Transplanted Life
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Christmas shopping
It's funny, I hadn't really considered that with my current two best friends being women, and me appearing to be a one as well, Christmas shopping was going to be tricky. It's not like I've never shopped for the fair sex before; it's just that in the past, I've always had some direction. The girl in question was my girlfriend, or a friend of reasonably long standing. Someone I knew well, or probably at least better than I know Kate and Jen. And even if it wasn't, I could count on some helpful retail person coming over to ask what I was looking for when I stood in the middle or a bunch of girly stuff, looking more than a little confused.

Today, though, I stood in the middle of Bath & Body Works, on a vague memory that girls like smelly stuff (whereas a guy was more likely to respond to a B&BW gift basket with "are you saying I've got some kind of nasty BO?"), and, of course, all the salespeople acted like I should know this stuff. Even when someone does try to help, it goes something like this:

"Hello, can I be of some assistance?"

"I hope so. I'm trying to get presents for a couple of friends, and I'm not sure what to go with."

"What type of skin do they have?"

"Uh, they're both white..."

...and it goes downhill from there. Around the third store, I was ready to pitch a fit, decrying it as sexist that just because I was a woman, I was supposed to be some sort of walking encyclopedia of skin and hair care. Come on, that's nothing more than a silly stereotype! It's not like there's some sort of compulsory class on this stuff that women have to take when they first develop secondary sexual characteristics (there isn't, right?); it's just something women may or may not know, and shame on you for assuming I've got nothing better to fill my head with than what kind of unguents and ointments another woman might need.

I found it was kind of healthy to decompress - after dealing with the bath oil store, go into Best Buy and ask whether a given HDTV is capable of displaying a 720-line progressive-scan image, because that's the resolution ABC and most HD-supporting Xbox games use, even though many other sources are 1080-line interlaced. This, of course, leads to its own problems: The easiest is when the guy asks for specifics on my input sources and I have to admit I'm just browsing. More often, it's male floor people not wanting to act like some woman knows more about electronics than they do and feeding me a line of BS, or even worse, "is this something your husband/boyfriend told you was important?" The latter of which, of course, makes me feel like I'm back in the slime store.

So, the upshot is that it's about a week until Christmas and I still haven't gotten my meager shopping done. I did pick up The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen on DVD, though, just because it was the last movie I saw in the theater as a guy; manages to give that goofy movie a little sentimental value.

Amusing link of the day: I knew it!
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