Finding Your Wife

Fred Meyer is a pretty amazing store.  They claim to have everything that appears on your shopping list, and they most often do.  If I’m short on time and I need to visit a Grocer, Banker, Jeweler, Gardener, and Clothier, Fred Meyer has my back… while also maintaining a fairly well stocked home electronic section.
While Fred Meyer may not always provide the highest quality product available, you certainly can walk out their doors with a reasonably priced sandwich and a handgun.
If you ever see me wandering through Fred Meyer, I can guarantee that it’s not because they don’t have what I’m looking for, it’s that I can’t find what I’m looking for.
What I’m usually looking for is my wife.
Like most men, once separated from my spouse inside of a retail store I am completely incapable of relocating her.  It’s not that I’m not walking through the store with my head on a swivel, it’s that my wife always seems to have disappeared into an area of the store that I have no experience with, like women’s underwear or gift wrap.
Compounding this is the fact that Tualatin Fred Meyer is the ultimate cell phone dead zone.  I’ve had three different nationwide carriers, and with each of them I am unable to receive calls or data inside of Fred Meyer.   When you lose your wife at Freddy’s you can’t call her and ask where she is.
After years of painstaking trial and error I’ve discovered that I can’t find my wife inside of Fred Meyer because she and I have different shopping styles.  Like two Kung Fu practitioners who learned from different masters we each approach the ancient art of hunting and gathering with opposing techniques.
My wife’s Lotus Crane discipline causes her to park nearest the doors that lead directly to the item that she most wants.  My own Shaolin Monkey Style of shopping leads me to park near the doors where I know that I will be checking out.
Once inside the store, I immediately begin cutting through whatever section is between me and my quarry (except for Ladies only sections like lingerie and gift wrap).  Once I’ve seized my item I check out near my car and make a fast getaway.
Lotus Crane shopping includes several stops near frequently purchased items to see if they are on sale and able to be purchased in advance of an emergency restocking.  This means staying on clearly marked store paths while traveling from department to department.
On these journeys my wife will also encounter other Lotus Crane practitioners and they will trade information and discuss social matters; utilizing the recon and intelligence of other shoppers.
These differing styles also mean that shopping together produces stress and anxiety.
The stress and anxiety lead us to make the fateful decision to send me away with a portion of the list in hopes that I will return with the items.  This would actually save time and energy if I was able to find my wife, or the cart, after we’ve been separated.
If you’ve ever been separated from your wife in a store there are a couple of emergency measures you can take to find her, trust me when I say that none of these are worth doing:
1.) Have your wife paged to the service desk by the courtesy clerk.
This is something that only children should do when they lose their mommies.  Not only does a grown man look like a complete fool when he asks the store to broadcast his complete failure over the store intercom system, but your wife is also humiliated by having to hear the broadcast announcement.
“Would Mrs. Furman please come to the service desk?  Your inept husband has managed to find the items on his list but can’t find you.”
2.) Go out to the car and wait for her to check out.
This is a bad idea because you have to go check out with the items you have and then wait in the car for her to check out with her items and come out to the car.  This will only happen after she has waited in one spot (to be found) for 15 minutes, and then going and collecting the items that she sent you for.  Now your frustrated and hurried wife is returning to the car to find you and an additional set of items.

The problem here is that my search for my wife is done in MY style of shopping.  This would be a great idea if I was looking for me, but my wife is the target of my search.  To find her I have to set down my style and adopt hers.

Every time I’ve successfully relocated my wife inside of a giant store it’s been because I have walked a path through the store that she would have walked herself.

This means taking “who she is”, “what she wants”, and “how she would go about getting it” into consideration, and then going out and doing it myself.  Would it surprise you to learn that this is also how I’ve learned to do Christmas, Birthday and Anniversary shopping?

Taking it a step further, isn’t this how we actually reach the heart of anyone who is important to us?

Isn’t this what God did when he sent Jesus to earth?

Finding lost people has very little to do with carrying out our own plan for how things should be, and very much to do with getting to know them and what they are searching for, especially when they don’t really know that they are searching for Jesus.

A self focused search for what we want very rarely delivers what we’re looking for and it only brings what we need accidentally.

Remember this the next time you find yourself searching for your wife in the Sporting Goods or Automotive section.

Finding her means thinking like her.

Even if it means waiting for her to arrive in the Gift Wrap section,

5 Responses to “Finding Your Wife”

  1. Vicki Hansen January 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    So funny, poignant, and right on target. (or Freddies!)

    • Jon January 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      I see what you did there… Nice.

  2. Danica Newton January 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Hi Jon, I found your blog via a repost on facebook. Love your writing and outlook on life! New follower :)

    • Ami January 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      And I found you via Danica’s repost…who’s next?

  3. Kristen January 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Again, nicely woven in the end.

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