Monday, December 12, 2005

A Dude's Guide to Christmas Shopping for His Chick

by SonDog

With the advent of what is commonly known as "the internet" (primarily a computer-based portal where guys can look at porn all day long), the need to Christmas shop by doing something other than clicking "Ship Now!" has almost disappeared. In fact, some view going to a mall as an archaic act reserved for those who are stuck in the hair-band days of the 80's. Which is to say, Def Leopard kicks ass.

I decided this year that I would do my Christmas shopping for my wife at the Cherry Creek mall in Denver. The mall itself is not unlike any other mall. For guys, shopping in a mall can be an altogether intimidating experience. You have your high-end department stores like Nordstrom's, Foley's, and Sach's Fifth Avenue. You have your Restoration Hardwares, your Williams-Sonomas, and your Sunglasses Huts of the world. And, of course, you have your holiday-time-only-crap stores like Ornaments Central, Everything for the Stocking, and my personal favorite, No Way In Hell She Ever Uses This.

Before I provide a brief tutorial on what a dude needs to know when shopping at a mall for his chick, let me explain why I decided to go to said mall this year: I fully realize that my wife has to put up with a lot of my crap for 12-months every year. Well, I guess she doesn't have to, but she does, and I'm eternally grateful for that fact. I know I'm not the easiest guy to live with (gross understatement), and that there are too many aspects of my marriage that I take for granted. We've been together now for four years, and when pressed, I don't have an answer for why she hasn't decided at at any point to A) Pack up and leave; B) Punch me in the face; or C) Act out some combination of A & B. In short, this is my primary opportunity to spoil my wife as much is possible by spending roughly the Gross National Product of a small-African country on her Christmas gifts. (Surely, you're saying to yourself, "So, you're buying her off, you prick." Fortunately for me, my wife doesn't read my columns, thinking they are only about sports, so I don't have to worry about her pocketing a trump card of, "Why can't you say this to ME, but you can say it to everybody on the internet?!" Again, I have no answer. The lesson, as always, is that I'm an idiot. If you will excuse me, I will now go back to completing my registration form to be a guest on Dr. Phil.)

Fact No. 1: Never, ever, ever, ever enter a jewelry store without having some semblance of an idea of A) what you plan on buying and B) (most importantly) what you plan on spending. These jewelers are good. If the jeweler knows you don't know exactly what you want, you are bound to get the, "Well, that would be a good purchase if you never plan on getting laid... ever again," look. It works for them every time. Also, if you don't know your budget, you are going to walk out of the store feeling like you've been mugged, raped and assaulted in a back alley in the south-side of Chicago (scary, scary place, especially if you are white and have a shaved head. Again, trust me on this. Just ask my buddy, Cole, who also has a shaved head. At a time more appropriate, I will discuss the time our Dodge Durango broke down in the middle of the Chicago GHE-tow.)

Fact No. 2: It's a scientific fact that when you walk into Victoria's Secret, you will instantly pick up on two distinctly different vibes from Vicki's employees. There is the, "Oh, what a sweet guy shopping in here for his wife/girlfriend. He must be embarrassed. Let's make him feel comfortable," vibe from women who are in happy relationships. And, of course, there is the, "You fuc**** perverted a$$! Go to hell you sick bastard! I bet you're shopping for your mistress, aren't you?! Huh?! ANSWER ME, YOU LOWLY F***!!" vibe from those who are not so happily involved. There is absolutely no middle-ground here, so don't expect one.

The most critical rule in this store is that under no circumstances should you say to an employee, "My wife is about your size. Do you mind holding this up for me in front of you?" For, if you say that to the wrong associate, there is a 99.2% chance that you will be walking out of the store missing your penis and right testicle. It happens every year to innocent men across the country.

Under no circumstances should you ask an employee at Victoria's Secret to model this. See how the look in her eyes suggests, "I should kill you right now."

