Manly Tips 7: Buying Gifts

December 10, 2009

I have never been good at shopping for gifts. One year, I asked my wife what she wanted for her birthday. She told me she wanted a Buns of Steel workout tape. I obliged and was pretty darned proud of myself, and the guys down at the pub thought it was a fine choice. She did not. Lesson: Just because she wants it doesn’t mean she wants it. That was ex-wife number 1.

By the time ex-wife number 2 was in the picture, I had yet to learn my lesson. “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked. She told me she had her eye on the Swiffer Wet Jet, which was new at the time. “Done!” I told myself. I even bought extra refills. Again, the guys at the pub applauded my choice. Again, they were idiots, and so was I.

I’ve gotten better at it since then. The key is roses. Red roses. They cost a bloody fortune, last a few days, and say everything that needs to be said. Especially if you’re with a woman who has everything she needs. I’d never consider buying my lady clothes, because she’s particular about what she likes. Books, CDs, DVDs, all are a bit of a gamble. She is a very specific person, and prefers to buy things for herself. In the early years of our relationship, I returned and/or exchanged pretty much everything I bought her. She knows what she likes. Roses. The lady at the flower shop lets me run a tab.

This year presents an interesting quandary. She asked me in October if I would consider not exchanging gifts this year. “Let’s save money, and focus on the kids,” she said. And it sounded good to me. We’re on a tighter budget, after all. But then I remembered last year; she proposed the same thing then. I cheated and bought her a new wallet. She cheated and bought me an iPod. It all worked out, though, because she hated the wallet, and wanted to exchange it, but I couldn’t even remember where I’d bought it, let alone saved the receipt, so I ended up buying her another wallet. I still have the first one. I use it to store screws on my workbench.

So I’m not falling for it this year, especially since she keeps coming home and telling me to go down in the basement while she unloads her car. She’s up to something. I’m going to have to really wow her. I won’t tell you my plan, because this would be the one day she actually reads one of my websites. I’ll just tell you that I’m putting 25 years of relationship experience to work this week, people.

Let’s review:

  • Good present: Roses
  • Bad present: Buns of Steel
  • “I don’t want you to buy me anything big this year” means the exact opposite of what you think it does.

Real men shop. They just look pissed off while they do it.


One comment

  1. Kennedy, I’m buying you a Woman to English Lexicon for Christmas. It will help you avoid these rookie mistakes. FYI, “Do these pants make me look fat?” means, “Tell me I’m pretty even if I look like a Kraken.” If ever you hear, “My mother should stay with us a few days,” start running — it means she’s moving in.

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