The Daily Dump

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Monday, December 19

Christmas Shopping, Much Like Kicking Yourself In The Head . . .

I’m in full fledged WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO BUY YOU PEOPLE mode. I love them all, I really do, but when it comes to buying family and friends presents all these feelings of rage just come to the surface. Not because I have to spend money on them – I’d gladly spend up to $30 (30!) if I knew it would make them happy. But trying to figure out that perfect present for everyone is daunting.

And that’s not even taking The Girlfriend into account. She has literally psyched me out this year in terms of what to get her. It seems like I have already bought her every single present known to man that doesn’t require taste or a personal opinion. DVD players, digital cameras, stereos, etc. I’ve exhausted the market of what I know, unless of course this year I buy her a wireless keyboard deluxe desktop set or tickets to a Knicks game.

But NOOO! Of course this year she wants clothes. She wants jewelry. She wants all these things that require me picking out one of hundreds of different styles, cuts, colors, etc. And if there’s one thing that The Girlfriend and I differ on (besides opinions on movies starring Elisha Cuthbert) it’s taste in clothing, or as she says: “It’s not that you have bad taste, it’s just that I have good taste and we’re very different.”

It got to the point where, after an exhaustive day of shopping by myself yesterday, The Girlfriend and I sat down to dinner and I begged and pleaded with her to tell me what she wants. She said a jacket, she said boots, she said sweaters. And I cried. She attempted to reassure me that I CAN DO THIS. I can pick out something she will like; yet for every item she threw out I reminded her of a time we went shopping together and we had this conversation:

Me: (carrying jacket up to her) “I really like this one.”

TG: “Oh.”

Me: (carrying sweater up to her) “What do you think of this one?”

TG: “Hmm.”

Me: (tears in my eyes, carrying jeans up to her) “These?”

TG: “You can stop trying now.”

My only recourse at this point is to go into a store, pick out an article of clothing that I think is nice and then carry it around the store with me looking for it’s exact opposite. Either that or turn the standard sex coupon book into a full-scale diorama that I can wrap in an enormous box and pass off as “a big gift.” Or break her television and then buy her a new one. (Yes, part of me just said, “That’s not a bad idea.”)

On a positive note, there’s a good chance that I bought my father the same exact thing this year that I did last year. Good times.



Find a girl(s) (preferably a pack of two or more) in the store that dresses similar to your girlfriend. Follow her around. If she casually walks up to something and kind of touches it, maybe looks through the rack for her size, SHE LIKES IT. Even if she doesn't pick it up. If she doesn't pick it up it means she can't afford it RIGHT THAT VERY SECOND. But she still likes it.
But if she looks over her shoulder at you more than three times, it's time to find a new mark. SHE'S FILED A MENTAL STALKER REPORT SO GET OUT QUICKLY.

By Blogger birdie, at 1:49 PM  

Dan sorry to be the voice of relationship but if you don't know her style by now you are a blind one eyed pirate with no eyes who is blind. Then again i'm single this christmas so maybe I am not the model of relationships. I would give suggestions but I know she reads this so sorry.

By Blogger de Kooning's Spleen, at 2:14 PM  

Just to remind you, also on my list are:

1. a puppy
2. a queen-sized bed
3. a trip to a tropical destination lasting no less than 10 days


By Blogger T.G., at 2:26 PM  

This is why I'm a firm believer in lists. I give them to everybody: my parents, my brothers, my boyfriend (when I had one) and I list about ten to fifteen different items with varying prices, as well as specifics on size and color if it's clothing. I don't expect to get all the items listed, but at least I'll be somewhat surprised to see what they chose for me from the list of options.

I know lots of people would prefer their special someone figure out what they want based on the intimacy of their relationship (read as: is he really listening?), but guesses or hints only go so far. I actually want to open up something I want on Christmas regardless if I chose it or somehow miraculously they did it on their own.

By Blogger Bev, at 2:39 PM  

i want a puppy too, get her a puppy dan!

By Anonymous shawna, at 2:51 PM  

I like the idea of the puppy, cause Dan would have to babysit it sometimes (most times?) and bring it to places like bars and on the LIRR.

By Blogger tall 1, at 3:12 PM  

This is my girlfriend and I's first Christmas together, so we made an agreement that we are allowed to give shitty presents this year and just pretend that we like them. Next year, though, I'll be in your shoes. Problem is, are the going to be heels, tennis shoes, sandals . . . ARGH!

