Friday, December 14, 2007

Wii Three Kings Of Orient Are..... Standing In Lines For Gifts Near & Far

As the effects of stuffing ourselves for Thanksgiving begins to fade, the primordial instinct to hunt and gather presents for Christmas takes over. If it were easy, there would be no sport in Christmas shopping. No sense of accomplishment at stalking your prey. No sense of danger navigating the crowded parking lots or shouldering your way through the crowds.

Men should be good at this right?

Truth be told, it scares us to death. We want to buy the perfect gifts, especially for our wives. We want them to know how much we appreciate all they do. To acknowledge how much they sacrificed all year for the family and that seemingly uncaring man-bear we sometimes see staring back at us when we look in the mirror too closely.

If men could say all that we feel in gifts at Christmas, I believe there would be Peace on Earth. But the problem for any man is that shopping for women, especially your wife, requires advanced degrees in feminine psychology and anatomy.

We’ve split the atom, mapped the human genome, and peered back through time to the beginnings of the Universe…but no one, repeat, no one, has yet to unravel how to size women’s clothing. So we stand awkwardly in the no-man’s land of the women’s department, straining our puny man-sized brains as we try to envision wives, mothers or girlfriends in this frock or that.

What leads men to believe the women in their lives will be happy with their keen fashion sense is a mystery. Most of us never perused the pages of Cosmopolitan outside of a doctor’s waiting room and then only after exhausting a year old Popular Mechanics, including all the ads for building your own helicopter at home.

We are just as hapless at accessories. Did a man ever buy a hat a woman could wear or a purse she used? Jewelry is somewhat safer ground for those men a little more well-off financially. After all, precious metals can always be melted down and the stones reset.

Fortunately for our male egos, females have learned to be gracious in the acceptance of awkward gifts. Much like when the cat brings home a bird.
But as hapless as men are at Christmas shopping, women are much more organized. For one thing, they hunt in packs.

It wasn’t strictly a Christmas present for this year, but more of a left-over promise from last, that led to my initiation into the world of the female Christmas shopper. My daughter wanted a Wii gaming system. Two weeks before Thanksgiving our family, like so many others, discovered the Wii was once again sold out.

Seven stores later I began to believe what the sales people at the first store had told us. The Japanese manufacturers of the Wii, still obviously upset at the outcome of WWII or is that WWii, were once again out to destroy Christmas. They were driving up demand with ads on television, while strictly controlling the supply to keep prices artificially high.

Just when I thought all was lost and I had failed miserably as a Christmas Elf, my daughter came up with a plan of attack. First she ferreted out information about the next shipment of the Wii from a friendly salesperson. They would arrive at two different stores in the same mall on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but the stores were not authorized to sell them till Friday morning. It is amazing what kind of information you can get out of the less seasoned temporary Christmas help.

The doors of the mall would open at precisely 6:00 AM and the stores at 7:00. We needed to leave our base camp by 5:00 AM to be in position. Two of the family would assault the first store, while the second team moved into position at the second. Whoever got one in hand first would call the other team.

It was a plan worthy of the Allied Command before D-Day. But like D-Day, or should I say Wii-Day, there was a lot more confusion after the operation began. Fortunately, I was on the winning side.
With just 21 Wii(s) to be had, we were nineteenth in line if you didn’t count pre-teens. At one to a customer, and there would have been a riot had it not been just one to a customer, we made it under the wire.

When I told my wife we had secured the Wii, the first thing she said was. “Great, I’ll call my Mom and tell her to tell her friends they can stop looking.”

“What friends I asked?”

“ Oh, all her female friends.”

Like I said, women hunt in packs. Merry Christmas!