A few shopping ‘tips’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Unless your one of the smarter people (aka women) who began Christmas shopping in January, chances are you still have quite a few gifts to pick up for friends and family.

For men, the idea of Christmas shopping ranks right above getting a prostate exam.

This may seem an extreme comparison to some, but both entail a lot of waiting and money only to be left feeling violated in the end.

That’s why I have decided to offer a few holiday shopping tips for men in hopes that it might make your annual trips to the mall a little less excruciating this year.

Wake up at the crack of dawn.

The malls open early during the holiday season and although there will still be a crowd, you can avoid some of them by getting there when the doors open.

To avoid injury however, do not get out of your car until the stampede of early bird sale seeking women have entered the building.

Remember that you are a novice and they are professionals.

Although innocent looking, these ladies will not bat an eye as they eat you up and spit you out on their way to the 50% off sale in housewares.

Dress appropriately.

It’s a war zone out there and you should dress accordingly.

Jeans and a t-shirt are like mall camo and should allow you to blend in with the others.

Jeans also keep you mobile in case you should find yourself in front of one of the above-mentioned stampedes

I suggest adding a large and visible holster to your outfit.

Although stores discourage the carrying of firearms on the premises, nothing says &uot;get out of my way&uot; or &uot;the last X-Box is mine&uot; like an empty 357 magnum holster on your hip.

Twitching and muttering to yourself every once in awhile is also helpful.

Avoid any place you feel comfortable when shopping for a wife or girlfriend.

Unless you are planning to finish project number 32197 on your honey-do list, shopping in Home Depot will do you no good.

There are no good gift ideas for women in sporting goods, hardware, liquor or fishing/tackle stores.

If this is not the case for the woman in your life then you should consider yourself blessed and immediately send me her sister’s name, phone number and picture.

Think before you buy.

When purchasing a gift for that special woman in your life, things can get pretty tricky.

Clothes are a great gift idea but create too many opportunities for you to mess it up.

For example, when deciding what style to buy, be sure and get the opinion of a saleswoman.

Remember all the nights you spent on the couch after last year’s gift.

Who knew she wouldn’t appreciate the sweatshirt with Git-R-Done spelled out in sequins and blinking lights?

Sizes can also be very tricky.

When in doubt, be sure and buy clothes at least two sizes too small.

Your stupidity for purchasing a small is much easier to forgive than your idiocy for buying a XXXL.

To be safe, buy her something that she already has.

She can then exchange it for whatever she really wants and avoid any fear that you will ever know.

Let them wrap it.

Unless it’s a diamond or a Lexus, gift wrapping is required.

Most stores will gift wrap for a small fee and you should take advantage of it.

Even the best gift can go unappreciated when wrapped in a Food Lion bag.

When all else fails, give cash.

Just remember, the degree of insult regarding such an impersonal gift varies directly with the amount of cash given.

I’d like to hear from you. If you agree or disagree with my opinion on something, have an idea for a column topic or just want to let me know someone is reading this every once in awhile please e-mail me. My address is david.friedman@r-cnews.com. See ya next week!