Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Laws of "Shopping for Women"

  1. Newspaper is not wrapping paper. Neither is a plastic bag from HMV. Neither is hiding the gift behind your back.
  2. When you must give gifts: anniversary, birthday, Valentine's Day, Christmas/Hanukkah.
  3. Flowers are not gifts. They're a garnish.
  4. Practical gifts are a federal offense. You are better off giving a single leg warmer than any of the following: coffeemaker, paper shred-der, vacuum cleaner, computer, fancy pen, smoke alarm, or forklift. Acronym gifts are likewise violations: CD, DVD, BSE.
  5. If you don't trust your taste, buy her a service: a massage, facial, or mani-pedi. Prepay the tip.
  6. You shall not willfully ignore this obvious but crucially important shortcut: Ask Gift Givee's friends and family for suggestions.
  7. If you must buy your girlfriend a dress or skirt, you shall not supersize. Size down, not up.
  8. Pay attention to the fine print. She says: "I loved that bracelet Rachel was wearing." Your translation: "Let's have a threesome with her." Actual translation: "Buy me that bracelet."
  9. Most coveted shoe brands, in descending order: Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Via Spiga, Charles David, Nine West.
  10. Avoid self-improvement gifts, even if the Givee asks for them. A book on the South Beach Diet will not get you laid.
  11. When buying clothes, it's safest to stick to things that will not lead to further self-esteem issues involving the size of her body parts. Examples: hats, gloves, scarves, sarongs.
  12. Don't buy lessons. Yoga sessions and pottery classes put the onus on the Givee, and no one likes an onus.
  13. Snooping is not a violation; snooping is encouraged. When Givee is not home, look in her closet to see if she likes Club Monaco, J.Crew, or Chanel. If it's Chanel, quietly close the closet door and back away. You were never there.
  14. Find item Gift Givee is most proud of and buy a newer, better, more expensive version of identical item. Consider: You're a basketball fan. She buys you tickets to a lacrosse game, citing the logic that it's also a game with a ball and a net. Or else she comes home with NBA playoff tickets, courtside. Which makes you happier?
  15. Regarding cards: Avoid ones with jokes about her age, weight, or sexual shortcomings. You can try making a card yourself.
  16. Perform due diligence. Next time your girlfriend is paging through a magazine, listen to her instead of nodding vacantly. Ask to see the item she's drooling over. Make a mental note. Fetch.
By Laurie Sandell

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