In the Light
Are you the guy who hasn’t gone Christmas shopping with less than a week to go before Christmas?
Or are you the guy who has all of his shopping done and dusted by Thanksgiving?
Either way, you’re in trouble.
Okay, once you made a decision to buy someone a gift you pretty much doomed yourself to judgment and derision. “That can’t be true,” you say?
If you believe that, you are a silly man.
Has your wife and/or better half given you something useful for Christmas, like a chainsaw, or maybe a left handed socket wrench set?
And you’re like, “WOW! I can’t wait to cut down a tree and make firewood,” knowing you don’t have a fireplace, but not really caring because, hey … It’s a tool.
Or maybe you think, “MAN OH MAN! I can’t wait to work on something that needs a left handed socket to fix it,” knowing you don’t even change the oil in your car.
Doesn’t matter … Man stuff; tools; watch me flex a muscle and pick up this wrench and pose.
It’s great stuff.
Buy a woman something like that, and unless she’s a mechanic, you’re name will be put on a list.
A list that is read aloud every day until you splurge on a vacation cruise or concert tickets to see Joni Mitchell.
Ever give your wife/better half an electric mixer, a vacuum cleaner, or a cookbook?
What? Are you really that clueless? Or is that lack of oxygen to your brain?
It’s tricky buying for women. They are different people than men. They cry over kitty litter commercials. We cry over beer commercials.
Even light beer commercials.
They like driving around and looking at Christmas lights. Men like putting up Christmas lights, especially when we put up more than 200,000.
On the front door … “Now, for the rest of the house …”
Women like going to parties and socializing and telling witty jokes. They’re very good at it. They know what manners are and how to be pleasant to people you’ve heard them say mean things about. They dress excellent and have good taste.
Men like going parties in Batman pajamas (they’re colorful and comfortable) or wearing a striped jacket with plaid pants (until “you know who” makes you change into clothes that actually kinda match), drinking too much, telling off-color jokes, and punching that jerk you don’t like in the nose … Even if he was in a wheelchair.
Ho ho ho, right?
See what I’m saying?
We’re ... Neanderthals.
When your wife/better half shops for you she puts thought into it. She picks up on the little things that she thinks you’ll like. You may not know you wanted a complete set of Glenn Miller music, but once you open it and try it out … It’s just freaking awesome!
She’s smart and she’s caring and she’s thoughtful and she plans and she’s doing all of this JUST for you.
What does a guy do? He walks into a store in April and sees something his spouse/better half mentioned about not getting last Christmas and goes ahead and buys it.
“Ooooh, Christmas present,” the guy thinks.
With a smug grin on his face.
Even though she already got it for herself after not getting it last year … But hey, it’s on sale this year.
Or worse, you rush out on Christmas Eve and buy her perfume because you think all women like perfume (again, does oxygen actually go to your brain?) and even though there are 100 bottle of the same stuff left on the store shelf — Dude, that’s your first clue: It probably smells like goat feet — or you buy jewelry, even though you have no clue whether she likes gold or silver or platinum — not that it would matter because, well … It’s expensive so it’s got to be a great present, right?
“Ooooh, Christmas present,” the guy thinks.
And everybody likes “Hello Kitty” jewelry, right?
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Sure she mentioned going to see some obscure band coming to town after the first of the year, but you never heard of them (besides they look like hippies), so you kinda blow that idea off. Seriously, do they even play heavy metal? Can’t take a band seriously that doesn’t have at least two shredders on stage dueling out on guitar.
And maybe, just maybe, she saw something in a store and maybe said something about that particular item (you know, how she might like it) … But you were busy looking at model cars and didn’t really pay attention and besides if she really (I mean really, really, really) wanted it, she’d leave you a clue or something.
Or maybe she reads so you decide to buy her a book to go along with the concert tickets you didn’t buy.
Don’t even go near the cookbook section unless she has specifically asked for a cookbook (How to Prepare Traditional Mongolian Food Like a True Mongolian), otherwise you just opened a can of mean stares and cold shoulders.
You better danged well know what she likes to read.
Because you are treading on intellectual grounds here and do not think she’d just love to have “The Complete History of Movie Car Chases” because it’s a got a cool car on the cover.
She will knock you on the head.
Unless she does like movie car chases and stuff — then good call, guy.
The only solution is to pay attention during the year. You know, leading up to the Christmas season.
I know, it’s not that simple. I mean, it’s stuff you’d never dream of getting for yourself, but guess what? You’re not getting it for yourself.
This may be too late to help you this year. You may have already bought her a complete set of martial arts films (and who doesn’t like subtitled movies with lots of fights?) or that electric, no-fuss, can opener.
You may already be sleeping on that smelly couch in the basement and just not realize it.
Just saying, as soon as she starts speaking to you again, or as soon as she lets you back in the house, start paying attention.
Take notes if you have to, hide them in your wallet, in your shoes, whatever it takes.
And maybe, just maybe, she’ll stand under mistletoe for you.
After you change out of the Batman pajamas.