Friday, April 20, 2012

Shopping for Men

Gifts are always a problem.

We give them for birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, weddings, and a host of other reasons, but giving a gift is never a simple thing. We worry about what the recipient will or won't like. We worry about what gifts other people are likely to give so that we don't give a duplicate gift or - worse - give a gift that looks inadequate by comparison. We worry about how much to spend ... a gift too expensive makes us look gauche, while one too inexpensive makes us look, well, cheap. Most ladies have drawers full of expensive, uncomfortable, or downright embarrassing lingerie purchased for them by men who have ignored the inverse relationship between price and amount of material used in construction ... lingerie worn once, if at all. Most men have racks of ties they would only wear if a hangman was tying the knot.

In short, gift-giving can be a pain in the neck*.

Ladies, though, have it easy when buying gifts for men - just follow these simple rules and you can't go wrong ...

Rule #1: When in doubt, give him a cordless drill. It doesn't matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. A man can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. By the way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3: Buy him anything for his car. Price doesn't matter - a 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from his rear view mirror will be received as well as a set of custom-tooled alloy wheels. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4: Do not buy men socks, ties, or bathrobes. If God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented underwear.

Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. Always buy a remote that is bigger and has more buttons than the one you are replacing. A backlit digital display is also a plus. Even better is a fancy touch-screen model. It'll keep him busy and keep his mind off sex for hours at a time, especially if you buy a new 596-inch plasma flat-panel TV to go with it.

Rule #6: Do not buy a man fancy liqueurs. If you do, they will sit in a cupboard for 23 years. Real men drink whiskey, beer, or simple cocktails like martinis.

Rule #7: Do not buy a man after shave. He is unlikely ever to be open the package, much less use it. Men prefer the ... um ... earthy smell.

Rule #8: Label makers. These are almost as good a gift as cordless drills. Be sure to buy ones that have as many buttons and assorted controls as possible. Within days there will be labels on everything in the house. Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Pets. Door. Lock. Sink. Children. You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #9: Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over. Of course, if assembly requires use of a cordless drill or label maker, that's different.

Rule #10: Men enjoy danger. That's why they don't like to cook, but love to  barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank and tell him the gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"

Rule #11: Tickets to any sporting event are generally a can't-miss gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." Everyone knows why.

Rule #12: Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a chainsaw for a man you love. If you don't know why - please refer to Rule #8 and what happens when he gets a label maker.

Rule #13: It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #14: Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least the Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8" manila rope. No one knows why.

Don't thank me ... it's all part of my ongoing effort to help you cope with the stresses of daily life.

It's Friday, and the weekend beckons. We'll talk about weekend plans tomorrow, after Cartoon Saturday ... be here.

Have a good day. More cartoonish thoughts tomorrow.


* My birthday is in November. E-mail me for a suggested gift list.


Amanda said...

I worry about what will happen to the house if I got some of those gifts you have suggested. The one that looks most appealing to me is the label maker. Thats something I can borrow.

John said...

"Shopping for Men" one knows why.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

That is good advice!but what about ties with cartoon animals on them?

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Electronic gadgets are good gift ideas, too. But nothing that requires assembly.

The Bastard King of England said...

A nice bottle of scotch or Jack Daniel is foolfroof.

Mike said...

My birthday is in November also. A new chain saw would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Bought him a beer-making kit. It's still in the box. I should refer to the rule: requires assembly. Next time I'll just buy him the beer.