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You’d better get comfortable—this could take a few minutes.
Are women as easily exhausted as men by bargain hunting? Maybe, though there’s no evidence of it on the Instagram account miserable_men, a submission-based collection of dudes staring into the distance, listlessly playing with their smartphones, or totally passed out in the corners of various retail outlets, often buried under a pile of department store bags. Some appear to be in stages of deep meditation—probably about their life choices, or which route they’ll take home.
Make no mistake: This almost-week between the family flashmob that is Christmas and the sad, drunken spectacle that is New Year’s Eve will be your only respite before the practical and existential pressures of 2014 bear down upon your holiday-battered body. But as grueling as the return to a normal office schedule sounds, it’s nothing compared to the pain of mall shopping against your will, as these unfortunates found in the midst of sale season.
It’s amazing, too, how these guys are not just spiritually but physically broken—they’re hollow, crumpled forms that used to have qualities like free will or the ability to feign interest. Not anymore! Now it’s just a question of how long it might take to starve to death, given that the food court is on the other side of the building (but not your significant other’s itinerary).
Shopping fatigue knows no age restrictions, either.
The best you can ever hope to make of this bad situation is to find some piece of furniture—or a relatively clean section of floor—to claim as your own for the foreseeable future. After that, there’s really nothing to do besides wait, and many guys had the same idea about how to pass the time. Do sulky shoppers dream of discounts on electric razors? If Christmas muzak doesn’t fully drown out the subconscious, perhaps.
Thank God Valentine’s Day shopping is more of a solo affair.
Photo by cocoquizon/Instagram
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'