The Hunter Has Become The Huntresses: The Return

by The Writer

If The Shoe Fits…

In ‘The Hunter Has Become The Huntress‘ post, I commented on the theory that women are actually the new hunter-gatherers.  And through more critical observation more information has served to reinforce this interesting theory.  The ability to multitask has been proven to be more prevalent in women.  It is believed by most that because men had to focus on capturing the moving target, all other ‘distractions’ had to be tuned out.  With the prize no longer a moving target, the ability to multitask comes in handy when navigating the aisles of bargains.  However, sometimes those bargains don’t work out and must be returned.

Usually for men, there are about two reasons to return an item: either it doesn’t fit, or doesn’t work.  Conversely, there are a plethora of reasons for women to return an item.  Sometimes the size truly isn’t the right fit, but because it’s a good bargain, the “I’ll shed a few pounds“, thought blasts away sound judgement.  I could go on about the ‘reasons for returns’, the important thing to know is, because women are at the forefront of hunting and gathering (for their friends and family), they’re allowed these bizarre reasons.  I’ve heard “I need to return this” stories that involved foreign countries, and dying generations.  I’ve seen epic returns piled so high, they consume the customer service cashier.  I’ve even seen shopping receipt filing systems that would rival world banking systems.

I was surprised at the ferocity in which women took on their newly appointed role, but what really floored me was the full cycle of the shopping experience.  Strutting through the store pushing a cart stuffed full of goodies is only half of the story; for some women, the return of the ‘unwanted’ items is part of the experience.  It seems like a contradiction– shopping for items you know you’re going to return.  However, it is pure genius.  Not only can the thrifty shopper keep up the freshest of resources, but they will also ensure the best quality.  Never in the history of hunting and gathering was ‘returning and item’ an idea to consider;  the kill was the meal, the clothes, the tools and even the decor.  But with the idea that resources can be returned comes endless possibilities.

Most men don’t like to go shopping and try on clothes.  And interestingly, there are some women who share that same feeling.  Furthermore, because women often hunt with kids in tow, or in ‘packs’, or while pregnant, sometimes fitting rooms aren’t an option.  Moreover, sometimes during a hunt, the small dingy fitting room is the last place you want to be.  So it only makes sense to skip the process of spending the extra time to make sure it’s a good fit.  The lighting and mirrors at home always make for a better decision-making process for what resources to keep.

Interestingly, there are some women who love shopping and would try to avoid the ‘return walk of shame’ at all costs.  And when pressed to make that return, often try to mask the awkwardness with a long story explaining their actions.  The story isn’t important, but the lesson is:

If you want to know what a woman wants, watch her shop.  If you want to know what she needs watch what she returns.