Yesterday while at a local farmer’s market pushing and shoving my way to fresh tomatoes, I was reminded of the aggression at Cleveland’s West Side Market. While local farmer’s market shopping evokes images of peaceful pastoral life, sunny skies and green grass, market shopping is an aggressive sport. I knew that from childhood.
Moreover, the most effective, efficient and guileful weapon of the market place is this: The Baby Stroller.
Pushers of strollers use it as an offensive weapon, ramming into your shins and pushing ahead of you to the last ear of fresh-picked corn, the last musk melon and the last loaf of homemade wheat bread.
Baby strollers are the most effective weapon known to man because when you turn around to confront your tormentor, you are faced with an innocent, lovable baby who has no responsibility for your loss of fresh basil and makes you ashamed of your aggression. You are instantly rendered helpless.
Shopping is aggressive. Yesterday at market I pondered, once again, of the idea of hunters and “gatherers” where (male) hunters are aggressive and (female) gatherers are just socializing while carrying baskets and picking berries.
Those that think gathering is not aggressive have not been to the local farmer’s market or Target on December 26 when all the holiday merchandise goes on sale.
Since we’re on the topic, I’ll add that anthropologists might do well to study behavior at Target from Black Friday to New Year’s Day rather studying women picking berries on some remote island in the Pacific. There’s more to learn in your own backyard.
Mars in the Horoscope
The horoscope is a wheel representing the position of the “planets” in the sky at the time you were born.
Our horoscopes are identical – we all have all twelve signs and all ten “planets” in our horoscopes.
What’s different between two charts is where the planet resides in the wheel and in which sign. Then the planets in place in signs have a relationship with each other that describes the personality (to me).
We all (men and women) have Mars, the God of War, in our horoscopes. We all have a point of assertiveness. We may assert in an Aries way, which means pure and aggressively, or we may assert in a Cancer way which means emotionally and through manipulation. Based on the sign in which your Mars resides, you will assert in a certain way.
Mars also may aspect other planets. If your Mars squares your sun, you often feel frustrated. However if you have Mars in the first house in a fire sign trine a sun fire sign, you may find yourself drawn to sports and become an accomplished athlete.
If your Mars is in the first house in a fire sign, you probably will also get the fresh tomatoes before I do at the farmer’s market.
Gathering is just another form of hunting
With that said, I think shopping (aka gathering) is hunting. I think the traditional image of hunting as male and gathering as female comes from another difference between men and women – I believe women are simply better at multi-tasking.
In other words, both men and women are hunters. Men, however, hunt one (1) thing at a time and women hunt many (>1) things at a time.
Women when shopping are hunting in multi-dimensions. They are not simply hunting for a shirt. They are hunting for the best option among a multitude of possibilities represented by 1) all the items in the store; 2) current and future needs; 3) prices in every other store; 4) value of coupons and reward programs; 5) current budget.
Another way to say it is that men hunt for meat.
Women hunt for berries, straw (for baskets), wood (for fires), leaves, beads, hats, shoes, shirts, pants, socks, underwear, couches, desks, pencils, paper, wallets, bracelets, food, storage units, wrapping paper, cups, carpet, irons, ironing boards, lamps, bookcases, flower pots, file cabinets, towels, bath mats, shower curtains, toilet paper, tissues, bed spreads, blankets, sheets, dressers, nightstands and laundry baskets . . . and other stuff.
I think this joke about men and women barbequing says it all.
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When a man volunteers to do the ‘BBQ’ the following chain of events are put into motion:
- The woman goes to the store.
- The woman fixes the salad, vegetables, and dessert
- The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils, and takes it to the man, who is lounging beside the grill, beer in hand.
- The man places the meat on the grill.
- The woman goes inside to set the table and check the vegetables.
- The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning.
- The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.
- The woman prepares the plates and brings them to the table.
- After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
- Everyone praises man and thanks him for his cooking efforts.
- The man asks the woman how she enjoyed “her night off.”
- And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there’s just no pleasing some women.