Twentysome years ago, I went clothes shopping with a girlfriend of mine, and when we happened upon a popular women's clothing store, which was having a huge sale, I was shocked by the behavior, not just of my girlfriend, but by all the women in the store. All sense of propriety and generally accepted social graces such as waiting one's turn or saying "excuse me" had disappeared faster than the clothes they were fighting over.
And then more recently, going to the kids clothing sale at St. Matthews School just down the street from us, where thousands of articles of kids' clothing and toys are for sale, I was reminded of it, but this time, not so much in terms of the lack of good graces, but by the way, I, a male, was totally ignored, given no more attention than were any of the wee ones tearing around the premises. Women looked right through me, and I had a number of reactions.
My first reaction was kind of shock, as in, Damn, I haven't seen that look since high school! Then, I was sort of retroactively flattered that I had gone so long without seeing that look. And finally, I realized what women must feel the first time they go to watch their boyfriend play in any kind of sporting event, no matter how unimportant it is...to her. It's not to us, whether it's a pickup hockey game or the championship of whatever league or sport we're playing. I imagine women must feel totally dissed by their boyf's, wondering why he won't even acknowledge her presence in any way, and why he is acting like an absolute maniac, as if the future of all humankind rests on the outcome of the game, which of course, it does. (And let me quickly add that in the unfortunate instance where at any point, during the game, or right after. or even days after, the woman were to make the unfortunate comment "It's just a game!"? Well, don't even expect a ride home. That relationship is immediately terminated. You might as well just be on the phone to the local cab company while you're making the comment.)
And notice I didn't say "...the first time they go watch their husband play in any kind of sporting event."? To me, there are two things that women do for their men on a regular basis when they are dating, but seem to quickly disappear once they are married.
And if you don't know the other thing...well then, you've never been married. And it's totally true in my marriage - I SWEAR she hasn't packed my lunch since the day we got married.