A Tag-Away-and-blender-filled Christmas
Iāll admit it probably isnāt easy buying me a Christmas gift. In fact, at some point it becomes tough to buy for just about any man.
Most of us could use clothes, but generally our mental visions of ourselves donāt match up to the old man ties or vee-neck sweaters we get. After that, most of our unfulfilled wants and desires are either too expensive or are on photo shoots for Sports Illustrated. In either case, theyāre probably not going to wind up under the tree.
Writing this two weeks before Christmas I really have no idea what Iād buy for myself. I have a vague notion Iād like some pants, but the vanity sizing has made it an epic program just to figure out what size you are any more. Chances are if someone bought me pants Iād just have to take them back. So essentially Iād be getting a trip to a crowded department store. Good times.
I became convinced the other day after watching an infomercial that I needed and desperately wanted a hopped-up food processor called a Ninja. (By the way, how many products are now named after Ninjas or Yetis? Itās out of control.) When I mentioned this to my wife, she started grilling me about what I would do with this fancy Ninja. "You gonna drink high-protein juices instead of eating steak?ā Well, no. "You gonna make healthy smoothies for dinner?ā Well, no.
At the end of the interrogation it became clear all I really wanted the Ninja for was to make ice cream in 20 seconds and to turn ice into snow to make margaritas. Guess I didnāt really want it that much after all.
The only other thing that has really caught my eye lately is a product called Tag Away, which is an "all-naturalā skin tag remover. I donāt have skin tags, nor do I even know anyone with skin tags, but for some reason the product is intriguing. I just like to imagine someone opening a bottle of it Christmas morning. Then again, I probably wouldnāt want to be the one opening a bottle of Tag Away. It would probably hurt my feelings.
As we age, itās important to make it easier to shop for one another. Each year my parents and siblings and our families pick names so we donāt have to give each person a cheap gift, the theory being if we spend $50 - $75 on a nicer gift, weāll at least get one thing we want instead of 20 bottles of Tag Away. This is a practical thing to do when you have a large extended family and are relatively skin tag free.
I grew up the oldest of five kids, so buying six presents was always tough, especially when youāre only banking about $20 a week mowing lawns. Some of us put more effort into it than others, though. My youngest brother was notorious for always giving the rest of us really cheap gifts while we at least made some kind of effort on his behalf.
One Christmas morning I opened my gift from him and it turned out to be a cassette tape of "Billy Joelās Greatest Hits ā Volume 2.ā Itās the Volume 2 part thatās the kicker in this tale of Christmas woe.
While Iāve never been a massive Billy Joel fan, Iām sure I would have enjoyed his Volume 1 greatest hits that contain songs like "Piano Man,ā "Sheās Always a Womanā and "Captain Jack.ā Such a song collection would have probably run in the $10-$12 range in the mid-ā80s.
Volume 2, while containing a couple of good songs, was mostly comprised of dogs like "Pressure,ā "Allentownā and the always horrific "Uptown Girl.ā While doing my own shopping at the mall, I had spied BJās Volume 2 in the "dollar binā outside the Record Bar. In fact, it seemed about half the tapes in the bin were Volume 2. So not only had my brother bought me Billy Joelās crappiest songs, he only spent a buck doing it.
I busted him. "You got this out of the dollar bin!ā I said. It may be the thought that counts, but really how much thought goes into a dollar bin Billy Joelās Greatest Hits ā Volume 2? He tried to protest that heād paid full price, but my other brothers had seen the dollar bin as well. He finally flippantly fell back on "I thought you really like Billy Joel.ā Heās never lived down the dollar bin Christmas and frankly the story is worth far more than even a Night Ranger tape would have been back then.
This year I have my brother Brian to buy for and heās done it the right way and made it easy. His lovely wife already sent me a link to purchase him a pair of the same ridiculous K-Swiss tennis shoes heās been wearing since 1982. Heās on the 50th pair and Iām pretty certain heās the only person in America still wearing that particular model made popular at the same time Molly Ringwald was a star.
I like to imagine the K-Swiss people in a meeting with a U.S. map showing sales of their Classic Menās Sneaker. Every place shows negative numbers for the sales except in St. Augustine, Fla. where he lives. "Weāre still holding strong in Florida, Chief!ā some underling pipes up as the boss grimaces.
And so sales of the Classic Menās Sneaker will be strong again in a very small demographic area. Gotta say at least the man knows what he likes.
I wish I could say the same. With Christmas bearing down upon us I know itās time to come up with something I want, to at least give my wife and other family members a fighting chance of making me happy Christmas morning.
Despite the obvious fact I donāt need it, Iām still not completely offing the Ninja as a possibility. I bet it could whip Billy Joelās Greatest Hits ā Volume 2 and a bottle of Tag Away into a fantastic Christmas smoothie.
Merry Christmas and thank you for a great 2012 Lagniappe readers and advertisers!