RSS Feed
Nov 22

How to pick a holiday gift for a guy

Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 in dating, Kat, Men, Relationships, Women

“Sara, I am not doing Black Friday with you,” I said a little too loudly on my phone as I walked Roxy.

“Oh, c’mon. It will be fun!”

“Getting up at 3 a.m. is not my idea of fun, unless Sean’s poking me and even then …”

“But you love shopping, Kat.”

“I don’t love it, but, yeah, I like me a good shopping ‘experience’ like any other woman, just not with hundreds of crazed shoppers around me. Anyway, I’m going small this year with the gifts.”

“Well, I need to get Todd something, and I have no idea what to get and how much to spend.”

“It will be near impossible to make a rational decision fighting the hordes half-asleep.”

“You’re right. OK, but … what do I get him?”

And isn’t that the million-dollar question on a lot of people’s minds this time of year, especially if they’re in a new relationship — or not sure if they’re even in a relationship? 

I’m a pretty good gift giver — I think. I listen throughout the year for the “I wish” and “I’d love to get,” and if it hasn’t been bought by year’s end that’s likely what Sean, my kids or my parents will find under the tree. Although I still think the best gifts are the ones you give throughout the year “just because,” not just it’s expected of you. The holidays make everybody crazy.

But when you’ve got a new love? I’m just as stumped as Sara is because you’re still learning about him or her. Until you come to an understanding about gift-giving patterns and expectations — is he a big-gift giver or a non-gift guy? Does he have a sense of who you are or did he buy you something some salesperson talked him into? — you have to give something. But, what?

I’ve made CD compilations in the past, but that’s not OK for everyone and might be considered cheap early on in a relationship. Plus, all that’s changed now because of technology. If he’s an iPad/iPhone guy, you can bet the CD and DVD players are long gone.

Lord knows we all have enough stuff, so I’m loathe to buy just anything. How many hat and scarf sets or leather gloves does a guy need? I prefer to give the gift of experience — a concert, a show, a getaway. Can’t do that early on in a relationship, though — it’s a commitment for a future day, and who knows if you’ll still be together or not?

Then there’s the price thing. How much do you spend on someone you’ve known for six months? A year?

And, do you even give a gift to someone who isn’t your boyfriend or girlfriend, someone you’re just seeing? That’s a tricky one.

Now, I’m easy to give for; cook me a dinner, arrange a picnic hike, tickets to a favorite band — I melt like buttah. Just don’t get me something sparkly; as I’ve written before, if a guy buys me jewelry, I know the relationship is doomed.

So, help me help Sara:

  • If you’re a guy, what do you like to get as a gift?
  • What truly matters more, the thought or the gift? (Be honest!)
  • What would be inappropriate to get from someone you’re been dating six months?
  • Does it bother you if someone you’re dating seems clueless about what you’d like?

 Photo © Mosista Pambudi – Fotolia.com

 

Oct 31

I am woman, hear me ask for help

Posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 in Advice, Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Men, Relationships, Self image, Women

I was in line at the supermarket when a 30-something woman talking on her cellphone wheeled up behind me; I could hear everything she was saying. She was talking about a breakup, or at least it had all the hallmarks of a specific kind of breakup — she was guessing, second-guessing, making excuses, sounding hopeful and teary-eyed all at once.

It was a “He’s Just Not That Into You” Moment if I ever heard one. And a uniquely gal moment.    

I tried to focus my attention on the magazines at the checkout stand, but those were even more depressing — Cosmo wants to boost my confidence and clue me in on guys’ top sex secrets, O magazine wants to tell me how to try my true calling and how to be beautiful.

I know women can’t be the only ones who have self-doubts, but I don’t think guys obsess about it as much as we do — nor do they have such of barrage of messages coming from all sorts of media. I mean, would a guy ever pick up a book like “Why She Disappeared?” Yet, we have “Why He Disappeared” (written by Evan Marc Katz, whom I admire. Hey, I’ll take relationship advice from a guy over a woman any day!).

Are women innately more insecure than men are? Or, do we seek self-awareness more than men do?

Not to say that men don’t look at themselves and their relationships critically; I’m sure they do. And there’s advice for men out there, too, otherwise you wouldn’t see the thriving PUA movement.

It’s just that most of the self-help and relationship books are geared toward women and we’re scooping them up are like crazy. Would all those “Mars and Venus” books and seminars be around if it weren’t for women? Would Oprah and Dr. Phil be who they are without women? Not a chance!

