It’s a long wait | AspenTimes.com

It’s a long wait

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs correspondent

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

Three men relax on a brown leather couch outside Dunlap’s department store in the Glenwood Springs Mall.Behind them, high school choir members sing an a capella version of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” On their left, children smile for the camera as they perch on Santa’s lap.One of the men, Dave Martinez, wears a black cowboy hat. He clasps his hands behind his head, one leg resting on the other.His nephew and brother-in-law wait patiently next to him on the leather couch for their female family members to return.

For these three men, shopping isn’t so bad – even on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.”I go sometimes, and sometimes I stay home,” said Dave Martinez of Eagle.Martinez’s nephew, Michael Rael, is waiting for his mom, the shopper in the family. Rael said he doesn’t spend as much time Christmas shopping as his mom. He usually waits until the last minute to buy – never staring as early as the day after Thanksgiving.”I usually wait outside after looking inside briefly,” said Rael, of the San Luis Valley.

Rael’s dad, Mike, is along for the ride to spend time with his family – and to keep the peace on the home front.”My wife likes it, but I don’t like it. But I don’t mind. I’m just trying to keep the wife happy,” he said with a subtle smirk. “If it weren’t for the wives, these stores would go broke. They control the country.”After 40 years of marriage, Mike Rael knows the Christmas shopping drill.”She controls the purse strings,” he said with a chuckle. “They control the country.”

Several feet way, Dennis DeLong relaxed in a brown leather chair while his wife searched the racks in a women’s clothing store. Like Mike Rael, he had no problem going shopping with his spouse on Black Friday.”Actually I would be in there with my wife, but I have a leg injury,” said DeLong of Pueblo, who’s visiting family in Rifle for the Thanksgiving holiday. “I don’t mind shopping much. Most guys don’t like it, but it doesn’t bother me.”DeLong and Mike Rael offered the same advice for men playing the waiting game while their wives and girlfriends shop.”Just be patient,” DeLong said. “It’s not as bad as everybody thinks it is.”After all, in just 29 short days, the wait will be worth it.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.

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