Battle Rules For Men
A "How Do I Look In These Jeans?" survival guide
It seemed like such an innocent gesture at the time: my girlfriend asked me to come with her to help her pick out a new pair of jeans; little did I know then that this was a declaration of war and that many horrors awaited me. If only I had known these simple rules of engagement below, the nightmares now caused by my case of shopping shell shock would be much less severe! As a battle-scarred veteran of many changing-room battles (I call them battles but really they're just one-sided beat downs!), I tell you newly enlisted men out there to plan your strategy well beforehand. If you feel you need help with the crisis of helping your wife or girlfriend pick out a new pair of jeans, here in my "How Do I Look In These Jeans?" survival guide is all the information you will need to survive as many tours of duty as are forced upon you! This guide provides life-saving techniques listed below such as avoidance awareness, proper dress code for the encounter, keeping mind and body focused, maintaining a form of radio silence, and keeping an emergency kit at the ready.
Avoidance: the first step in winning this conflict is to avoid it altogether should you be asked to help your wife or girlfriend pick out a new pair of jeans. Make up any excuse you like really; one stern lecture is a small price to pay for what could come next. If bailing doesn't work and you are pressed into service, be thankful that you will then have the knowledge you need from reading this guide. Remember that these defensive manoeuvres must be well executed and carried out with precise timing! There can be no room for careless errors; you are fighting on the enemy's ground; guerrilla tactics will be used against you, and prisoners of this war will surely end up spending their furloughs in the doghouse!
Attire: good recruits dress properly for any sortie! I suggest wearing thick clothing that will readily absorb punishing blows should the mission be deemed a failure. Running shoes should also be worn in case you have to beat a hasty retreat from charging enemy forces. One item that you can also try, although it didn't work for me, is wearing glasses in the hopes of avoiding bodily harm. Remember, though, this tactic only works if your foe prescribes and adheres to the rules of the Geneva Convention!
Focus: an experienced soldier knows what to (and not to) keep his eyes focused on: he never focuses on the price tag; he pretends there is no price tag. Always make sure to maintain eye contact with your adversary; show her you are focused and attentive (although we all know you are probably thinking about last year's Superbowl and what you are going to eat for dinner tonight) and never ever sneak a sideways glance at any of the other female patrons making use of the changing rooms: that is a total rookie manoeuvre that will end in your death throes upon the floor of some trendy up-town clothing store.
Radio silence: the number one rule in this type of combat is to carefully monitor all words that escape through your lips; sure you can think what you want, but, gentlemen, unless you enjoy the sound of incoming mortar fire in your face, please choose carefully your words in this delicate operation. Always pause a moment to take an extra deep breath before commenting on anything once inside the confines of any mall or shop. Once the action begins, make sure you have adjusted all verbal filters to maximum, turned your dusty pay-attention gauge to ON, and killed the ever-present jackass switch. As well documented in my autobiography (and if you don't want to end up in the infirmary as I did), then no words that have any kind of negative connotation at all should spout forth from your mouth. The only exception to this rule, cadet, is if you start a statement with a positive remark, quickly slip in a mildly negative quip and then finish the statement with an extremely positive wrap up. Here is an example of this exception: "Those jeans look very nice on you, dear; although not quite as nice as the last ones, which looked absolutely stunning on you!" Now this example is about as harsh of a negative statement as you should consider if you care to make it to role-call the next morning; anything more critical may find you in critical.... condition that is. I repeat, soldier, your radio communications skills are crucial in this exercise!