Category Archives: Helpful Hints

Christmas Shopping Guide for Guys – From a girlfriend, fiancée, wife…

Let me just say upfront that I’m not male-bashing here. Far from it. Let’s just say that I totally realize that guys’ brains are wired totally differently from ours – and my one mission is to keep the stress down for all. That being said…

After yesterday’s trip through my secret Target being marred by bastions of men wandering aimlessly, I have to speak up here. I’m not in any way implying that all men need these guidelines by any means, but there seem to be scads of males out and about – especially in light of the Christmas season – who could benefit from a few simple suggestions. Honestly, guys, you have no idea how much time and angst you would save yourselves just by taking a few simple tips to heart.

1.       It’s totally OK to ask the women in your life their sizes. Really. Write them down, create a sticky note on your iPhone, whatever. Just do it. And if you’re absolutely too uncomfortable to flat-out ask, you can always do a bit of discreet observation. Check the tags in the closet, etc.

2.       If you absolutely can’t bring yourself to investigate the correct sizes, steer clear of clothing in any form or fashion. Trust me here. Especially with lingerie. I spent a holiday season working in a well-known women’s store (think PINK) and can tell you that you’re only asking for grief if you go in unprepared. Every day, huge numbers of men wandered into our store with one thing in common: that deer-in-the-headlights look. They were completely overwhelmed by the selection in front of them. They would stand, staring blankly at a wall of delicates, for minutes on end. And when I asked them what size they were looking for, nine times out of ten I’d get an even-blanker stare. I tried comparison: ‘Is she about my size?’ They honestly couldn’t tell me. So, guys, just say no to any item of clothing if this sounds like you.

3.       If you are absolutely convinced on clothing, please please please err on the small side. It really does make a difference. Case in point: my spouse decided to buy me some items of clothing soon after R was born. Apparently the item in question came in two sizes: S/M and M/L. He thought he was being nice by getting me the M/L, thinking he wanted to buy me something I could wear right away. Wrong. With postpartum hormones and out-of-whack body image, that was the LAST thing I needed. All I remember from the hormonal haze that followed are lots of tears, a few glasses of wine and a grudge that lasted months. Months. So even if it looks like it would fit a Barbie doll, get the smaller size.

4.       TRY not to wait until the last minute here. Now, I know this particular advice is going straight in one ear (or eye, actually, since you’re reading) and out the other – but it has to be said. It REALLY is better to think a week or so ahead, instead of a few days. Look at it this way – if you go out to one store or mall and can’t find what you want, you’ve got time to find it on Amazon, click a few times, and be done shopping. From the comfort of your office, golf course or recliner. Just think how much more football/basketball/hockey/curling/winter x-games you’ll get to watch this way. And she gets exactly what you’ve picked out for her. It’s a win/win.

So that’s it, guys. Just a few helpful tips from a female to help you on your merry way. And, ladies – feel free to print this out and leave it somewhere your guy will see it. The counter, his pillow, his laptop, gigantic printout taped to the flatscreen. Whatever. And you’re welcome!

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