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Dating & The Shopping Trolley

11 May 2012, 13:56

So, as it was with Star Wars, my story started at the end and should surely retrace to the beginning. My first article (Parallel Dating: A phenomenon) may not have been an epic tale, but it left out some points that will now only be available in the annals of the dating site itself. (And no, it’s a dating site, not a pick-up spot, in case you wondered why there was an extra “n” in that word.)

I have noticed lately that women read some of the strangest books that give “insight” about men, and follow them as Gospel. They don’t realize that their own kind are so predictable that there is no book needed; just a shopping trolley!

The shoppers enter the market; some take a trolley, others a basket, and a few take nothing, aiming to acquire a special product, and they budget for nothing else. The male shoppers have as much budget as testosterone, so most have bigger trolleys than they can even push.

The products sit patiently on the shelf, and show off their shiny little boxes, all painted, some in packaging that is more revealing than others. The shoppers stroll past and pick up the products from the shelves, reading the details and rating how suitable the product is for their needs. They may like the product (sometimes just the box) and put it in the trolley, then move on to examine the next product.

This process continues until the trolley is full, at which time the shopper decides to move toward the check-out and pay the cost of the accumulated products. Now here is where we deviate a little, because in real life it is only President Zuma that CAN actually purchase all the products (although he also discards many at the check-out). The rest of the population can only afford one product (although many do return later to try and find a more suitable one than the first). So what happens is that the shoppers unpack all the products in their trolley, testing which has the best features, which is the most user-friendly, which has the strongest battery etc.

Because the testing process takes time, it stalls the queue at the check-out and the shoppers become a little bored, so they stack up the unwanted products (in whatever state they may be) in between the sweets and biltong that line the checkout aisle. While browsing the same sweets and biltong, they discover there are some quite attractive products that another shopper has already discarded, and because they are easily accessible, they assess these products more closely as well before returning them to the rack. (Quite like those doughnuts that we all too often see at the checkouts: been poked with a finger this side, squashed that side, with sticky jam and cream all over.)

So eventually it gets to the point that each shopper takes their product and pays the price to take it home for ever.

Such is online dating (or in my terms: Parallel Dating). Internet shoppers are so used to Googling everything they can about their products because they know there is no warranty after purchase, that they come to treat innocent people as items on a shelf. The questions that are posed to prospective suitors are beyond predictable, and the answers just as predictable (within a range). The emotions are not visible on-line, so hurting such people becomes a habit that the “shopper” is not even aware they are perpetuating. As much as it is unavoidable to emotionally scar some people, there should be some attention paid to softening that “blow” (although I know a certain lady that would disagree.)

The moral of the story is that, in our market anyway, the products have the same emotions that the shoppers do. The products desire the attention of the shopper, and feel rejection when they are overlooked. Oh, and one final important point: the shoppers are not all male and the products not all female! Happy shopping!

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