At The Eagle's holiday open house earlier this month, several male readers told me they always check out my column and actually read the whole thing "if it's not too girly."
All right, you guys, this one is for you.
It's time to talk holiday shopping. Which is worse: procrastinating and having heart palpitations about now, or getting your shopping done early and fretting over whether it's good enough?
Probably the procrastinator's situation is worse, and the one you're more likely to be in.
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If you've put off shopping, today is the day. No, not tomorrow. Go today because I guarantee you it is going to take you longer than you anticipate. Remember, Monday Night Football waits for no one, so start now.
Before you venture out into the stores, let's discuss a couple of things. Note: This is good advice regardless of your gender because it's from a person who can shop until she's totally dehydrated and nearly hallucinating.
It's all about attitude. The other day I went shopping with a friend, Wichita State women's basketball player Jazimen Gordon.
She had the right attitude: She knew what she was looking for, the stores she wanted to go to and when she'd had enough fun and needed to stop for nourishment. And she didn't do what many of us do — try to get 10 hours of shopping completed in two hours.
As we inadvertently eavesdropped on conversations in the mall, it was obvious not everyone had Jazi's cool demeanor and positive attitude.
"One more 'I want' and I'm going to pop you," a mother said to a boy who looked to be about 9 years old.
We encountered our share of frustrations. Part-time employees had trouble with cash registers. The line to pay for items snaked through the store at more than one location. And I set one store alarm off as I was leaving because a clerk forgot to take the sensor off the pajamas I had bought.
Crowds get big, people get tense and rock star parking is a minor miracle, but somehow it is all fun.
Yes, fun, darn it.
Remember, don't go shopping when you're hungry or thirsty. Shop with purpose! If you take the meandering approach to shopping, you'll still be wandering and "just looking" on Dec. 26.
One more thing: If your sweetie says she doesn't want anything, get her something anyway. At least a little something. Nine times out of 10 she doesn't mean it and will get you something.
Play it safe, Bucko, you'll be glad you did.
Be thoughtful, be happy and it'll be a great Christmas.
Have a good one.