Sunday, December 2, 2007

Gift Giving Primer

Illuminations of the Heart A Gift Giving Primer…

A certain young man whose name is lost to the ages drove five hours to spend a day over Christmas vacation with his girlfriend. It was a very heady thing for the family. They had spent the day ensuring the home sparkled and the meal would be perfect. He arrived, red faced from the cold as it was in the upper North East, bearing a beautifully wrapped small box.

Her face was breathless with anticipation as she opened her gift.

It was an antler candle.

Literally, a candle sculpted to look like the four pronged accessory of one of Santa’s eight.

Never has the soft falling of snow outside sounded louder than in the moments that followed.

In the interest of all young and not so young men out there who need to get something special for a female they treasure or hope to impress, the following is offered as a public service to givers of gifts everywhere, to promote relationship harmony whatever the reason or the season.

Women like things that are silver, red, sparkling, soft, chocolate, elegant and indicate the shopper spent some time reflecting on her specific personality. Please note men, buying one thing that is silver, red, sparkling, soft, chocolate and elegant is not physically possible, and even if it were, this is a present not a combo meal. Bad plan.

Top Ten Gift Giving Guide for Men Needing to Shop for Women as translated into sports metaphors wherever possible.

10) Fake Kicks seldom work.
Translation: Don’t give jewelry boxes unless there is something in them.

9) Look at the lady in question or visualize her and ask yourself, when would she read/use/wear this. If the image takes more than five seconds to conjure, put…the…present BACK.

If you buy it anyway, the kick is up and it’s no good!

8) You know how you’ve spent hours pouring over a fantasy football magazine to determine the best picks for the draft? We deserve as much time as the Tom Brady wantabes that come in the third and fourth round. This is not a fifteen minute stop off at the mall. Put together a sustained drive, spend the time on the clock and come up with a surefire winner.

7) Chocolates always work but not excessively or exclusively. A three pound jar of rasinettes does not qualify as a thoughtful present. Quoting Madden out of context: “The coach has to do a better job of mixing up the plays, otherwise the defense can just sit there and pounce pounce pounce and they’ won’t get anywhere.”

6) Don’t buy jackets for women –it’s the same principle that works for men –they have to fit and no two women are the same, so not every jacket hangs correctly. Think football. Shoulder pads have to fit. Ditto for hats, dresses and shoes. Getting the wrong size because it’s too big means you think we’re fat. Getting the wrong size because it’s too small means we are fat. Either way you lose. This is Sudden Death…Good luck.

5) Coupons for facials, hair cuts and manicures/pedicures are great. Gift certificates for electrolysis or waxings are dangerous even for seasoned veterans. Quote the Madden once more, “Hail Mary Passes work some of the times, but you’re always better off being able to put together a sustained drive, rather than hoping you can pull it out in the end. It’s a dangerous way to try to win the game.”

4) Guys, gift giving isn’t hard if you think of it as being like running the option play! Go to a Department store –and think inversely. The sections that one feels the least comfortable in are the sections probably most likely to elicit a favorable response from the female in question. (Crystal, Silver, Jewelry –good), (Sports goods, Bedding, Towels -not so much).

3) Appliances. Flag on the play! Even if you splurge and get them in red. Buying a spouse an iron for a gift is legal grounds for divorce in at least four states. You’ll be lucky if you get to repeat the down. Severe Holding penalties are more likely. Remember, they can almost always be called on every play.

2) Avoid stores that try to cater to pampering women with overly smelly salts and soaps. They also might signal to the thin skinned female, “You smell bad.” Consider this an offensive pass interference.

1) If all else fails, bring a related female, ask the related female. “Would you be excited if you received this as a gift?” Count the seconds to the response. If a lightning bolt would be more than five miles away… Penalty, too much time on the play, loss of down.

Next Episode, Shopping for Men, a translation for Women...


Christine said...

Well, you had me until "bring a female".

My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) was overseas and wanted to buy me something, and he took a woman shopping with him. And she picked out something I never would have liked. She told him NOT to get the thing he'd been planning to get, which I actually WOULD have liked. He would have been much better off just on his own.

Plus, I had that mental image of him, overseas, with a woman who was telling him what to do. I didn't like it.

Now, if TODAY, he called one of my friends and said, "What would Christine like?" That might work. But I think picking the woman who is going to help you shop for your wife is even more dangerous territory than picking the present.

Anonymous said...

OMG, so totally on target! Like Montana passing to Rice in the olden days!

I agree on the related female -- not just any female, as Christine points out, but related. As in, related TO the gift receiver. My MIL would be no help. My daughter, on the other hand, is a goddess. My presents have improved a thousandfold since she got old enough to influence her Daddy's Christmas shopping. (The year he exclaimed that he'd spent a FORTUNE on my stocking because of the chicklet was the year he learned that he LOVED to spend that fortune or he loved to eat McDonald's every day. ;-D)


Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!