Mordini: Holiday guide for guys: what to purchase

Jessie Markovetz

ATTENTION GUYS: The King of Prussia Mall is bedecked with trees and various ornaments, and Santa Claus is in the Plaza greeting greedy young children looking for free gifts. In other words, the back-to-school season is finally over.

But you just finished all of that Thanksgiving turkey, which can mean only one thing: those fast-approaching holidays are drawing ever nearer.

Fortunately, Christmas is almost a month away. Unfortunately, you do have to buy gifts, and some of those gifts will probably be for women. This, as every guy knows, is one of the most challenging aspects in a relationship, but there is hope for us guys as we hit the mall over these next few weeks.

The first and most important rule for buying gifts for women is that the shinier and more useless a gift is, the more it will be cherished. Jewelry, for this reason, is the ultimate gift. It is shiny, but it does absolutely nothing. A jumbo roll of tinfoil is also shiny (and affordable, another plus), but also very useful, and therefore will earn you nothing but misery come Christmas.

When you have trouble applying this rule, there are a few other guidelines that will get you out of trouble with the more common holiday gifts:

n Perfume. This always seems like a good gift idea, but it is hampered by the fact that we guys do not possess the acute sense of smell that women do. Whereas your average girl can tell from the top floor of Tolentine that the Chinese food she accidentally left in her room last night is going bad, a typical guy will wear the same sweatshirt for two weeks and not understand why his popularity steadily slackens. So we can’t really tell what we’re buying when it comes to perfume:

SALESWOMAN: This is a really nice apple scent.

WOMAN: Are you sure it’s not apple orchard? It seems a bit too rich to be just apple. What do you think, dear?

GUY: It smells good. Like perfume.

Perfume is too useful anyway. Best if you leave it on the shelf.

n Underwear. The main thing to remember about this gift is that it’s really a gift for you, not her. But there are other advantages, too; the main one being that it costs a lot less than jewelry. But jewelry, with its high cost, comes with the ability to resize; underwear gives you no such security. If you get the wrong size, you’ll find yourself up the Schuylkill without a paddle.

n Beauty/bath sets. You know, those little arrangements of soaps and shampoos that no one in their right mind would ever buy for personal use. It’s a gift, which by nature means it’s useless. Of course, no one actually uses these things. The people from Bath & Body Works know this; they have not actually sold one of these sets since 1987. They are simply circulated between women as gifts for occasions guys would never celebrate with anything other than beer – a birthday, a new neighbor moving in, a child being born, etc. Don’t be that guy who actually buys one of these things.

Paying for all of these gifts can sometimes be a strain on the wallet, but that’s what the holidays are all about – making sacrifices for the benefits of others! Practicality should be the LAST thing you consider when a gift for your girl is at stake. (That is, unless you’re a practical English major who will be working for peanuts after graduation.)

Now you know how the game is played, so go out there and make us guys proud! I’ve already taken care of the shopping for my girlfriend, so if any of you guys have suggestions on how to wrap a roll of tinfoil, please drop me a line.