Fact No. 3: I really wish somebody would have told me about this when I was single, so for you bachelor's, listen up because this one is important. Without question, the sweetest, cutest, most adorable, and altogether most flirtatious holiday-season employees work at Bath and Body Works. If you tell one of them you are shopping for your wife, they are on you like Democrats at an anti-war rally. That being said, as a married man, they are on you in the, "He's married, so he might as well be gay. I'll be overly-affectionate and touchy-feely with him because he is non-threatening" way (which, for a committed man, it's a cheap thrill that doesn't involve the need to spend $20 at some club called "Deuce's Wild.").

With this in mind, I came up with a theory for single guys. Go in there and tell an employee that you are shopping for "your secret crush." Within minutes, you will receive personal help from at least 5 beautiful women who will proceed to ask you 325 questions about said crush. After an hour of sampling aromatherapy body scrubs, lavender bath oils and peppermint pillow mists, I will guarantee that you will have a 7:00 PM dinner date with the tall brunette who talked you into buying 23 bottles of mandarin orange massage oil.

Fact No. 4: Don't let the crowds get to you. Old people will drive you crazy with how slow they move. It's like waiting in line behind a wax-mold. Other people rationalize that if they push you from behind, you can somehow move faster. Resist the temptation to scream at these people and just consider it a given, like how the sun rises each day and sets each night.

Ah yes, what a joy it is to holiday shop at a mall.

Fact No. 5: Forget about buying her clothes. Seriously, don't even think about it. There are currently 43 shirts in my wife's closet that still have the tags on them from previous Christmas Days. Oh sure, she may open it on Christmas morning and say things like, "This is cute. I know just the time I can wear this," but she's lying.

Fact No. 6: Unless you enjoy the sensation of the insides of your nostrils feeling like they've been hit by napalm, do not, under any circumstances, walk through the perfume department at Foley's. Employees will tell you that each perfume is designed so, "60% of the time, it works every time," but you have to realize that these people are in a perfume-induced state of retardation. Wouldn't you be if you worked this department? The fog is thicker than the Los Angeles pollution layer. Hell, I felt like I needed to take a bath in tomato soup when I got home, and I sprinted through that department while holding my breath faster than Tim Montgomery in the 4 x 400 relay.

Crossing the finish line at Foley's. Notice I'm still holding my breath while pointing to a group of guys cheering in the men's suit section.

Fact No. 7: Plan on spending an hour for yourself in a store like Sports Fever. You will feel so much better for it. There is one hazard, however. Every time you come to the conclusion that, "My life really wouldn't be complete without that $75 authentic Tim Duncan jersey," remember that your American Express card's magnetic strip is still registering 450 degrees from being swiped with the power of Zeus at a jewelry store.

Fact No. 8: Diamonds are forever, and Sierra Leone can kiss my rosy-red ass.

Fact No. 9: If you plan on buying her something for the kitchen, by no means say to the Williams-Sonoma employee, "She'll love this and I will make sure she uses it all the time. She loves to work in the kitchen." You will automatically be disqualified for the sale price on the 7-piece cutlery set, I promise you.

Fact No. 10: Wrap the presents in something other than your old Dilbert daily calendar comic strips. They tend not to appreciate that. Something about, "lack of effort."

Feel free to print out a copy of this tutorial for your holiday shopping experience. For more information, feel free to contact me at any time.


Mike said...

Loved your article... Just happened onto here by chance. Had a good laugh. I like your sarcastic sense of humour. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

I believe you are getting the hang of this thing - shopping not blogging. How much not to tell your wife about what you said?

Samsonite said...

This was thoroughly relevant after spending all of yesterday driving two hours (both ways) to stand in line at Costco, Flatirons Mall and a variety of other time-wasters. The especially fun part was returning to Vail via Loveland Pass since some idiot truckdriver decided to test his invincibility. (At least we got to watch the end of an exciting Broncos game at C.B. Potts during happy hour.)

As a 'chic' I don't mind saying that I drop hints like mad in November hoping that he catches on (he does and we both win).

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
M said...

Figures you spelt Saks Fifth Avenue wrong - you need to hang out in the mall more - HA.

But really, don't let your wife fool you, she's shopping on line and for used things on EBAY.

It does mean more when you go through the struggle of a mall though and pay the 600% markup.