I don’t think it’s because we’re insecure; I think it’s because women blame ourselves when things go wrong and look to others to help us, while guys try to fix things themselves.

So how can we, uh, fix this? (No, I’m not asking for your advice!) I think we need to teach our daughters to be less other-directed, stop blaming ourselves and give them the knowledge to figure things out for themselves first before looking for help. And we need to teach our sons that there’s nothing unmanly about asking others for help and to create safe places for them to express their emotional vulnerabilities.

OK, now I am asking for your advice:

  • Why do women blame themselves so much?
  • Why would men rather go it alone than ask for help?

 

Oct 18

The lesson of Sara Leal

Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 in Celebrities, dating, Men, Parenting, Relationships, Sex/sexuality, Singles, Women

“Do you think Sara Leal’s attractive?” I asked Sean as we snuggled on a lazy Sunday morning.

“Who’s that?”

Sean’s a smart guy, but he’s not too hip when it comes to the latest celebrity or celeb scandal — thankfully!

“The young blond party girl who had sex with Ashton.”

“Why do you pay attention to that stuff?”

Good question. I really don’t because I just can’t stand our celeb-obsessed culture. But as someone who likes to observe people — and as a mom —a Sara Leal is someone to pay attention to.    

Why? She’s pretty, young, has a great bod and can party with best of them — the kind of girl a lot of guys like to sleep with.

Now, I never would have heard about Sara and I’ll bet neither would have any one else if she hadn’t had unprotected sex — twice — with Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore’s husband.

So why do I know about the 22-year-old? Because after first asking for $250,000 to shut up about it, which obviously didn’t happen, she then blabbed about it to anyone who would listen (which, sadly, is a huge portion of the population) — presumably for cash — saying that sleeping with him has messed up her life.

No, Sara, the truth is, you messed up your life. Sleeping with a married man (OK, he allegedly told her he was separated, but still) is bad enough but I won’t judge other people’s actions. But sleeping with him and then selling your story and all the details (“He had great endurance. We were up for a while. It was about two hours.”) to magazines isn’t going to help you move past your part-time modeling gig.

Except, of course, it probably will. I imagine Sara’s already entertaining offers to pose naked in Playboy, and I wouldn’t doubt that we’ll soon see her on reality TV. To get your 15 minutes of fame nowadays all you have to do is sleep with a high-profile guy once or twice, sell your story or pictures of it, or both, and you’ll pocket a few thousand to ease your heartbreak.

If I were a mom of a daughter, we’d probably be having a long discussion about how not to get famous by going the Sara Leal route. Being naive and stupid (unprotected sex?) and then opportunistic is a very ugly combination, no matter how pretty you are.

Then there are all the topless picture of her circulating on the Internet and descriptions by friends that she “parties a lot” and would “go out with her best friends, and she’d get drunk and be the fun girl.” This is not something to be known for. Being a party girl ages you pretty quickly.

And her 15 minutes of fame from all of this will blow away quickly, and she’ll spend many more years trying to get people to forget about it than being able to capitalize on it. Need proof? Look at Monica Lewinsky, who didn’t seek fame but who got it anyway.

Reading some of the comments on the online stories about the Sara-Ashton “event,” guys are calling her skanky but in the same breath saying, “but I’d still f@*k her.” Because that’s how people will see her now. I have to wonder — was it worth it?

Knowing that about some guys, and I’m mom to a guy, I’ll be talking about Sara Leal to The Kid, too. While Ashton may have been a relatively safe bet for having unprotected sex with since he’s been married for the past six years, Sara is a party girl. If she’s having sex on the first hookup with no protection, you can pretty much bet she doesn’t use protection, period, and the consequences of that could be disastrous — STDs, AIDs, a baby. I really want my kid to think about that.

Beyond the sex part, I’d want to explore with him why guys find someone like Sara Leal — with her heavy makeup and boozy partying — attractive? OK, that was a stupid question — I know why guys find someone like Sara Leal attractive. Which makes me think we have a very skewed idea of what’s attractive.

When I explained to Sean why, as a mom, I feel a need to talk about Sara Leal, I asked him again if he thought she was attractive. “No,” he said, “but I’d still f@*k her.”

  • Is there a message for kids in the Sara Leal saga?
  • Is there a message for all of us in the Sara Leal saga?