By Greg Proops – Elle Magazine – 1998

      Shopping for a woman is an impenetrable mystery. Most guys haven’t got the slightest clue what to buy for their love kitten. This is because it requires thinking about her needs and not his. This is painful for men, so they avoid it. Sigmund Freud is famous for whining, “What do women want?” Sig didn’t know much about women, or he would never have asked such a question. The answer is so obvious no man could ever conceive it. Women want what women want, not what men want.

      This simple fact is why men give bad gifts. They know they should get her what she wants, but they can’t stop thinking about what they want. This is partly women’s own fault. The first woman guys are required to buy a gift for is their mum but mums love anything their baby gives them: “A handful of leaves, isn’t that sweet?” Put them on the table; they’re lovely.” That kind of reaction does nothing to prepare men for the frosty reality of grown-up-relationship gift giving.

      Let’s go inside the tiny brain of man to find out exactly why, when she wants a Prada bag, he buys her a calender filled with shots of footballers. Guys are trapped in perpetual adolescence, when the world was frightening and women were both feared and desired. To navigate through these trying years, men develop guy logic. It works like this: If + Then = Good. So to shopping: “If she has a pig collection, then that means she likes pigs. Therefore if I always get her a pig thing, she’ll like it.” You can see how guy logic ignores reality and the deeper issues. Like maybe the reason she has a million pig things is because someone gave her a pig when she was little and over the years everyone has given her a bloody pig because they thought she collected them.

      Guy logic always takes the easy way out. But a man must be trained to aim higher. My friend Derek thought he would buy his fiancee something special for her birthday. And she needed a coffee maker, he actually bought one for her birthday. there are men so clueless they would think, “Wow, thats thoughtful”. Wrong, losers, I don’t know much about women, but I know a woman may need a coffee-maker, but she doesn’t want the date of her birth commemorated with one. Coffee-makers make coffee-, they do not say, “I love you”. When a woman says to a guy, “Oh just get me anything”, she does not mean it. She means, ” I have been giving you subtle but specific clues to exactly what I want, and if you don’t get it, I will hate you.”

      Men trick themselves into believing that their own taste is valid. They think,”Hmmm, sexy lingerie… Good, I like sexy underwear. She’ll like it.” This kind of thinking only leads to trouble. If a girl wants to parade in front of a man in hot lingerie she will do it. If it is a guy’s idea, it is disgusting and degrading. A man is unable to think about what a woman might like. They have the innate ability to miss a thousand hints and reminders.

      And yet I believe I know what women want. Shoes. Correct me if I’m wrong. See, I’m not. They want shoes more than they want men. I know men can never replace shoes, but with enough behaviour modification they can be trained to be considered to be gift option. Because the greatest thing a man can give a woman, besides a lifetime of deep passion and total commitment, is a pair of shoes in her size in the style she is dying for.

      Clip this next part out girls and give it to your man – you’ll thank me in the end. Here’s the list: 1) Find out her size. Don’t ask her, look in her shoes. 2) Spend the money; I’m talking about $300 to $400. Yes I know thats litres of beer, but cheap shoes hurt and so will you. 3) Don’t think about what you like. What you like sucks, or you wouldn’t wear running shoes at night.

      It is often said that men are pigs, but thats not altogether true. Pigs are really sensitive and intelligent. but men and dogs can be taught to shop for you. Let’s see a pig do that.

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