(The following was my Undercurrents column for Dec. 23, 2007.)
So I turned to blog readers this week for some help. A typical husband, I was beginning to get nervous about the approaching holiday deadline, considering the fact I hadn’t yet bought anything for my long-suffering spouse. I expected to be frantic in the aisles of Bay County’s retail stores before the weekend arrived.
(Universities actually have done studies of this phenomenon. I looked it up on the Internet, so it must be true. They found that women are just as likely to be in checkout lanes on Dec. 24 as men are. However, women are more likely to be buying that little something extra to make their giftgiving that much more special, while men are just getting starting and have no idea where to begin.)
And whose fault was it other than mine? My wife’s, of course. I blame her. It’s for her that I’m shopping, after all, and it’s difficult for a man to go into a store without a target in sight.
I mean, I can put you together a list of stuff to purchase for me in various price ranges at a moment’s notice. I’m shallow and materialistic like that.
But all the wife ever says when I ask her what she’d like for Christmas is mushy stuff. Relationship stuff. Huggy-kissy-snuggly stuff. Stuff you can’t really stuff in a stocking, you know, or take back to the store for a refund later when you change your mind.
So I asked, “What is it with women? What do women want?”
Robbyn responded that I should buy her an event: a theater or symphony performance, art, a class, a dinner cruise with dancing. “… The sweet thought, coupled with spending time with you (and knowing you wanted to spend time with her) will score you big points!”
Tina suggested having a star named after her at starregistry.com, or using our personal inside jokes as a starting point for a special present. “Yes, women are difficult to buy for. We don’t just want stuff. Women want a summation of your feelings in a box with a bow.”
Lou said to get show tickets or stuff her stocking “with little things you know your wife likes — perfume, candy, fluffy socks, lingerie, jewelry, etc.”
And Bob suggested something by Bob Dylan. (I suspect Bob is less successful with women than I am.)
I hope this was as helpful to you as it was to me.