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Online Shopping for a Significant Other: One Man’s Take

August 24, 2009

I do all of my shopping online.

All of it.

Is this relevant to my counterargument? Sure. This simply means that the way I shop is online. So why would I not shop online for my girlfriend?

Nancy’s points boil down to this:

  1. Online shopping is lazy. Nope. It may require less physical movement, but that doesn’t make it lazy.
  2. Online shopping is fast. Nope. It can take just as long, if not longer. Do you know how many options are available online? It’s ridiculous. The only time “saved” is the commute time.
  3. Online shopping is less thoughtful than “real-life” shopping. Nope. No way! Nancy uses the word “misery” here. Why would you want to cause misery to your significant other? That aside, you can buy thoughtless gifts anywhere. For example, in the forums, John mentioned gift cards. Giving a girlfriend a gift card, in my opinion, is fairly thoughtless. However, like John, I like gift cards. For that matter, I like cash. I think you make it special by including a great card.
  4. Online shopping is impersonal. Nope. I think it’s much more personal. I think if you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone, online is clearly the place to find it. I think spur-of-the-moment gifts that you find in person are great, but for a major occasion–the crux of Nancy’s argument–online is the way to go.
  5. Online shopping can lead to late gifts due to shipping mishaps. Nope. Oh, fine, this is true. But it allows for surprises!

Reasons Why Online Shopping Is Better for Major Gifts for My Significant Other:

  1. Prices are generally better online, so I can buy you more stuff.
  2. I can compare more items to one another online, so I can buy you the best stuff.
  3. I can easily access reviews and opinions online, so I can buy you the stuff you’re most likely to like.
  4. I can help the environment by not using gasoline, which also reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
  5. Shopping online decreases the chance that some hot young thing at the mall will seduce me and have her way with me.

I’d like to add one point in Nancy’s favor. There is something sappy and romantic about going above and beyond for a gift. For example, I woke up really early in the morning this past winter to wait in line at Target to get a Wii for my parents. The gift was special for two reasons: One, because it wasn’t something I could easily or reasonably buy online or in person, and two, it was a complete surprise. But there aren’t many gifts like that. Most things are available anywhere, any time.

But Nancy, know this: If there’s something you want to me wake up at the crack of dawn for, something that’s only available once every 7 years when the moon is a half crescent, I’ll get it for you.

Otherwise, this man is shopping online.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. John Aughey permalink
    August 25, 2009 6:19 am

    Boy if I could count the number of times #5 happened to me. That is a big problem.

  2. Neeraja permalink
    August 25, 2009 8:07 am

    Point 5 on Nancy’s points or on Jamey’s points?!?

  3. T-Mac permalink
    August 25, 2009 9:02 am

    After reading both arguments, I’m going to side with Jamey on this. I think a stigma still exists (which I am still working to overcome) that online shopping is lazy, impersonal, and uncaring…but not the way Jamey does it. In many people’s minds, online shopping evokes images of the forgetful husband running to the computer on Christmas Eve during halftime of the football game in which the Dolphins are beating the &%^$ out of whatever team they’re playing (let’s just call it the Patriots, for the sake of this argument), then opening the first web page he can think of, buying the first thing he sees, and then apologizing the next day because his gift clearly got lost in the mail/blaming the shipping. But that’s not Jamey Stegmaier. Jamey keeps a spreadsheet of gifts he’d like to buy for Nancy and for his family. He thoughtfully, carefully, and daintily dons his online shopping apron months in advance and shrewdly shops for good deals on the gifts he knows he wants to buy for Nancy so he can still fit this Carolina Panthers doggie bandana for Kaya into his strict budget with the money he saved (

    I guess my point is this. It’s not about how the gift is obtained, it’s the spirit of the thought that goes into buying the gift. When you wake up on Christmas morning (or any gift receiving morning), you’ll see if you have the perfect guitar with the pink picks or the gift that screams, “This is the first thing I saw on the homepage, and now I’ve made up a reason for how this applies to you.” If you have a thoughtful gift giver, it doesn’t matter where the gift was purchased.

    • T-Mac permalink
      August 25, 2009 9:04 am

      Apparently the doggie bandana site isn’t working. I think it must be because they don’t want dogs wearing any apparel that doesn’t support the Miami Dolphins.

    • August 25, 2009 9:27 am

      I can’t see that doggie bandana, but it sounds awesome.

      Just to clarify, when Trevor writes that I “don [my] online shopping apron,” he’s literally referring to an apron I wear when I shop online. Photos forthcoming. Be aware that it’s the only thing I wear when I shop online. I couldn’t do that at the mall!

      One counterpoint, though. I usually don’t prepare months in advance. I do keep spreadsheets for these things, but it’s usually only weeks in advance that I actually make the purchase.

      Nice summary at the end, Trev.

      • T-Mac permalink
        August 25, 2009 10:42 am

        Indeed, Jamey is actually banned from shopping at West County Mall in St. Louis because of said apron. That’s actually how it went from being a “shopping apron” to an “online shopping apron”. Think hospital gown, but more revealing.

  4. Neeraja permalink
    August 25, 2009 11:42 am

    I’m a woman and I have to side with Jamey too (sorry Nancy!). Going into a store guarantees that you made a trip to make the purchase, but it doesn’t mean it’s more thoughtful than a gift bought online. Plus, shopping at stores is a pain. You might have to go to another store to get the exact model you want. They might be out of stock. Selection is limited.

    This happened to me last night. I wanted to buy Tim some Havaianas flip flops because his are crappy and broken. I went to Shoe Mania at Union Square, looked around, talked to several sales guys, only to realize that the tiny sticker at the top of the Havaianas display said “Women”. No mens. I then went to Foot Locker down the street. No Havaianas at all. I kept walking, and went into another Shoe Mania. Thankfully they had the Mens Havaianas, but only in gray, brown, yellow, and green. I wanted the black. Le sigh.

    I gave up and bought the brown ones because I was tired of the run around.

    • August 25, 2009 1:00 pm

      I’m going to have to side with Jamey too.

      Good points about stock and selection. Does Tim care about all the trouble you went through to get him something you could have gotten online? Is there value in the “trouble?” I think that’s part of Nancy’s case.

    • Bryce permalink
      August 27, 2009 1:39 pm

      This is an excellent point. A couple Christmases ago my wife knew I wanted some of those awesome fuzzy crocs (no, I’m not embarrassed to say! they are sweet…like wearing slipper EVERYWHERE). Anyway, they were not available at any stores in the RIC, so she was forced to by them online from some little store in PA. Had she followed Nancy’s draconian rules, I would have no crocs and I would have to walk barefoot all winter. Is that what you want, Nancy? Is frostbite your goal here? I guess it would provide the “misery” that you so morbidly desire.

      • Nancy permalink
        August 27, 2009 7:21 pm

        Didn’t you support my point with your Snuggie story? Who’s side are you on?? Damn, Bryce! Hey, my grandfather used to walk to school barefoot in the winter and nothing ever happened to him! Granted winters in Egypt were rather lovely and mild in temperature, but still! Man up!

  5. October 14, 2009 5:49 pm

    Also worth noting is that there are some things that you can ONLY get online – for example, I got my sister some personalized bottles of wine (you design a label online). You can try to get that in a store but Binny’s doesn’t take kindly to you sitting in the Pinot Noir aisle pulling labels off bottles and replacing them with crayon drawings.

  6. January 12, 2010 3:19 pm

    Хорошо написал. Так держать!!! 🙂


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