Christmas shopping has to be stopped
Published 3:06 am Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Typically, this is an equal opportunity column. I write them so anyone can read them, and I hope most people that read them enjoy them.
But, this week's column is different. This one is only for all you men out there. Therefore, I'm respectfully going to have to ask that all the ladies reading this skip past me and read something else. The other columnists in here write pretty good stuff most of the time, so read them a little more closely this week.
We guys have gotta talk for a few minutes, and it ain't gonna be pretty. To show you how considerate I am, I'm going to give you ladies a couple of minutes to move on to the other articles…
Okay. Now that the coast is clear, we guys have got a little talking to do. If my math skills are working, they tell me that this column will come out right around Christmas, probably within a day or so of it. And that's exactly what we need to talk about here -- Christmas, and the man's role in it, especially as it relates to shopping.
First, a little history. When I first got married, I made the terrible mistake of actually trying to go Christmas shopping for my wife. I can remember walking around Macon Mall until my legs felt like stumps, winding my way through and around hoards of women with whiny kids, standing in lines so long that you'd qualify for Medicaid before getting to the front of them, all in the hope of finding the perfect Christmas gift for my spouse.
It wasn't easy, and in fact the whole deal stunk, but I did it because it was expected of me. And, when I finally found something I was sure she'd like, I bought it, snuck around and paid to have it wrapped, and then waited expectantly as she unwrapped it first thing Christmas morning. And, when she did, she broke into a big old grin and hugged me so hard that I couldn't breathe, right?
Ha! What a load of garbage. For some strange reason, she didn't enjoy the glass sculptures I bought her the first year we were married, nor did she seem particularly overjoyed with the Rubik's Cube novelty earrings that I bought her the second year. At that point, the two of us talked, and we agreed that in the future she'd select her own gifts. Sure, it's not quite as romantic that way, but she does get what she wants, and I get out of the most despised, anti-male activity imaginable -- shopping.
To go on the record, I'd rather eat a barbequed monkey than go shopping. I hate it. Typically, if I need to shop, I know what I want, I go to the store that has it, and then I make my purchase. For me, a successful shopping trip is one that's accomplished in 15 minutes or less, which is more than enough time for any man with a reasonable testosterone level to make his purchase.
And here's where we need to talk. It's come to my attention, through unimpeachable sources, that some of you men out there, some of you true blue Southern men, some of you whom I actually went to school with, voluntarily go Christmas shopping with your wives. Worse yet, you even sit in "The Pit," that area at the mall where all men who've been shorn of their masculinity sit and wait out their wives as they shop. It's the most pitiful area in the mall, the saddest thing about it being that most of the conversations there actually focus on how long the men have been waiting for their spouses. It's almost like a crack house for "de-maled" men.
Well, it has to stop. Now. Because of one or two of you, I'm starting to get some heat here at home that I should start going shopping again. That can't happen. So, with the New Year coming up, promise me that your number one resolution is to never again embark on another Christmas shopping expedition with/for your wives. It might not be easy, but I have plenty of white lies for you to use to help you get off the hook. They're free for all admitted male shoppers, and just one quick email away.
Now, aren't you glad we had this talk, and settled this issue? Good. You can now tell your spouse that it's okay to read next week's column.