Tuesday, December 13, 2005

COLUMN: Girls Are Still Weird

Last week in these pages, I proffered to you my latest theory, calculated at great expense of both time and manpower (or, at the very least, Shanepower.) It will, I hope, revolutionize society as we know it. The theory goes like this: GIRLS ARE WEIRD. I arrived at this conclusion after careful study of the females that surround me daily in the workplace. More specifically, I'm talking about their tendency to waste hard-earned money on overpriced knick-knacks and what-nots that adorn the many shop-at-work catalogs that circulate around our office.

Guys, it may look like your female co-workers are hard at work, but in actuality, the naked eye is simply not fast enough to see the product catalogs that are whizzing back and forth amongst them at the speed of sound. And employers, this news may come as a shock to you - but don't chastise your employettes for their catalog craze; I'm fairly certain that, once the numbers get added up, they're the glue that holds our fragile economy together in the first place.

Like any good researcher, I've spent the last ten years here at the paper trying to gain the trust of the girl gaggle here at work, in hopes of finally procuring some of these catalogs for myself. Yes, it took time, but men, I have seen of their hidden world and lived to tell this tale. From candles to chocolate, sausages to spatulas, I have seen the catalogs. Yes, guys, it's a scary world.

This is a direct quote from a Partylite catalog I stumbled upon: "I'm thrilled with the new Moroccan Spice Beaded Sconce! It's such an exciting addition to this collection -- beautiful on a wall or a tabletop!" Yes, we all know that when it comes to thrills and excitement, it gets no better than large chunks of smelly, dormant wax. I mean, really, who needs a Steven Seagal movie when you've got a (gasp) CANDLE?!

But one catalog amazes me beyond all others. One catalog that proudly defies nature's ability to make people say "Umm, no" to incredibly overpriced items. One catalog that dares to take a $4 pound of wicker and turn it into a $120.00 work of art. One catalog that goes by the name of...

Wait. I can't say their name. Too many of you out there are reps. The second I start making fun of the company, I'll be deluged by hate mail from freaky basketeers. I know -- I'll make up a fake name so that no one gets mad. Okay, let me just think up a name at random... okay, got it. For the purposes of this article then, let's call the company "Dongaberger." (Any similarities to existing companies should be considered strictly coincidental.)

Dongaberger makes baskets. And not those shoddy, run-of-the-mill baskets that you can find at a sub-standard basket emporium. No, siree. Dongaberger makes high quality, handcrafted baskets that are admired for their craftsmanship. I didn't just make that up; I found this out by going to the website of the world's leading basket authority (which, coincidentally enough, is also Dongaberger.)

Silly me, I just thought baskets were for putting stuff in. How naive of me. Putting stuff in them takes away from the appreciation of the basket's innate basket-ness, I guess. That's why every single Dongaberger basket is hand initialed at the bottom. I don't know which Dongaperson does the initialing, but the girls at my work consider those initials nothing less than a divine blessing of maximum basketosity.

And let's be honest, when you're dropping triple digits worth of cash on a basket, you don't want to sully it up by throwing some tomatoes in there. That's why Dongaberger goes to the trouble of making protective liners for their baskets (sold separately, of course.) And yes, Dongaberger reps, I'm sure that the liners are probably made of a space-age polymer developed by NASA to allow the baskets to breathe while at the same time curing cancer and saving the dolphins. But to the untrained eye (i.e. me and all other men on the planet,) the protective liners appear to be made of the same plastic that one gets when one opens up a container of Cup Cakes. The liners do come in many shapes, allowing your baskets the practicality of holding things like up to 6 CD's, one tasty beverage, or, perhaps, two Cup Cakes.

To each their own, I guess. I suppose that, maybe, if baskets are your thing, then Dongaberger's not overpriced. You waste money on baskets; I waste money on music, and one more basket loving nutbag means one less music nerd I have to fight over new releases with on Tuesdays. I can look at my wall of CD's and find Japanese imports that have cost half my paycheck. To me, that's normal; others may call it weird. So, ladies, I might pick on your shopping tastes, but at the end of the day, we're ALL weird. And us guys are still going to want to date you. And marry you. And adorn our houses with baskets just so you weirdos are happy. Sheesh.

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