Loeb’s lyrics. She was exactly right. Somewhere in our minds there is this “husband” store. A good friend and I laughed at a golf tournament a few weeks ago that we were window shopping for men. It didn’t mean we wanted any of them and it didn’t mean we were going to pick them off the shelf. It simply meant that it was fun to browse the “candy.” It’s as if we pluck the man off the shelf. He seems pretty good. He is a nice person, has a nice smile, seems to be nice enough…nice, nice, nice. Isn’t that what I look for in a piece of clothing?
Maybe he isn’t too expensive, so when I check out he won’t break my heart before we walk out the door. I take him home and once I try him on as Lisa says, “Try me on; Take me home; The tags are on; It's still a loan; Warranty is in the sack; You can always take me back.” I began to see the rips and flaws in his material. I sure didn’t see a hole in the sweater when I ripped it off the shelves. So as Lisa says we return him and, “Scan the shelves for something red; It's different; It's brighter than the ones you had to have; They didn't last; They just fade.”
Then I began to wonder how dating is like window shopping. What happens once we take them back so many times? One girl after another is picking out the one they thought was perfect at the husband store. They are no longer pure and hopeful. Their spirits are all so different. Some come with too much baggage. We sift through them one by one. Different colors of shirts, different styles, different smiles and we desperately wish we could just be right this one time so it wouldn’t be so expensive on our hearts. Each time we return him to that shelf, we are losing value as well. Our hearts are bruised, our material flawed. Some of us refuse to even return to the store. But, Lisa reminds us, “There's miles and miles of strip mall smiles; Waiting to check you out; And all the conversations; Not so subtle invitations; But isn't that what this is all about?”
Yes, there are so many, many pieces of material. Some of the best sit at the back on the shelf, afraid of being chosen by the wrong girl. Some are passed over as the girl browses for the one she only thinks can be her perfect fit. The hottest piece of material is thrown to the ground, as women realize its only attire for a one-time event. Sometimes we feel as if all of the best have been picked over and we are staring into the sales rack. We scour for the brightest, the nicest, the most this, the most that, but what we have to remember is we are searching for that perfect fit for ourselves.
We’ve all picked out the hottest piece of material on the rack only to find out when we got home and modeled it in the mirror, it just didn’t fit the same as it did standing in the dressing room. The trick is finding the one that isn’t perfect. It’s flawed, it drives you insane some days, yet others fit like your perfect prom dress. Once you find him, after trudging through the ripped material, after pushing your way past all the other women in the store, after visiting the same store twenty times, you realize throughout all of this window shopping that he might actually be worth the trouble.