I have followed my wife and children in to about every type of store imaginable. Whether it be furniture stores, clothing stores, toy stores, boutiques, malls, or outlets, I’ve been there more than once. Generally I do it out of courtesy to whomever I’m with because if it was up to me I would just as soon stay home. I am not a shopper and the invent of online shopping was a dream come true for me. Imagine just sitting at home and finding the product you want and ordering it by pushing some keys and the product is delivered to your home…wonderful. My wife enjoys the “shopping experience” of going to a mall and shopping by seeing and touching the product especially shoes and purses. I can understand shopping for shoes in person for the correct fit but I don’t understand taking a half day to “just look” without a specific purchase in mind. As a husband you are required to be a good companion and pretend to enjoy it when you would just rather be at home watching a re-run of Caddyshack for the 20th time. The mother of all shopping trips is the outlet stores. Blocks and blocks of individual stores lined up for miles, this is where I have to draw some type of line. Sure I’ll go but we usually split up and meet at a designated time, while she shops I’ll find a nice bench and just watch people walk by with their arms loaded with bags, or yelling at their kids to keep up. There are some men who are better shoppers than others, or just more patient than others. I’m not one. The only store that I truly enjoy walking in to is a sporting goods store. As I enter the store I can immediately smell the wonderful scent of leather baseball gloves, the rubber coming from bicycle tires, and the smell of new basketball shoes. I truly believe I have never entered and left a sporting good store without making a purchase of some type, whether I needed it or not. My heyday of sporting good shopping is when the three kids were growing up and participating in sports year round. Whether it be soccer, baseball, softball, football, basketball, roller-hockey it gave me a reason to go to my favorite store. Each year they would grow out of the previous year’s shoes so that was always a reason to buy another pair and something for myself while I was there. I am a complete sucker for whatever is new in the sporting world. If it’s the newest baseball bat, shin guards, catcher’s mask, soccer cleats, or even ping pong paddle…I’ve got to have it. I don’t usually throw my money around but in a sporting goods store the money just gets sucked out of my wallet by an unknown source. If I find myself ready to leave without making a purchase there is always the clothing department where I can pick up a new Laker or Dodger t-shirt to keep my streak alive. Baseball bats & gloves became a whole world of it’s own. Each year a new model of bat would come out that I just needed my kid to have, when it was really me who wanted to test out each bat. The kids were happy with what they already had. Putting on a new baseball glove was always a rush as the smell of rawhide leather was like a cologne to me. That is one item that didn’t need a yearly renewal because even I understood a well broken in glove is a prized possession that you don’t mess with. But that didn’t stop me from getting my son a glove for the infield and one for the outfield, there is a difference, the outfield glove being longer. My kids all grew up during the composite bat era where bats could run between $200 – $350 a piece as each bat was make out of some futuristic alloy that would make the ball go 20-feet farther than last year’s model. I was an addict, there was no stopping me. When Michael Jordan and Nike came out with Air Jordans that started another fixation on basketball shoes. Each year a new model was introduced and I was first in line. Fortunately for my wallet none of my kids got past YMCA basketball, it basically was narrowed down to baseball, softball, soccer, and football. As they each entered high school my addiction grew to at least one shopping trip per week and they began to know me by name at the local Sport Chalet. I tried to find a support group but no one had heard of such a addiction. The only way I could be stopped was my kid’s graduation from high school and off to college. My trips are much less frequent now but I still drop by for a new racquetball racquet, ankle brace, or even a softball bat. Each time I enter the store I am carried away by the aroma of new sporting goods and wish the kids hadn’t grown up so fast. Buying things for myself doesn’t give me the same rush. I actually left a store once without a purchase. It was a Big-5 which really doesn’t count as their merchandise is subpar to others. I have joined a senior softball team which gives me a reason to keep going in although I find it is now for some type of brace rather than new equipment. But the good new is that our first grandchild is on the way so I’ll have a whole new generation of children to take to the sporting goods store.