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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

 

Nov 15

Kat Von D, my turkey and believing we’re different

Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 in Affairs/infidelity, Celebrities, Honesty, Kat, love, Relationships

I’m not sure why this somehow didn’t register with me before, but yesterday is when I realized for the first time that Thanksgiving is next week. Which meant I had to order a turkey — ASAP.

Holidays like Thanksgiving, where there are certain culinary expectations, means you have to detailed plans; what gets picked up when, what gets cooked first, etc. No one wants to deal with the crowds at the supermarket on the day before, so I ordered mine to be picked up on Tuesday — as if I am the only person who would think of that. Somehow, I have a feeling Tuesday will be as crowded — if not more — than Wednesday. Too late.

People are funny that way; we are predictably irrational, as MIT professor Dan Ariely says. 

Which is what I think about tattoo artist Kat Von D’s reaction to the discovery that her ex-fiancee, Jesse James, cheated on her with 19 women in the past year of their on-again, off-again engagement.

Because given his history, you’d want to ask her, what were you thinking? Everyone else was thinking once a cheater, always a cheater.

Although, how many of us date or marry people who cheated on their spouse to be with us? Well, lots of us. What does that say about us?

Few people in online comments have been kind to Kat — in fact, most are downright cruel (of course, so many people aren’t kind in online comments, period!). If they aren’t shaming her, they’re asking, How could you think you were different than anyone else?

Beside the tats, that is.

But, of course we all feel like we’re different than everyone else to a certain extent or in certain situations: We’re never going to be the one who gets cancer, even though we smoke. We’re not going to get a DUI, even though we drive home after a three-martini happy hour. We don’t keep emergency supplies ready even though we live in quake-ridden Bay Area and The Big One is due. And we’ll avoid the crowds at Thanksgiving by picking up our turkey on Tuesday, not Wednesday.

Are we stupid? In denial? Irrational? All of the above and more?

I do not totally convinced of the adage “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” Depending on what drove a person to cheat, I think some people can change; I did.

I am pretty sure we’re capable of cheating on someone we truly love.

I am positively certain that we rationalize a lot of our actions because we actually believe we are different than everyone else.

What about you?

Oh, and see you at the supermarket …

Jun 13

Should you tell your partner everything?

Posted on Monday, June 13, 2011 in Advice, Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Relationships

Sean and I were snuggled under the covers, the blissful few moments of naked skin on naked skin before we had to get up and start our day. Despite the cozy scene, my mind was a mess; I kept thinking about the woman at the party the other night who was so sluttily hanging all over him.

She was also very blond, very busty and very pretty, so of course Sean — being a guy —was enjoying the attention.   

So I sighed.

“What?” Sean asked.

“What, what?”

“You sighed.”

“And?”

“Oh, it sounded like you were about to say something.”

This was my in, my chance to say something about the mate-poaching blonde.

Thankfully, I didn’t. There are some things you just shouldn’t tell your partner. Period.

I’m all for honesty and openness in a relationship, but some things do more damage than good.

Would I “damage” my relationship if I told Sean that I was uncomfortable about how much attention the blonde was lavishing on him, or how much he was clearly loving it?  He’d probably say that I was being insecure, or jealous or making something out of nothing. And, he’d probably be right.

But you can’t— or shouldn’t — be mum about everything. How do you know what to confess and what to keep to yourself?

I think you have to decide which secrets make the relationship more loving and which come from self-interest.

How much and how often you keep mum determines whether you sink or swim as a couple.

I decided to keep us swimming.

“All I was going to say was that I love you so much,” I told Sean as we snuggled even closer.

  • What do you withhold from your relationship? Why?
  • Ever confess something you wish you hadn’t?

Photo © summerdays – Fotolia.com