Sunday, November 14, 2010

Men, Gift Giving and Being Boiled in Oil

It has been a common understanding in our western culture for many many years, that when faced with any type of a gift giving event such as a birthday, anniversary or Christmas, if you're a man and you're shopping for a woman (wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, it doesn't matter who she is really), it will be your great and indescribable doom, if you buy her an electric appliance such as an iron, vaccuum cleaner or something along those lines.

I suppose for some women, the last thing in the world they want, would be such a thing. For those women, gift giving events are to be times of anticipation for such things as flowers, candy, jewelry, vacation tickets or other exciting items like that. Those are all fine things, and if someone surprised me with any of them I would certainly be quite pleased. However (and you knew this was coming, right?), let me be perfectly clear... the women who would just as soon skin you alive and/or bring you to a slow boil in oil for buying them a toaster or a food processer for Christmas, do not speak for all of us. I would venture to guess they don't even speak for most of us, but that's an entirely subjective guess based on my own personal interaction with adult women over the last 25+ years.

I thought about this recently when I said I wanted a new electric griddle for Christmas and someone said "but what do you want for you?" I was quite serious when I said that I wanted that, and it is for me. You see, I have a big family and I'm the one in charge of doing most of the planning, purchasing, and preparing meals. One of the worst things to happen when you invest that kind of time, effort and money into planning a meal is to have the whole thing ruined by a substandard piece of bakeware or cookware. One of the greatest things is when you have a really nice set of non-stick baking pans or an electric griddle that can (for example) make 8 grilled cheese sandwiches or burger patties at once. When you're in the kitchen preparing a meal for your family it's not only nice to have such things it's actually quite effecient to have kitchen appliances that work well and reduce your workload.

Maybe all that sounds terribly old fashioned, but I know a lot of women who will read this and nod their heads in 100% agreement. Sure we all like pretty things, frilly things and sparkly things but we also really really like good quality, functional things that make our lives a little easier. Like electric griddles, waffle irons and pretty much anything from Pampered Chef, Cuisinart or other awesome companies like that.

It's rather ironic, but I've known two different women over the years who both wanted a jig saw for Christmas. I don't mean a jig saw puzzle, I mean an actual, electric jig saw. From my very enjoyable time in woodshop in junior high, I can attest to how much fun it is to play with power tools, so I can understand why they wanted such a thing. Unfortunately, neither of these women received their jig saw because that's one of those taboo things you do not buy for a woman when there is a gift giving event.

So men, husbands, brothers, dads, boyfriends, please listen up. If she said she wants a new iron, or a George Foreman grill, or that amazing new blender she saw in the sale papers, she really does want it, and she will be very pleased if you get it for her. No doubt she will also love the pretty earrings or her favorite perfume too, so get that as well if you can. But whatever you do, realize that she wouldn't say she wanted it if she really didn't want it.

Be a super-hero this year and get it for her, if at all possible.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe