Saturday, November 26, 2005

Less Costly To Be A Guy

The fact that my sister's birthday is so close to Christmas has never failed to vex me. Add that to the fact that I tend to leave gift buying for the last minute, and you have a very freaked out Mezba who remembers on the day that he has to get something for her on the way home from work. In the past I could get away by giving her cash (which I tought was a good strategy for both of us) but in recent years I have decided to actually put an effort into buying the gift. You know, be sensitive.

Oh boy! If you want to know how many people (specifically brown people) there are in Toronto, come to Scarborough Town Center during the Christmas season. Every guy and his wife and kids and grandparents are there. After 20 minutes I found a parking spot and headed first for Walmart.

Buying a gift for guys like my brother is easy. I just head for the toys section and buy one of a)gun b)car c)Goosebumps d) anything with Spiderman on it. Buying a gift for a girl is a little tougher. Fortunately I ran into Shireen and her husband in the mall, and she suggested to me that perfumes are always good gifts for girls (perhaps a hint for her husband?). Checking out the perfumesEau de Toilettes sold at Walmart, I headed for Sears.

It was after browsing the women's section for perfumes and cosmetics (and getting weird looks from the salesladies there) that a sudden thought struck me - women pay much more for the same stuff than we men do.

A set of Calvin Klein perfumes (3 small bottles) for women - $95. The men get a set of 5 for $59. Elizabeth Arden perfumes, one small bottle was $86 (ouch!). The men had a perfume and aftershave for $63. I am quoting the prices roughly from memory, and observed the same phenomenon for Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Tommy, Adidas.

Moving on to the cosmetics section, I was surprised to see there were some cosmetics for men (the Beckham effect I guess). Anyways, you could buy a whole gift set of moisturizing lotion, cream, skin cleaner (whatever that is), hair gel and some other crap for about $50. For the women some lipstick sets alone were over $100.

Clothes. I was thinking of getting my sister a new funky coat. I looked at a leather jacket that I always fancied for myself. It was $140. Then I picked up a women's long coat, made of cheaper material than the leather jacket. $199. As I walked back towards Walmart, I saw they had men's underwear in a 3-pack for $5. And no, I didn't go over to the corresponding women's section to check out their prices.

Conclusion? It's far less costly to be a guy than a girl. Unless you have to buy gifts, ofcourse.



Crimson Mouzi said...

I observed that before too. When I went to the mall to buy stuff for my Brother and brother-in-laws I noticed that huge price disparity. It's dfinitely far less costly to lead a man's life. Not only outfits and cosmetics and stuff, but just about anything! Specially in the Bengali community you will hear that a lot how parents have to pick a better/more expnsive neighborhood because otherwise they don't feel as safe with their daughters in the house.

Jane said...

Hi Mezba.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes it is true and unfair that for some reason women's goods are nearly always priced higher than men's. Haircuts, blue jeans, shirts, colonge....considering that most women's clothing requires less fabric I find it very odd. And the can it cost so much more to make a scent for a woman? Now, I'm the kind of gal that likes to give out gift cards to the receipient's favorite store. They're happy and it's easy shopping for me. Good luck with your sister's gift.

Aisha said...

a)gun b)car c)Goosebumps d) anything with Spiderman on it <-- You freaked me out. First I thought, he buys his brothers guns and cars? This guy is a) loaded and b)GUNS arent toys! and then I realized after reading "goosebumps" you must have verrrry little brothers :) aww :)

Personally I think guys are hardest to shop for. Girls are easy. Kashif always knows what to get me, I can never figure out what to get him. You guys are so low maintenance usually... how much cologne does a guy want? I usually end up buying clothes.

Shabina said...

I agree with Aisha. You can always give girls chocolate, or flowers, or balloons and stuffed animals.

But with, my brothers are expensive! Guys like electronics, and that costs money. Guys like clothes, and cologne, and both of those cost money. Ya heard?

Anonymous said...


you have to put "toy" in front of cars and guns! the comment above made me laugh out loud (at work too) but I know you have a kid brother.

Guys are expensive to buy gifts for, but as far as regular every day stuff goes I think it's easier to be a guy. We girls take pride in our appearance!

- Farah

mezba said...

PArab: Yes I think families are more cautious about neighborhoods when they have daughters. I know many families where the parents will drop their kids off to university (!) but the guys can take the bus.

Jane: lol@ the less fabric comment.

Aisha: oh Aisha your comment was classic! I read the sentance you mentioned and totally realized anyone who didn't know I had a kid brother would be like "what the".

Aisha, Shabina: Really? I never realized we guys are expensive. I guess for gifts ya its true we like electronics, but what about regular stuff?

Farah: lol. after reading Aisha's comment I wanted to change the sentance but that would spoil her comment's effects. Ya I guess we guys don't care too much about looks, but only when we do mundane stuff like going shopping for groceries or taking the car to the mechanic - I have seen women dressed to the nines there!

mezba said...

PArab: I can't see your blog on either Firefox or IE. Did you remove it? The only thing seen is the blogger navbar at the top.

katy said...

There was an article sometime ago about who needs to pay for a date. The man or the woman? In defense of the man picking up the tab there was a list of things women were expected to buy and do before a date and how much it costs. (See: Makeup, waxing, tanning, clothes, perfume, manicure, hair, special underset-if you are that kind of girl- hose, shoes, mad money for cabs, etc etc etc.) The girl spent about $160-$200 on the date preparation and the guy spent $80-$100 on the dinner and movie AND preparation.

The real question is how do we get to be the people making all this money off of women? Nice work if you can get it.

goBgoB said...

how true! another reason why men have it better than women... Grr.

and i agree with the comments; it is so bloody hard to shop for guys!!!

Zainub said...

I tend to think shopping as a whole is a difficult task, made all the more difficult when you don't have to shop for your self. Cash thus IMHO remains the best gift you can give to either gender.