A customers shopping trolley at Naivas supermarket Kasarani branch in Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAUA customers shopping trolley at Naivas supermarket Kasarani branch in Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
By JAMES KAHONGEH

Men loathe mall visits. And this has nothing to do with wallet issues.

Being in the mall just isn’t a man’s scene. It puts him on a sticky wicket. I will tell you why.

Dear women, if you think hauling your man to the mall for shopping sprees is a gesture of affection, well, you are barking the wrong tree.

He loves you. That’s given. But he would be glad to remain at home, alone, to nurse his whisky and listening to The O’Jays.

Blokes who accompany their families to the malls do so neither because of any thrill from it, nor on their own volition. But it is to avoid the bursts of fury from their women.

“John! Why don’t you want to be seen with us in public?” is a well-rehearsed and often brandished card in most households.

Is there anything as hurtful to a man than the assertion that he isn’t proud of his family? Negative.

Only heaven knows the kind of fights that go down in malls’ parking lots as women try to drag their men out of the car. He would happily sit and wait for you in the car in the incinerating heat of the lot than go inside.

DEVIL’S SNARE

But there can only be one winner in this fight.

She will also demand that you hold her hand as you walk around the mall. Like the younger couples.

FYI, men hate holding hands. Especially when kids have come into the picture. But just remember that this is not about you. Or your preferences. But hers.

The mall is a devil’s snare. You meet all kinds of trouble: former squeezes, current love interests and people you owe.

Yet, nothing is as dreadful to a family man as stumbling upon office colleagues of the female variety. Especially the ones with who he enjoys close camaraderie. This species is usually more refined than mama and bold like Jahannam.

She will come running to you and jump at you with hugs and pecks, in the full glare of your wife and kids. The embarrassment. The fury. The venom.

She will sulk for weeks. And you can’t talk her out of her assumption – that this is the woman you have been seeing behind her back.

You will have to admit it because, clearly, it’s not a battle you can fight, much less win.

You see, women would gladly spend nine obscenely unnerving hours in a mall, pirouetting from one shop to the other, mostly doing what Kenyan women do best: window-shopping.

Customers shop at Westgate mall on July 18, 2015 after it reopened after 2013 terror attack. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

Customers shop at Westgate mall on July 18, 2015 after it reopened after 2013 terror attack. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

SHAMEFUL TASK

They have a sickening habit of packing every activity on a single outing to the shopping complex. She wants to do her monthly shopping for household stuff and shop for clothes, go to the salon, and take the kids to the dentist and to the play station.

She will also insist on working out at the mall gym facility, despite her subscription at the neighbourhood gym going to waste.

As though this were not sinful enough, she will drag her family to the mall restaurants that vend poison.

While she constantly scolds her husband for his belly fat, she will coerce Baba Kim to eat that poisonous pizza and serving of chips.

“It’s not bad once in a while,” she will reason.

Already, the man will be fighting a losing battle with weight.

Then there is the shameful task of looking for lost kids.

Children have a silly habit of getting lost in the vastness of the mall. And women will always make their men look for them, saying:

“Ben, I have been shopping all day as you were walking around. I thought you were watching over the kids? Si ungekaa tu kwa gari?”

POOR MAN

To save face, the poor man will saunter away to trace his kids, looking for them under elevators, in the lifts and even in his pockets.

After it all, she wants you all to go to the theatre for a movie, as they fancy to put it, “as a family”. Blackmail.

It’s an obscene waste of time that men worth the salt in their loins can’t stand.

At the malls, the family is likely to run into younger bucks with beefier arms, disarming abs and charisma – whatever they mean by charisma.

As a man who knows his lane, you will look away in defeat.

Your woman, on the other hand, will watch the man waltz away until he disappears. From her reaction, it’s clear the god has unknowingly set fire in her heart.

You aren’t supposed to protest. But try watching a skirt for a second longer. You will be lucky if your woman doesn’t dig her talons into your chin flesh.

Next time don’t goad your man to come with you to the mall. For as long as he’s willing to allow you use his credit card, leave him in peace.

Are we good, ladies? I bet we are.