A Newly Discovered Male Condition: Mall Legs

My husband is a saint. I could go on and on about all that he does around the house and with the kids and for me...how handsome and kind and sweet he his...what a hard worker, great friend, brother and son he is. But there's really just one thing that I need to say, and it is perfectly sufficient in describing how amazing this man of mine is. That one thing? It's this: HE LIVES WITH ME.

Those of you who only know me via this blog might be thinking, "you can't be that tough to live with." But that's my fault - I try really hard to be as real as possible, but more often than not, I think you get my best side.

Those of you who know me in person are probably simply grinning and thinking something like "Um, yeah. He's a saint alright!"

The only reason I started this post with thoughts on the wonderfulness of my dear man is that I want it to be clear that he's not a complainer or a whiner (except for the occasional times when he has a man cold). He not only puts up with the daily grind of being married to me and being the father of 4 young rambunctious kids...he does so with a sincere smile and a peace about him that can only be described as a gift from the Lord Himself!

OK.

Now that I've laid the groundwork, you will be able to see just how serious and out of the ordinary his "condition" is. His problem? Around here we call it "Mall Legs".

Maybe you have a man in your life with this condition? Here's how you can identify a man suffering with this debilitating problem:

1. At the mere uttering of the words "Maybe we should go to the mall" or "I'll bet we could find that at the mall", you can notice (if you're watching carefully) a slight bead of perspiration on his brow, dilated pupils, and the wide-eyed look of an animal caught in a trap. Although we haven't tested it, I'm certain that if he were hooked to a monitor, you'd also notice a drastic increase in his heart rate and blood pressure.

2. Once he realizes that his near future involves a trip to the dreaded mall, said patient will begin to plan. This will be a marked change in behavior for some men. Those men who are more typically "take things as they come" kind of guys will suddenly and almost instantly develop a detailed plan of attack that will get them in and out of the mall as soon as humanly possible. Case in point: as we ate our lunch in the mall's food court yesterday our conversation went something like this-

Hubby: "So which store do you think would have the shoes?"

Me: "I don't know. We're at the mall! Let's just shop around. There seem to be quite a few sales on right now, maybe we could find a deal. And maybe we could grab a treat and sit and watch people for a while (one of my favorite mall activities)."

(Hubby looks at me with mouth hanging open, an incredulous look on his face.)

Hubby: "No. That's not the way this works. We sit here, we make a plan, we go there, we buy the shoes, we get out. That's how this mall trip works. Clear?"

3. A nearly debilitating weakness in the patient's legs as he takes his first physical steps into the shopping mall (hence the name "mall legs"). His usual energetic and sure step is replaced with feet that can almost not leave the ground. He will be slightly winded at the sheer effort of moving his feet.

4. An unspoken camaraderie with other men at the mall. As they carry their wives' purses and sit on the benches surrounded by their wives' packages, they look at each other. To the uneducated eye, those glances appear to be a simple "Hi there" type of look.

But if you know that your man is suffering from Mall Legs, you can be certain that there are volumes being spoken in those stolen glances with fellow sufferers. Those looks say things like "I KNOW, I can't seem to escape either. I've tried everything.", and "I thought I was a good man during my life. I know the Lord, even. I don't understand how I've died and ended up in the pit of H*LL.", and "Can you help me? I've been trying to work up the nerve to pull the nearest fire alarm, but just can't seem to make my legs walk me over to that little red box. Quick! Before you sit down and can't get back up...go pull the alarm and we can all get out of here!"

5. Any comment like the one my dear husband made yesterday during lunch: "Man, I can remember the last time we were at the mall eating lunch. I remember it was a Sunday, and the Packers were playing. The kids were all wearing their Packer sweatshirts and we ran into one of my co-workers here. That was a good year ago! We haven't been to the mall in a year. (deep sigh) It was a good year." Seriously ladies...can your husband remember what the kids were wearing yesterday? I'll bet mine can't (I can't either for that matter). But he can remember details like that about his last mall trip...a sure sign of deep and lasting trauma.

Living with Mall Legs:

So what do we do? It's simple...have mercy. This is a real and physical condition that can not be helped. Do all you can to help your man avoid the mall. Even if it means dragging the kids to the mall (gasp!) by yourself, it will be less painful for you than it would be for him if you insist that he comes with you. The only reason my hubby had to come to the mall yesterday was that we were shoe shopping...for HIM. I couldn't pull that off without him, so he was stuck.

And if you feel you must have him at the mall with you, go easy on him. Keep in mind that it's a physical endurance test for him, so try to keep the trip short. If you see your man fading to the point of needing medical assistance to make it back out to the car, you might want to plan a mid-trip swing by Sears' tool department (or the electronics store, whatever floats his boat). This will usually perk him up to the point of being able to make it through the rest of the trip.

Do you feel frustrated by his inability to shop the mall like you do? Try to remember his good qualities...all the reasons you married him. And remember too that the mall is made for women, so leave hubby home and bring a girlfriend if you want to shop for a new purse.

That concludes this long-winded public service announcement. Happy shopping!

Emily  – (1/05/2009 07:26:00 AM)  

That is so funny. My husband has the same symptoms. :)

Tracy  – (1/05/2009 07:37:00 AM)  

I have to admit that, as a woman, I have mall legs too. My husband loves me more for it!

Ruth A Stiles  – (1/05/2009 08:22:00 AM)  

i know many men who have this ailment....mine included...BUT I mysself despise the mall so we don't often have to deal with "mall legs"

funny post!

Hilty Sprouts!  – (1/05/2009 09:28:00 AM)  

Oh dear, is it possible for a woman to be afflicted with such a malady? I fear I have it too!

Too funny!

Thanks for your comment. That is actually my mom's xmas tree, I can't take credit! We didn't even put up a tree this year! ;0) It's too bad because I love decorating the tree. Maybe next year!

We would love to have you guys out, we just haven't been very good about planning anything lately! Must work on the hospitality thing!

Shopping Mom  – (1/05/2009 05:30:00 PM)  

That was just funny. My husband has worse symptoms. And I don't like hurrying to buy stuff before I get to check great bargains. I have learned to cope with it though. I don't tag him along. I don't mind going to the mall by myself because it is like a therapy for me. If he's with me, I'm sure I 'd be able to settle for something that I don't really like because he'd be nagging me to go home. Good luck to us!

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