Sunday, February 9, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

With Christmas just over and Valentine week starting tomorrow, I've had many recent opportunities in my work to observe the shopping techniques of the average man.  It's sort of a hobby of mine.  As the birdwatcher is fascinated with the migratory patterns of the yellow-throated marten, so I am with the retail patterns of the male human.  Now mind you, I realize that there are men, who give great thought and planning to their gifts, but we're not discussing them today.  No, today we're talking about the average man. 

To be an observer of their gift selection process, you must be alert and watch fast as it has been my experience that the longest part of the procedure is the credit card swipe.  It's always captivated me to see the speed at which a man can choose the perfect gift to express love for his wife, companion, cooker of his food, cleaner of his toilets, and vessel through which his large headed children were painfully brought forth. 

Take for example, last week a nice looking gentleman came into the store and I greeted him with a "hello" and "let me know if I can help you with anything".  I feel this greeting is much less annoying to me when I am shopping as opposed to "What can I help you with?" or "Are you looking for something in particular?"  Too many questions.  Anyway, no sooner had I gotten the greeting off of my lips, did he tell me that he was looking for a birthday present for his wife.  Well, before I could make it around the counter to where he was, he met me with his selection and asked if we could wrap it for him.  Impressive time and execution!  It could have been an all-time record at 22.4 seconds from start to finish. 

His time might only be rivaled by a young man, who whirled in last Valentine's Day at about 5:58 pm.  As I recall, he walked in the door, turned to the right, and picked up the first item he saw.  Placing it on the counter, he reached for his wallet and let out a big sigh.  "This oughta do it", he said in a proud and accomplished tone.  I understood the relief in his sigh as shopping can be quite the chore.   

After years of observation, I have concluded that we, women, must be making gift giving way more complicated than it has to be.  Ladies, you can't help but be impressed by the efficiency with which a man can select a token of his appreciation for two episiotomies, a cesarean scar, a belly that will never go back like it was, and infinite creativity with chicken breasts and a pound of ground chuck.

Throughout my years of retail work, I've also observed several mistakes that men seem to make when shopping for Valentine's Day:

1)  "I want this delivered to our house after she gets home from work." - 99% of women would rather get one carnation at work than two dozen roses at home.  We can be shallow like that.

2)  "I can't remember if she wears a medium or a large, so I'll go with the large." - Perilous move.  Always round down, men.  If she wears a large, she'll be thrilled that you see a medium when you look at her.

3)  "We agreed not to buy anything for each other this year." - She has you a gift.  Get her one.  Period. 

4)  "I want to send this teddy bear to my wife." - No 40 year old woman wants to leave work looking like she's been to Chuck E Cheese.  Your money could be better spent.

5)  "She's on a diet and she'll kill me if I buy her chocolate." - No man has ever, ever, ever been killed for buying chocolate.  You understand?

Feel free to print and leave these in a conspicuous place for your special someone.

 Hope your week gets off to a good start!


  1. I'm am thrilled you are an official BLOGGER!!! And this is hilarious and SO true! So... this will be shared in hopes every boyfriend/husband gets wind of these five wonderful rules!

    1. Thanks so much, Joy! I appreciate your encouragement. I hope your man choses wisely this Valentine's Day! ;)

  2. I read this to my husband, who says you would have posted this blog years ago! LOL He's broken 3 of the rules on your list! LOL

    1. Hahaha.....well maybe he kept the receipts! I hope he can correct his mistakes by Friday, Cherith!!

  3. SO glad I hopped over from Sophie's place. She is right - you are a hoot!

    1. Thank you, WGO! Come back to see me! Soph is pretty awesome and she made a great note writing pal back in the day!