Picture the scene... you're in a shop (any shop) with a lady friend (the relationship to you is not important). She asks the salesman a question about a product. 99.99% of the time, the salesman will direct his reply to you, as the man, without even a glance at the woman.
What's the reason for this? To be honest, I'm not really sure. Perhaps it's an assumption that the small brained woman won't comprehend his answer.
More likely, it's an attempt to avoid an "Oi! Why are you talking to my missus/mother/aunt/daughter, you fucking rapist?!" misunderstanding.
Still, it makes me laugh. Especially when I'm given an answer to a question about slingbacks that I have absolutely no chance (or inclination) of understanding.
Beware though, that 0.01% of the time can be taxing. In a shop yesterday, the salesman complemented my girlfriends shorts. Not wanting to appear a stranger to the culture, I smiled, took a deep breath and torched the place... fucking rapist.