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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

The fraternity guy's guide to giving gifts to girls

By Dave Connell

December 15, 2006 | So there is nothing that messes up a good thing with a girl like Christmas, you inevitably get her the wrong present for whatever stage your relationship is in. College is especially difficult with all the serial monogamy that is going on.

Well guess what guys? You've got a friend in the know. Don't think I've haven't learned anything in my five years at school? First and foremost, fellas, you don't get the girl you've been "hanging out with" for a month a Burberry bag, unless you've got more money than brains. Your gifts should reflect the level of emotional attachment, or lack thereof, to this person.

To a girl you've been seeing for a couple weeks you have to get her something that shows her that if she sticks around, there might be good things coming her way. You don't want to come on too strong, otherwise you'll look like a gump. Some good ideas: Try getting her flowers, and take her to dinner and a movie. I'm not sure why chicks love that kind of stuff but they do, it's inexplicable. Or, you could get her a gift certificate to somewhere she shops for clothes. This is very lazy and wrong, but some guys are just lazy and wrong. If you are not an astute observer of clothing, get her a certificate to Borders or any good bookstore. If she doesn't seem like a reader (if you know what I mean) then get her a membership to Mulligans. Upside: You can get in to the club on her membership for a whole year, you clever devil.

If your relationship has progressed to the point where you've admitted it to your friends, you're in deep my friend, but you should buy her something nice. Get her something for her apartment. ANYTHING BUT A TOASTER. I gave this girl a toaster once; it was the beginning of the end. Our relationship was never the same. All soured by hearing her say, "I need a toaster." Then getting her one. I'll never understand women.

You should get her a nice DVD player or even an XBOX. This will pay dividends in the long run, because the next time you are waiting for her to get ready to go out, you can waste time by playing Tony Hawk. Well done sir! You could always get her a bottle of perfume she likes to wear, but this involves snooping through her drawers to find the name, and if caught, you will certainly have some explaining to do.

While I may not be a fan of long-long term relationships, some people are. I usually don't see my friends who are in these so-called "committed relationships," unless it is horribly dysfunctional. I suppose that if I was in a committed, long term relationship. I would pony up the cash to get her something cool. So, if you are in one of these you probably need to get her jewelry, dude. At the very least some designer stuff, I hear Chanel is popular.

A good friend of mine, Adelena Shelton, says guys who are in long term relationships should, "Get her a Burberry Bag, or a dog! Please can we get a dog? Dave, I seriously want a dog! Miniature dachshunds are so cute!" Pets aren't generally a good idea, but if you let her know beforehand, the declared ownership of the dog and tell her upfront, "No, it cannot stay at my house all the time." A dog is a big commitment and could lead to an ugly dog-custody battle. In these circumstances it never hurts to visit an attorney and have him draft a dog pre-nup. Always a good idea to cover your bases.

If you get your girl some jewelry, make sure that it's legit. When the inevitable break-up comes you have to know that she'll get it appraised. If you get her a fake rock, or just crap jewelry altogether she'll be perfectly fine with her decision to dump your un-ambitious bones. If she finds out you actually spent some serious scratch, she'll look back on your time together with fond memories. It's nice to be remembered well, I'm told. She might even tell her new boyfriend he is worthless because he never buys her jewelry. I bet that is a nice feeling.

Whatever you decide to get your old lady, there are some things that you should under no circumstances get women. Don't get her gift certificates to a Spa. Don't get her candles. Don't get her chocolates; she'll already be having anxiety from the fourth-helping-of-turkey holiday weight. Don't get her clothes. (You'll mess this up, I promise.)

The thing that is most important in gift giving, especially when it comes to women, is that it's not really about money, it's really about thought. It's only kind of about money. What it's really about is: How much you thought about spending a lot of money on her.



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