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Minor observations and questions

As a 30ish male, if you walk around the place with a black eye, you will get a combination of contemptuous looks, studied avoidance, and slightly unnerving deference. I’m assuming the latter comes from people who assume that the owner of a black eye has managed to acquire it through being an ultraviolent Begbie figure, rather than through falling off a chair.

I’m guessing that most women trying the same public-black eye-experiment would instead get a combination of pitying looks and studied avoidance, for fairly obvious ‘different stereotype’ reasons, even if said black eye were in fact acquired in a bullfight or crocodile-wrestling accident – any of my female readers shiner-ed themselves up and care to confirm?

Also, it being a public holiday, families were out in force at the supermarket. Two-parent-one-toddler family combinations were noticeably less efficient at shopping, and much more likely to feature at least one screaming angry family member, than one-parent-one-toddler combinations. And that this held whether the one-parent was female or male (I didn’t see any two-same-sex-parent-one-toddler combinations, sadly).

Does the “higher adult/child ratio actually makes shopping more miserable” hold true in readers’ experience? Or are there other factors at play (e.g. “the more unsufferable the toddler, the less willing either parent is to take them out solo if avoidable”)?

  1. Matthew
    April 27, 2011 at 3:25 am | #1

    I don't like attributing too much agency to small children, but my newphew is worse behaved when out with both parents than just one. I'm sure your second explanation is true a bit too.

  2. April 27, 2011 at 5:13 am | #2

    You're on to something there with the two-parent one kiddie thing. It's worse when there are two kids & two parents as it adds a further level of competition.

    I found it much easier taking my twins shopping on my own than with Herself.

  3. April 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm | #3

    The number of children is irrelevant, it's going shopping as a couple that causes friction. I've never stood in a shop arguing with myself, but if Her Indoors sends me off with a vague shopping list I often have to ring her up and ask her what the Hell she meant.

  4. Newmania
    June 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm | #4

    John B- You think that the Public Sector and Private Sector are the same. Ok; I work in a small Company accessing EU licensed Security to provide UK Policies of all sorts retail and wholesale.Tell me what you think the State can help us trade more profitably ?
    No-one in the state has the faintest idea how it works either any more than I know how to mend a a car or run a gym. The real Economy is specialist and decisions it are hugely sophisticated. This is not because its workers are better, although obviously they are, but because learning to cope with diffuse information not bureaucratic scaffolds requires institutional improvement over time.
    You seem to be suggesting taking money away from this activity and giving it to ignorant unqualified bureaucrats does no harm.In fact you say that because both are reallocating resources that reallocation is necessarily equivalent . Duh ..

    I suppose that because Messie and I can both kick a football that makes us equivalent as well . That is your logic .

    Paul Newman

  5. Matthew
    June 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm | #5

    "I work in a small Company accessing EU licensed Security to provide UK Policies of all sorts retail and wholesale".

    This doesn't make any sense. It's like saying 'I work in a company that bigs up zebras whilst upside down's face off black"

  6. June 22, 2011 at 6:08 am | #6

    Matthew: snigger.

    But back on topic, I find shopping with the wiff a frustrating activity. Much more pleasant/efficient on my own. Haven't done enough of it with punkchild in tow to offer further comment. Telling, really.

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