December 2007

He Says, She Says: Holiday Gift Giving Guide for the Newly Coupled

Author: Keith Kelson, Jean Wharton

He Says
By: Keith Kelson

Most guys have been there during the gift giving season. You’ve just started dating a wonderful young lady, and while you know a little about her, you don’t know exactly what gift would be appropriate for your fledgling romance. Do you buy her that snazzy wall clock with authentic cuckoo sounds or maybe take her on a weekend getaway to Paris? Wait, you can only visit Paris during the springtime, not during the holidays. Maybe she would like a velvet painting of Pat and Debbie Boone? Maybe a pay-per-view event featuring her favorite WWE superstar?

There are, unfortunately, no official guidelines for this conundrum, and your buddies are going to be little if any help. They will vote for the WWE pay-per-view event and invite themselves over to boot. Your new lady may not mind actually watching The Hulk Hogan Story, but odds are she will not want your buddies over while she does. Especially during the really touching parts like when Hulk won his first heavyweight wrestling title. I always get teary-eyed during that part.

If you ask your female friends or relatives, they’re gonna vote for the trip to Paris, hands down. “Ooooo la-la,” they’ll say, and you’ll have to actually contemplate being in Paris watching French movies without subtitles and no American beer or sitcoms to help you forget the experience. The horror!

What we have, my friends is the ultimate catch-22. If you give her a gift that screams “romance,” you’ll be coming on too strong. Ditto for naughty gifts like lingerie—plus you’ll actually have to be in a store that sells lingerie with helpful, shapely sales people, and you’re just asking for trouble. (Hmmm. “Lingerie” is a French word isn’t it? Gotta watch that.) Give her a gift that says “practical,” such as a leaf blower, and you’ll be seen as a man without romance in his soul.

While you don’t want to appear to be, ahem, a cheapskate, you don’t want to appear to be the kind of guy who is too needy either—you know, the kind of cat who’s way too in touch with his feminine side. The kind of dude that drinks his coffee with a pinkie extended. Women may say they want and even prefer those pinkie-extending type of dudes, but they really don’t. So, what’s a fella to do?

Well, in trying times men should turn to the classics. Looking back at what worked in the past will help you deal with the here and now. So, without any further adieu (Hey that’s French, isn’t it? That can’t be a good sign.), here’s how a real man would handle the situation.

First, find one of those suits that John Travolta wore during the making of Saturday Night Fever. Second, brush up on dances like The Bump, The Hustle, and The Funky Chicken. Finally, make sure that you have on a pair of platform shoes with fish in the heels. You are now ready to hit all the hot nightclubs in town. Make sure that the DJ plays Staying Alive by The Bee Gees, Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas and anything by The Bay City Rollers.

If you manage to attract the attention of the ladies (and you will), problem solved. You can tell your present girlfriend au revoir and say bon jour to your new lady. (Way, way too much French, but I’m on a roll.) You don’t have to get your former girlfriend anything since you’re no longer seeing her, and you can get your new lady that painting of Pat and Debbie Boone. See? Everyone wins, and you still get to have a sweetie during the holidays.

Oh, who am I kidding? Grab a beret and get ready to eat some crepes and croissants boys. You’re going to Paris.

But a real man will wear that same suit from Saturday Night Fever to the airport and be listening to Jive Talking by the Bee Gees on his iPod.

She Says:
By: Jean Wharton

Please hold your “Ahh, poor Jean” for the end of this article, but I haven’t had a beau at holiday time in… quite some time. I may be the worst woman to counterpoint Keith this month. However, I do have a few ideas of what women expect and desire during this time of gift giving. Trips to Paris clearly are for the veteran couple in need of a spark; amateur relationships need not apply. I know few ladies who would turn down the invite to Paris at anytime, but I know even fewer gentlemen who could pull off the journey across the pond to the City of Lights.

This leaves us with our cozy island home, where the romance is easy to turn up or tune out, depending on your level of involvement. When the holiday’s approach, most dating couples take stock of their level of commitment before deciding on a gift. This is an important step that should not be overlooked. Much like Valentine’s Day, when Christmas comes to town, many men consider ending the relationship simply because they can’t take the pressure. Common and understandable, if a man isn’t ready to buy a gift or come up with a creative way to celebrate the holiday, then it’s best he get out while he can.

A few clues to clueless gents out there regarding whether our not your relationship warrants a gift:

1) You communicate more than five times a week via, phone, e-mail texting or myspace/facebook
2) You eat a meal together at least once a week.
3) You have shared affection through physical contact of any kind…and if I have to spell that out for you then you damn well better get her a gift!

For those of you sticking it out, brave enough to hit the mall or Internet to shop for the perfect gift that brings just a touch of romance without breaking the bank, refer back to my previous columns. Women love jewelry, perfume, books, music and clothing. And much like your mother did when her six-year-old son handed her a macaroni necklace on Christmas morning, they will take the gift with a smile and say thank you. The difference between your mom and the modern women is that your pseudo-girlfriend is going to analyze the meaning behind the perfume gift box you gave her, whereas your mom kept smiling. Don’t be that guy at the department store an hour before your date, waiting in line to have the “free gift” that came with the perfume wrapped in red and green. Put some thought into the gift.

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