By Blogger Dirk the Feeble, at 3:26 PM  

Yes, the puppy idea is AWESOME. Especially when you take into account all the hilarious emails I'll get with subjects like "RE: The dog crapped in my shoe . . . again" or "RE: The dog peed on the rug - bring a new toothbrush for yourself." Years and years of fun. Oh and $800.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 3:28 PM  

Which isn't to say I don't love puppies. I once stole one to get me through a particularly tough time. It crapped on my living room floor so I returned it. True story.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 3:55 PM  

MAN! I clean a little bit of dog poo off my shoe with your toothbrush and I NEVER HEAR THE END OF IT. At least I informed you and threw the toothbrush away...

By Blogger T.G., at 3:57 PM  

Dan, I believe that is a better test of a keeper vs the whole does she lean over and unlock your door... does she throw away your poo infected toothbrush, check? KEEPER

By Anonymous shawna, at 4:32 PM  

Buying clothes for someone else is FAR too challenging. I'm not allowed to even help Mark pick out an outfit of clothes he already owns, much less select new ones -- apparently personal style if very important to him.

My advise: Pick out the ugliest thing in the store and wrap it up -- be sure to get a gift receipt. She'll open it, have a good laugh. Then you guys can go together and she can pick out exactly what she'll like.

Either that, or get her a purse. Just ask a fashionable girl in the store which one she'd like. You'll be golden.

By Blogger undercover celebrity, at 4:33 PM  

I have the problem with the boyfriend where he has told me what he wants, but it's all really boring stuff. I bought him long johns, a scarf, hat, and gloves set, and a sweater. (The sweater was my own addition, though, because he'll look super-cute in it...) I also got him some accessories for his iPod, though, so I'm hoping they'll offset the boringness of the other items.

So, FYI, boys aren't easy, either. Nyah.

(And I like Undercover Celebrity's suggestions. Fabulous ideas. Seriously...)

By Blogger Faith, at 4:51 PM  

That's the thing about dads. They always get the same thing. I think it's because they seem so easy to please. In actuality, I bet they're thinking, "Another damn pair of slippers!"

I think your girlfriend is being mean and hurtful! :)It's not good to make a grown man cry.

By Blogger Carolyn, at 4:51 PM  

Did you see that episode of "Beauty and the Geek" where the geeks' task was to pick out clothes that their female companion would like and which fit them reasonably well? As you can imagine, the geeks failed miserably at this test, despite following Birdie's suggestion (because they couldn't accurately pick out girls who looked enough like their partners).

By Blogger Dennis!, at 5:24 PM  

Grab Erin and go shopping! It's like picking out a ring without the commitment!

By Blogger [Disgrundled], at 6:24 PM  

Yea, regardless of how much you know her, I doubt there will ever come a day when you know exactly what outfit to buy her. I'm thinking of my parents right now and my dad would never buy my mom an outfit...not as a serious present anyways. In fact I think not knowing is a sign of a healthy relationship. Last year I was dating a guy that was totally wrong for me at Christmas but he bought me a kick ass sweater! He didn't get me at all, but the sweather rocked. Explain that!

By Blogger rawbean, at 6:39 PM  

As much fun as it is to buy gifts for loved ones, it is also an absolute nightmare! I'm amazed you even ATTEMPTED to buy clothes for your girlfriend. You've scored 10 pts. just for trying. :-)
It can be daunting.. what about getting your girlfriend's gal pals to give you some ideas/advice? Just a thought.

By Blogger Audrey, at 12:44 PM  

Ok... I know this one, my boyfriend has a really hard time shopping for me, which is insane considering we have been together for four and a half years now, you would think he would know what I like.

You know what the problem is? He doesn't like what I like.. so you have two options... get her something you would not pick for personal taste, she may very well love it.. or get her earings. Not just any earings.. the solitary sparkling ones, and not in 'chip' size either. Can't go wrong and they don't piss on your clothes or chew your undies.

I don't recommend the puppy, unless YOU want a puppy, cause somehow I doubt your girlfirend is the disciplinary type... and dogs need a good teacher... which would be YOU unless of course your a pushover... in which case, NO DOGS!!

By Blogger clothosfate, at 2:11 PM  

my bf has learned his lesson not to buy clothes for me from now on since last xmas he bought me what he thought was a skirt, but turned out to be a tube top that in no way resembled any skirt known to man.

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