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Ask The Good Enough Guy: Is It The Thought That Counts?

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Will, the holidays! I love them, but I have a problem that is just eating me up. Every year my husband of fifteen years tells me that it doesn’t matter what I get him, but then he seems disappointed when I give him his gifts. I’ve bought coats he doesn’t wear, video games he doesn’t play and tools he never uses. Now, he will buy all of these things for himself, but the ones I buy just never seem to hit the nail on the head so to speak. What suggestions do you have for a good gift for a man? I want to do this right for him because he always gets me just what I want (of course, I usually hand him the catalog with the page marked and the color circled). Help me please.

No Mrs. Claus

Hey NMC,

If you’re having trouble finding the right gift for a guy, it’s because you’re plagued by a fundamental female flaw. Here’s something all women need to know, and it relates to gift giving, relationships and almost all dealings with the male species: if something about us seems difficult, it’s because you’re over thinking it. We are a simple bunch, and it just so happens, you’ve come to one of the simplest of all. Here’s all you have to do:

What you need to know… MAN LAW= MEN NEVER OUTGROW TOYS. The toys may get more expensive, more high-tech, and possibly more dangerous, but if we play with them for fun, their still toys. Last year, my wife got me an extendable, compound, miter saw. This thing tilts, swivels, extends, and rips through a two-by-four like a laser beam. Of course, it’s nothing to play with, but I’ve yet to cut a piece of wood on it without cracking a smile. So how do you shop for man toys? I asked a bunch of different guys and got some pretty good tips.

Know your guy. Does he like to dress well? Does he like working with his hands? Does he LOVE his car? What’s his favorite football team? On the weekend, is he in Sports Authority or Home Depot? Knowing these answers will help you get to the next step.

Ask his buddies. They’ve seen him eyeing their fishing rods. He borrows their reciprocating saw. He plays Call of Duty: Black Ops at their house all night. Their tired of seeing him in that same, tired, Raven’s jacket. Ask them; they’ll tell you.

Talk to the sales people. You know he wants a camera, but which one? That’s what these people are for. Find a good camera shop and a knowledgeable sales person and tell them everything you do know. But be careful: some of these folks get paid on commission and will sell you the store if you let them. 

DON’T order it from some infomercial! He loves to fish… so that handy pocket fisherman is perfect, right? Oh, and this tool is a drill, saw, sander, toothbrush, and coffee pot all in one! Not to be mean, but these things only look good to someone who doesn’t know any better. This amounts to you wanting a new purse, and instead of a Coach bag, he gets you that Fold-a-Purse that can hold everything from your filling cabinet and your closet at the same time… all in one beautiful burlap satchel. 

If all else fails… Give him a gift card. The guys I asked were back and forth on this one. Some said it seemed like a cop-out, others said it’s the best way to make sure they got what they wanted. I say, I’d rather have my wife swing and miss than to not bother swinging, but that’s just me. 

And if you try all of these things even if you still don’t quite get it right, it will at least show that you love him and want to make him happy… and on Christmas, the love is what really counts.

Merry Christmas to you and to everyone!!!

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.

 

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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