Hassles with tassles – the guys’ guide to the Holidays
The holidays are great, not as good as Fourt of July, but still great.We are guys, and Fourth of July is the ultimate Guy Holiday.On the Fourth of July, you generally have the day off from work, which is always a good thing and you get to sleep a little later. The decorations are simple. Basically, you hang an American flag on the front of your house. Of course, if you’ve never hung a flag on the front of your house before, you can make it involve power tools. And power tools are always a great guy part of any holiday celebration. The food is simple: You cook it outdoors over a fire (guy-style), you can eat it outdoors, with your hands, standing up if you wish, and wash it down with your favorite carbonated beverage. At the end of this wonderful day, stuff blows up. Fourth of July is a great Guy Day.Mall free zoneBut even beyond those obvious attributes, on Fourth of July there are no presents to buy, unless you count one guy handing another guy a tall, cold carbonated beverage – which we think should count.And because there are no presents to buy, that means you don’t have to be in a shopping mall. Luckily in Eagle County and the Vail Valley, we’re in a mall-free zone, which would account for most of our superior karma here. This valley is a great place for guys.For all Real American Guys, shopping malls are the manifestation of everything evil that has befallen American society. Shopping malls are shaped remarkably like prisons with almost as much personality as a Teflon skillet. They’re filled with stuff that no one could ever possibly need at prices that bear no resemblance to reality.No self-respecting guy will enter a shopping mall unless it’s at knifepoint, he’s incarcerated, or his wife and/or significant other tells him too. All True Guys who love their wives and/or significant others – and that’s all True Guys – know in their heart of hearts that there are only two ways of dealing with the aforementioned wives and/or significant others:1. Let them think they’re having their way.2. Let them have it.That’s it. That’s all there is.To make things worse she doesn’t have a plan. This is shopping, not hunting. As a guy, you are not complicated, you take your prey, strap it to your truck and head home.Shopping is nothing like this. You’ll wander aimlessly with her around that great American wasteland, the shopping mall, with no particular goal presenting itself. But you’ve girded your loins. You’re ready.No whining or complaining. Just do your job.During the Holydays you will join other kindred spirits, other guys patiently suffering the same fate. You’ll find them in the back of the store. Way in the back behind the women’s unmentionables near the fitting rooms. There they’ll be serving their sentence for whining and complaining – which is to be served out by holding the purse.You’re in the women’s unmentionable section of the department store, standing up against a wall and looking sheepish. Face it, there’s no manly way to hold the purse and those shopping bags. Whatever you do it will make you look like a perverted, cross-dressing shoplifter.Your wife and/or significant other is in the fitting room. Soon she will emerge dressed in something that’s decidedly not camouflage and blazing orange, and will ask your opinion.This is a trap that you should be evolved enough to avoid.Unless you’re married to supermodel Christy Brinkley or one of those soap opera babes, do not, under no circumstances, give her a definitive answer. And even if you are married to supermodel Christy Brinkley or one of those soap opera babes, you still want to avoid definitive answers. “That’s something.” you’ll mumble. “What do you think?”She knows what she thinks, something you have no way of knowing. You are not clairvoyant, don’t pretend to be.What about her?You need to buy a Christmas gift for your wife and/or significant other.This is tricky.Hark back, for a second to the sentence a couple paragraphs above: “She knows what she thinks, something you have no way of knowing. You are not clairvoyant, don’t pretend to be.”Ask her what she wants for Christmas. She’ll tell you – eventually. She may say something like, “Surprise me!” Don’t do it, under no circumstances.William Shakespeare first asked the question, “What does a woman want?” If a sonnet-writing, tights-wearing SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy) can’t answer it, what chance do you have?And so you ask her a direct question. Do not, however, expect a direct answer.And this, ladies, is where you could cause a paradigm shift.It’s not fair hinting. We love you, but we aren’t paying that much attention. You should know that by now.It’s a waste of time and trees to leave a catalog open to a specific page, with a photo depicting the thing you want. We’ll cast it aside and reach for Sports Illustrated. We love Rick Reilly, in a platonic, poke-another-guy-in-the-shoulder guy kind of way.So there you have it.Vail, Colorado
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