An Ode to the Men at the Vera Bradley Sale

By Max Resnik

April 12, 2012 Updated Apr 12, 2012 at 5:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – In a sea of paisley prints and flowery folds, there are men accompanying girlfriends and wives who say they are having just as much fun participating in the madness.

No clue is needed to realize the shopping craze surrounding the 2012 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. With thousands of items at huge discounts, patrons of the famous paisley prints have descended on the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum from all 50 states. There are male patrons, but most, as Indiana’s NewsCenter discovered, are simply there serving as hangers and holders. One patron, Vern Henderson of Mansfield, Ohio, is looking ahead to Christmas and birthdays for the female members of his family.

“I’m here to pick up Christmas gifts and birthday gifts for my granddaughters and my daughter-in-law.”

His advice for men at the sale is to split from wives and girlfriends. He says the shopping gets done more quickly that way.

“I think you just separate and go your way and do your thing and let them do their thing.”

Larry Weiss, of Bowling Green, Ohio, is also snatching gifts for his daughters-in-law and some granddaughters. He however is shopping along side his wife and says the sale is not as mindboggling as some have portrayed it to be.

“It’s very enjoyable. It hasn’t been bad at all. It’s very organized, and things seem to be moving fine.”

As Weiss laughs at the sight of more clutches and handbags his wife hands him, he also has a message for the man whose arm is dominated by a pink bag packed with Vera Bradley’s paisley.

“If mamma ain't happy, nobody's happy. You know how that goes."

One man who might understand that sentiment more than any other man at the sale is Lawrence Sanders. Sanders and his wife have been married for 57 years. While his wife eyes the next strap that will cover her shoulder, he says he is focused on what will come out of his pocket to pay for the plethora of paisley.

"I'm just here watching how much she spends."

And as Sanders jokes about the register that will soon consume his money, he reminds the men that having a good time at the sale is easy.

"Come here and enjoy yourself."

The 2012 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale runs through Sunday.

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