Friday, October 3, 2014

Making my man brain shop like a girl

So the little woman turns...another year older this week (like I was going to tell you her age).
And as the husband, it is my job to purchase items that let her know I am thinking of her on the date of her birth.
And that means I have to go shopping – for girl stuff.
Shopping for tools, motorcycle gear and other cool stuff is not a problem, but making my man brain think like a girl can be a challenge at times.
Every time I wander around the ladies' section of a shopping establishment, I always feel out of place, like everyone is watching me.
But why would they care there is a male in the female shopping area? It's not like I am trying the clothes on, or prancing around in a bra or anything.
The song “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn't belong” plays endlessly in my mind as I stumble through my gift-purchasing duties.
Occasionally, I will see another lost soul, a.k.a. a husband shopping for his wife, and we look at each other with a knowing glance and nod slightly as if to say, “Present for the little woman hey pal, don't worry you can do it.”
When my teenage daughter's birthday rolls around, the shopping is easy. Step 1: purchase card. Step 2: sign card. Step 3: put money in card. Step 4: give daughter card with money in it. Simple.
The same gift-giving path is taken with my sons as with my daughter.
For a teen, cash is the perfect gift.
But that just does not seem right when it comes to the Missus, although a close family member did get her a gift card to Canadian Tire one year, which she appreciated, but did have to wonder at a little bit.
I prefer the gifts I give my beloved to be more personal, to say she means enough to me to make an effort to go beyond simply stuffing a few bills into a dollar store card.
But it is the same story every year – several times a year actually if you count Christmas and our anniversary – I spend time looking for a unique item, something different, something she would not expect and then when my man brain fails to come up with anything new and refreshing, I run to the department store and buy a bunch of clothes.
It is kind of a cop-out, but that old standard has never let me down. I will get her a few other items as well – CDs, DVDs etc. - but clothes typically make up the bulk of the gift.
Fortunately she likes getting new clothes, and I can say with some level of pride, I am pretty darn good at picking out items of the fashion variety. The key is to avoid the clothes designed for teens and clothes designed for grannies.
The little woman would not want a sweater that would look good on my mom, nor would she care for clothes that she can trade with our daughter.
So there is a fine line I must walk, which I usually do – or least she says I do, but I do see her wearing the clothes I bought her in public, so they could not have been that bad.
And wrapping presents is easier than ever since I discovered gift bags. What a wonderful idea: take the present, put it in a bag, put some of that decorative paper stuff on top so she can't see in before opening it and 'ta-daa' the wrapping is done.
And for the record, I would just like to state I have never forgotten my wife's birthday or our anniversary.
I wish I could claim this was because I am such an awesome husband and my wife is always first and foremost in my thoughts, but a lot of it is simply a matter of survival. Besides, I just don't think it would be that comfortable to sleep in the garage.

Copyright 2014, Darren Handschuh

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