Lifestyles

Shopkeepers

Sunday, February 21, 2010    

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Can one desire

Too much of a good thing?

-- Shakespeare, As You Like It, IV, I

Men take women's gifts

For impudence.

-- Shakespeare, Pericles, II, III

A few years ago, I wrote a piece titled Shop Lock, that explored the phenomenon of women withholding sexual favours from their men for whatever reason. The term 'shop lock' is perhaps distinctly Jamaican, as I haven't heard it anywhere else, even though the practice is widespread.

Women have always used sex as a tool, a weapon, a lure, a reward for men, as they have the goods, and the men want to indulge. So when they lock shop, it means 'Nothing for you tonight, Buster, yu deh pon yu own.' So you go to bed without supper. Before that, though, here are some comments.

Hail up Tony,

I tell you, when the wives them catch you, them a go beat you up. But the article on Mistress Material is so true, but you left out one most important thing, either intentionally or unintentionally...and that's sex. The mistress sex or love, or love-making is most oftentimes off-the-wall, usually the greatest, and beats the wife stress and nagging anytime. Trust me, the sex resonates on you for weeks, and makes you feel alive again...not boredom.

L A C

Tony,

You talk about what women feel, but what do men feel? This is an unfair game that women keep playing on men. At Jazz and Blues Festival, the men's bathroom was overrun by women who just barged in to use the toilet while men were in there urinating. Why is it that men are so belittled, so humiliated, so disrespected? Suppose I went into the women's bathroom, eh? Hell and powderhouse, I would sleep in jail. I complained to a policeman and he said it was not his department, also to a female security guard who thought it was amusing. Mi did vex bad, so I turned around and went outside. Many of the women were gawking at the men urinating. You should write something about this unfair practice of women. It's just not right. Men have feelings too.

Lanny

And they say it's a man's world, eh? Which leads right into the topic of shopkeeping, which so many women are adept at, or at least they think that they are. This follow-up piece to Shop Lock is all because a woman, Jacqueline Champier, who specialises in counselling and psychology, broached the subject recently. I always love it when women put their spin on these topics, as it not only corroborates my findings, but I can also honestly say, "See, I told you so, I'm not being chauvinistic, for women also agree with me." Miss Champier, writing from Mandeville, says "Many sisters have boasted in my presence how often they have had to 'lock shop' early, or how they lock shop for weeks, sometimes months, in order to teach hubby a lesson, or just to spite him. These sisters are of the impression that they can do as they please, because they have the shop keys. As a result, they lock shop for every little thing, without giving consideration to the shopper."

It really is a strange and fascinating phenomenon, how wives seem to think that they have all this power over their husbands, all because, in their minds, "He wants it and I have it, therefore only I can decide if and when he gets it." But to be a successful shopkeeper is an art, and you have to know the market and the basic laws of supply and demand.

It really is a strange and fascinating phenomenon, how wives seem to think that they have all this power over their husbands, all because, in their minds, "He wants it and I have it, therefore only I can decide if and when he gets it." But to be a successful shopkeeper is an art, and you have to know the market and the basic laws of supply and demand.

Not everybody who opens up for business will make good sales. Some shopkeepers hoard their goods for so long that the buyer simply loses interest, gets tired of waiting and either goes elsewhere to another shop, or simply does without. "Shop open tonight, Honey? It's been so long that I lose me appetite." Human nature is of such that when people are deprived of something long enough, they learn to live without it.

It's a foolish shopkeeper who thinks that it's only her shop that has the premium goods. In her mind she is an exotic five-star establishment, when in reality, she's merely a patty, fast food, or a franchise, so the shopper just seeks better goods at another establishment. "Oh, this shop lock, well, make me go to Portmore where they are always open."

Miss Champier continues, "My philosophy is that shop should remain open at all times. I agree that tooth and tongue will meet, but shop locking should never be used as a weapon or tool in conflict resolution. Couples should find suitable ways to solve problems."

It's a fact that people will have their differences and even quarrel from time to time, but why do women feel that they should use sex, or the lack of it, to spite and hurt the man? It's akin to Mr Chin locking up his grocery because he doesn't like you or your opinion. And we all know that isn't going to happen. No successful shopkeeper will ever do well in business if he or she locks or opens shop only when they feel like. Hey, those '24/7 always-open-for-business shops' are the ones that always do the best sales.

But somehow the fault may be in the men too, for they're so desperate to shop at that single location; and the wives, knowing this, draw card and play hide and seek with their goods. That's the inherent danger of a monopoly. Competition always increases business awareness. Do you for one minute feel that if a wife knows that if and when she locks shop, hubby would go elsewhere, she would dare pull those shutters down? "Ha, so MegaMart lock, well it's off to PriceSmart then."

If wives knew that men had options, they would think twice before they decided to lock shop because of spite. Also, if more men stopped acting so desperate, then the wives would think differently. "So shop lock again, well, thank God for cable TV. Now where is that remote?"

Miss Champier adds more to the mix when she says, "When shop locks, who suffers more? In reality, isn't it the shopkeeper more than the shopper? Sisters, please, I implore you, learn from the immigrants who came to set up shop on our soil, and keep shop open. Stop closing shop for every little thing. Open shop in shop season, open shop on holidays, open shop late at nights, open shop during storm or hurricane, open shop when shop should be open."

Ladies, listen, this is from one of your own. Some husbands have told me, "Man, shop open so infrequently that when it do open, I forgot what I wanted or lose my appetite."

"Many nights I lie there wondering if shop going to open tonight."

"I used to shop more before I got married, now all I do is window-shopping."

What many wives don't realise is that the shopkeeper needs the buyer to remain viable. We all saw what happened to Japan and China in the global crunch when buying went down. They had all those goods to sell and nobody was buying. Not only should shop be always open, but new sales strategies should also be implemented. Just observe how those successful franchises are always offering new products every few months. "Hey Honey, I have a finger-lickin' double whopper with lots of love for you this week. The shop is open, Darling."

Shopkeeping is an art, but so many wives have no business acumen and lose their sales to competitors. I really thank Jacqueline Champier for advising the ladies about the perils of locking shop. I have been saying so for years, but perhaps now that a woman has said so, all the wives will take heed. Stay open for business always.

More time.

seido1@hotmail.com

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