Rules to keep a man happy

Published 10:35 am Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The calendar on my desk denotes that February has arrived. That means one important thing – National Women’s Day (aka Valentine’s Day) is just around the corner….next week as a matter of fact.

It’s that time of the year when men are required to refocus our full attention on those of the fairer sex in our lives….our wives, girlfriends, daughters, moms (for those lucky enough to have the latter still in your life). We’re required to actually shop for a gift, not any gift, mind you, but the perfect one that will put a smile on the face of that special woman in our life….well, at least for a day.

But isn’t this Valentine’s (love) thing a two-way street. What about gifts for guys?

Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women.  So, as a public service for the female readers of this column, here’s a few rules you can follow to purchase that perfect gift for the man in your life.

Rule #1: When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill.  It does not matter if he already has one. My brother has about 15 drills and I’ve never heard him complain about getting another one. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it.  Men love saying those two words. “Hey Tommy, can I borrow your ratchet? By-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?” Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3: If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car.  A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from his rear view mirror.  Men love gifts for their cars.  No one knows why.

Rule #4: Do not buy men socks.  Do not buy men ties.  And never buy men bathrobes.  I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn’t have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out.  If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner.  Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Rule #6: Buy your man a label maker; they’re almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere….Socks, Shorts, Cups,  Saucers,  Door,  Lock,  Sink.  You get the idea.

Rule #7: Never buy a man anything that says “some assembly required” on the box.  It will ruin his day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #8: Good places to shop for men include Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, and a John Deere outlet. NAPA Auto Parts and Sears are also excellent men’s stores.  It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what it is. “From NAPA Auto, eh?  Must be something I need.  Hey!  Isn’t this a starter for a ’68 Chevy Impala?  Wow! Thanks.”

Rule #9: Men enjoy danger.  That’s why they never cook – but they will barbecue.  Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank.  Tell him the gas line leaks. Oh the thrill!  The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?

Rule #10: Tickets to a football game are a smart gift.  However, he will not appreciate tickets to “A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts.” Everyone knows why.

Rule #11: It’s hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder.  Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder.  No one knows why.

Rule #12: Rope.  Men love rope.  It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts.  Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8″ manila rope.

There you have it, ladies….12 simple rules to keep your man happy….at least for a day!


Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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