Lost in sporting goods: women searching for that perfect gift

Photo by: Phi-Phi Le

We all know shopping can be horrendous, especially at this time of year, when everyone and their mother is trying to rush last-minute Christmas shopping. But it isn’t just the over-filled stores, sold-out signs, and crazy one-day sales that have us women stressing over the holidays: it’s also the problem of what to get men.

Should it be a video game console, an iPod, a cell phone, a football jersey? We find ourselves asking, “Does he need this? Would he even want this?” Christmas is probably the worst time to shop for a guy because we have to shop for all the men in our lives at once. This is quite and overwhelming feat, for sometimes we feel like they will not like whatever we get them, thus destining whatever object we purchased to a life of forsakenness.

Usually, women find it easier to shop for boys who haven’t hit puberty yet; just buy them whatever super hero action figure is popular or a video game, or a card with money in it. But what do you do for them when they get older? Obviously you can’t get him a toy or an action figure every year for his birthday or Christmas, unless he is a dedicated collector. Therefore, the problem remains: what do you get him?

That leaves two options. One: you get him something that is related to whatever band, sport, book or TV show he likes the most. Or, option two; you get him a gag gift. It works even better, though, if the gift reflects both his personal interests and sense of humor.

But we still put a lot of thought into even those two little options, always asking ourselves, “Will he think this is funny, or that I’m just being rude?” And, I will tell you, we are never really satisfied, because we feel like it’s just not good enough.

Guys, however, don’t have to worry as much when they’re shopping for their friends, fathers, or brothers. They only need to make sure that the gift is masculine and not too lovey-dovey. But with women, it goes deeper than that. We don’t want to get them the same thing every year (no dad wants an ugly tie every year for Father’s Day or his birthday), but there are only so many items to choose from. We want it to be appropriate for the relationship AND the occasion.

Eventually we settle for something that we hope he would like, but we are rather dismal about it. The hardest part for us getting and giving gifts to men is that we never really believe that there is a perfect gift for them, because we simply can’t put all our love and care into any one object.