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OTHER ITA SITES:
Demystifying Gift Cards
Buying a greeting card for the woman in your life can be a daunting task. I have seen more than one man with that deer in the headlights look on his face heading to the greeting card racks. Being the dominant creature that he is, he summons his strength and moves with cat-like prowess... only to find himself thumbing through card after card, toying with one card, then on and on through the others. It is not a pretty sight, this cat-and-mouse hunt for the perfect expression.
Any man can master the fine art of greeting card selection if he's willing to follow a bit of female advice.
1. Know the occasion. If it's her birthday, buy a birthday card. She won't appreciate a one-size-fits-all-occasions card on her anniversary either. All greeting card displays are organized by occasion. By reading the category signs, you can go directly to "Birthdays", "Anniversaries" or any other particular category, saving precious time. It works just like the beer case at the supermarket...domestics and imports each have their own section.
2. Know the woman. This is a do-able task, even for men in new relationships. Pay attention when she opens gift cards and shows them to you. File her reaction in that "stuff-I-gotta-remember" area... right there between "all babies are beautiful" and "fuchsia is not pink". If you've just met the woman and absolutely don't have a clue about her tastes, choose a very generic card, but always include a handwritten note to personalize it. Women treasure greeting cards like men treasure power tools and hang on to them forever.
3. Never, ever... also for your "stuff-I-gotta-remember" file... buy a card that mentions the age of the woman or makes any reference to her age. It's an across-the-board given that women in general don't appreciate sentiments of this type. Nor do they find humor in greeting cards that make any reference to weight issues.
Avoid these types of greeting cards however appropriate you may think they are for the occasion. Remember, you're buying a card for a woman here. Think of a greeting card for her just like she thinks of shoes. Just because they fit doesn't mean she'll enjoy wearing them. If you have any doubts, just look in her closet...her most favorite pair of shoes may be a size too small, but she feels like a million dollars when she wears them.
Greeting Cards to avoid like the plague:
Themes making reference to cooking mishaps... so she set off the fire sprinklers, she was trying to make your favorite meal. This includes no fire trucks, smoking food, or blackened ovens.
Themes making reference to driving mishaps... so she can't parallel park her car or any car, but she was running an errand for you. This includes no police cars, tow trucks, or bent fenders.
Themes making reference to organizational proficiency.... so she did put your socks in the wrong drawer, at least she did put them in matching pairs. This includes no messy desks, crammed closets, or cluttered purses.
Themes making reference to any personal appearance crisis...so her hair did have that glow-in-the-dark effect. You're the one who said she'd look great as a blonde. This includes no pictures of women with fuzzy perms, hair curlers, or green hair.
Guys will be amazed at how much easier the greeting card selection process is after eliminating the above categories.
4. Do consider a humorous card, if appropriate for the occasion, but only if the woman has a good sense of humor. Not sure? Then leave it in the card rack...better safe than sorry.
5. Humorous cards with animals are often a good bet especially if the woman has a beloved pet. Use your head here guys, if you despise her dog, don't buy a card featuring the animal control dude with a net.
6. Use sexy cards sparingly and only if you have a close, intimate relationship with the woman. Never give a greeting card with sexual connotations to a woman with whom that is uncharted territory or to a woman with whom you have no intentions of entering that territory. It doesn't do much for the image of the male gender.
7. If you find more than one card that is appropriate buy more than one. Store the others for next year. You can even go out on a limb here and give her more than one card. She'll love that you have so much to say.
8. Never just sign a card and give it to a woman. Remember that like me, most women cherish cards and keep them to reread, especially when a thoughtful personalized message is added by the giver.
Now get out there you beasts of jungle and show women that you can rule those greeting card racks like the kings that you are with the same finesse that they wave a wand of mascara.
If my guidelines are too tedious or you're truly too busy to shop for cards consider using Hallmark.com to personalize and send your cards for you. They offer a very affordable and convenient service if you don't mind having the card sent separately from any present you may give. You can find out more about their card sending service at: http://www.Hallmark.com
(c) 2004. Davis Virtual Assistance. All rights in all media reserved. Reprint permission granted so long as article/by-line remain intact.
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