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raging out at... buying birthday gifts

Maybe it's just me, but why is it a million times more difficult to buy a man you're involved with a birthday present? Women are far simpler in at least this one respect. If you've been romantically involved for a long time, you're always safe with diamond earrings. If it's a relatively new relationship or she's a good friend you're hoping for more with, you can always order flowers or some gift basket of lotion and body products. Everywhere practically online delivers these things (in most cases, you can even pay extra if you wait until the actual day you need it). It requires no effort other than having an internet connection and a credit card number.

But not so much for men. Today I'm struggling because every single factor that could come into play to make gift-giving difficult has arisen. I know everyone is beyond excited for me to list all these factors, so please wait no more and allow me.

1. Confusing Ambiguous Relationship Status
I am sure at some point you've attempted to buy a gift for a person you're kinda sorta seeing but is definitely not your boyfriend/girlfriend but has seen you naked and still talks to you so you're not off the hook. Is that sentence confusing? Good, because that embodies exactly how confusing it is to buy this person something. You can't go overboard with the gift because then you look like you're reading more into things than are actually there. But if you're totally thoughtless, you may give off the vibe that you don't care. Fantastic. Does anyone know a website for thoughtful yet nonchalant and breezy gifts?

2. For The Guy/Gal Who Has Everything
It's been said time and again, but truly, what in the holy balls do you buy someone who has everything? Back in the day, it was always relatively simple to buy my broke ass part-time waiter college boyfriend something. There was always some video game or random item he desperately wanted but was too busy spending his 4 dollar paycheck on beer to buy. Not exactly romantic but always much appreciated when I picked it up for him. But as you get older and you start to date not-pothead-waiters, it's much more difficult. If you land yourself a good dude with a great job, you may have hit the life jackpot, but it's the whammy of gift giving - especially if you're anything like me and a good chunk of the American population and are broke as hell. I can see it now. "Hey rich boy, I reached into the depths of my brain and bank account and pulled out this Barnes and Noble gift card for $18.34. No need to thank me, you enjoying 2 and a half magazines is all the thanks I need." Ugh.

3. Not Knowing Someone Quite Well Enough
This actually is only a minor issue, but an issue none the less. Not knowing someone well enough eliminates gag gifts (who knows how they will react?) and tiny gifts that, while inexpensive, are something so perfect for the person that the cost is a non-issue.

4. Birthday On A Sunday
This really sets me off. Inevitably, when you wait until the last minute, you can still have something delivered. Unless, of course, the gift receiver in question's birthday lands on a Sunday. In that case, you're screwed. Nothing says "hey I hope maybe you and I turn into the real deal" better than a box of Snookie's Cookies that arrives a day too late. Outstanding, so now not only does my gift suck but it sucks belatedly.

Well, I should perhaps leave you all with that last one. It is Sunday, after all, and I still haven't bought a gift.


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