Men turn into zombie customers during last-minute holiday rush

Men turn into zombie customers during last-minute holiday rush
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Men turn into zombie customers during last-minute holiday rush

As the calendar approaches the Christmas holidays, men experience a transformation, turning into addled, confused zombies desperately searching for the last-minute gift for their wives, girlfriends and significant others. Although the retail business has a name for every experience, they haven’t figured this male zombie shopper transformation event out yet

By Ray Hanania

Everyday has a commercialized holiday name to help encourage you to spend more and more of your money during the holidays, mostly on junk.

There’s Black Friday. Savings Saturday. Super Sale Sunday. Cyber Monday. Two for Two Tuesday. Half-Price Hump Day, Wednesday. And Triple Thursday. Many of them overlap and although they are set for single day celebrations, they tend to drag on repetitiously because they’re retail sales scams to push you to buy, Buy! Buy!

As much as these holiday monikers are offensive to me, I do find one most amusing. Mindless Male Misery Day, which usually happens during the first weekend before Christmas or two days before. That’s when you walk into stores usually filled with women doing their weekly shopping at Target, Walmart, Jewel, Meijer and more.

On this special occasion, desperate men wander the aisles of stores, usually int he women’s section, trying to figure out what to buy their wives.



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Men shopping at a shopping mall. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Men shopping at a shopping mall. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

They can’t find the G-Spot in bed and they can’t find the G-Spot (Gift-Sweet Zone) during the holidays.

Most learned long ago never to make the one mistake twice that they made when they were first married. Don’t buy your wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. Ouch does the reaction hurt. You’ll never forget to not do that again.

Not every husband is lucky to have a wife who loves to read books by specific authors. But after six years of buying new books by the authors — all of the authors write books that are released in the month or so before the Christmas Holidays. You can get away with that for a few years, but it’s not a permanent go-to choice.

These male last minute holiday male shoppers are willing to spend whatever it takes if they can just figure out what to buy. They have spent past years buying their wives necklaces, earrings, rings and jewelry many times over to the point where they know their wives love the gifts but never wear them. And jewelry, unless it’s really expensive, is boring.

Perfume is the second one. While perfume is a good choice, ensuring you get the brand your wife loves is not that easy. And if you do remember, you discover pretty quickly that after four or five years, the stockpiles of the perfume pile up because the wifey doesn’t use the perfume as often as you might think.

“I already have five bottles of CoCo Channel!”

Surprisingly, retail stores have not figured out this phenomena because if they did, they would stock up the women’s sections with gifts the men can purchase, nudged by pretty sales ladies who encourage the men to spend, spend, spend.

Men know their wives will always say, “Do not spend any money on me this holiday. We got the dishwasher last month.”

But most are smart enough to know that is just not true. She doesn’t mean it. Yes, she says it. Yes, it sounds convincing. Yes, she will argue with you if you pushback. But in the end, you had better buy something.

The phenomena is so important to men that some actually start planning for the frustrating zombie shopping spree, but still fail to figure something out.

The most important thing to remember is you have to listen. You have to listen to what they tell you because they will see things they want but won’t buy themselves. That’s why it’s good to go to the shopping mall with your wife a few times long before the holidays, even though it is boring and miserable for most men. But she will definitely see something and say, “That looks nice.”

Don’t buy it when she does point it out. Make a mental note and come back and buy it. Wrap it. Put it away for the holidays.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts for those men still desperate to find something for their wife.

  • It never hurts to observe your wife when she gets ready in the morning. Look at the things she uses. One option is to purchase something that upgrades or replaces something she already has.
  • Never buy a vacuum cleaner.
  • Don’t buy makeup but do consider bathroom product packages like soap, shampoo, skin cream. Many women’s sections have packaged products that you cannot go wrong with.
  • Does your wife use a mirror in the morning. Find one that has a light built in to replace it.
  • Don’t buy her a razor or shaver. Women are picky about those things.
  • Don’t buy dresses. You could give them a gift card for clothing but that’s lame. Clothing is a very personal thing for women.
  • If you buy sexy lingerie, you’re basically buying it for yourself.
  • Movies, video games, computer equipment are out.
  • Chocolates are great if your wife doesn’t have a weight problem … and remember, it’s not if she is or isn’t fat. It is if she believes she is overweight. You are trending touchy ground here so avoid it.
  • Flowers are good but not good enough. They are reinforcement for a good present. Women love flowers, but not as the gift they expect at Christmas
  • Buy them tickets to a good theatrical production, with dinner afterwards. They love going out. But it all depends on what’s playing. Hamilton is the must-see play but it’s nearly 3 hours long and costs $400 a ticket. It’s just not worth it.
  • Don’t replace a good gift with going to the movies.
  • Don’t buy things for the house, although a robot floor vacuum cleaner isn’t a bad second gift because she doesn’t have to operate it.
  • Slippers are a fun secondary gift, but you had better find that primary gift first
  • Kitchen and cooking gadgets look tempting, but don’t do it. The George Foreman Grill sounds like a great idea but it’s not. If you do that option, you can only get away with it once.

There is no real solution to this predicament for men and husbands. Finding the right gift is important. The closer you are to hitting the real G-Spot (Gift Sweet Spot) the better life will be and the more appreciated you will be, too.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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