Monday, July 21, 2008

Girly Gift: The No-No List

Girly over at Lingerie and Dishpan Hands challenged me a while back to do a compliment to her Girly Gifts series, where she enlightens us all, and especially clueless men, to what the most feminine of women want to unwrap. So without further ado, I'll tell you what NOT to give to your special lady. Keep in mind that this isn't necessarily a universal list, as your significant other may really enjoy one or two of these things...

The Top Ten No-No Gift List For Women

10. Cooking classes - Did you just insult her cooking skills? Unless she is an aspiring chef, these are totally unnecessary to her. She has been handed down recipes from her mother, that were given to her by her mother, and so on. She may have fiddled with the ingredients a bit or gained some inspiration from Rachel Ray now and then, but beyond that, she will experiment on her own before begging for help.
Sexy cooking classes... led by you... in nothing but an apron.

9. Appliances - Yes, she may be looking for a new toaster, and you may think golden, crispy toast spells L-O-V-E to you, but fight the urge to buy her a "useful" appliance. This includes microwaves, deep fryers, etc.
If she likes baking, certainly offer her a new oven or one of those expensive
KitchenAid stand mixers.

8. Cleaning equipment - Just... don't. This includes everything from air fresheners to vacuum cleaners. Not only are you saying that the place needs cleaning, you are basically telling us that it is our job and sole purpose in life and that we love it enough to want these things for gifts. "Oh, honey! A new broom! I'm going to use it right away!" Just say no.
Offer to call in the Merry Maids, or simply give her a weekend off from cleaning the house and do it yourself!

7. Exercise equipment - Okay, even the densest male understands the implication of buying a female exercise equipment. Even if she likes to exercise, no woman likes to have their man hint that she needs to do it. Effect: instant tears and relegation to the couch.
If she's into this sort of thing, try getting her a Wii Fit or taking her on a scenic hiking

6. Gag gifts - Ha-has are okay every now and then, but they should not come anywhere near a romantic gift. We don't generally think farting or penis jokes are hilarious. Most of the time we laugh at your dumb jokes because we love you, and we want you to have good self-esteem.
If you are dead set on inserting some funny into your gift, get a funny card, but leave it at that.

5. Something you want - No offense, but last time we checked, it was OUR gift. If it is something you are more likely to use then we are, please buy it for yourself and get us something else.
Something that can be used together is a totally different story... like a two-person, super-soft sleeping bag from Coleman.

4. Anything that has the words Cubic Zirconium in it - Yes, we can tell the difference. And even if we can't, we are smart enough to have it appraised when we take it to be cleaned. And after that embarrassing incident, you will be sleeping with the dog... or with the fishes, depending on what occasion the gift was for.
We understand when you can't afford expensive baubles. So, search out sales, or get us cute costume jewelry like this cute Betsey Johnson ring. There are plenty of saleswomen at Nordstrom whose sole purpose in life is to help lost men like you.

3. Gift cards - This tells us that you didn't even try to think about a gift. In fact, we pretty much take this to mean you forgot about the special day until five minutes ago when you ran out and picked up a card.
Gift cards are okay if you pair them with another gift. It doesn't matter how small the gift is, as long as you put thought into it. Or you could wrap it in a "madly in love with you" love note.

2. Clothes - This takes the joy of shopping away from us. You don't want to take away that joy, trust me. We are freaks about our body shape, and we can generally tell what will fit us by looking at it hanging there on the rack. Plus, I don't want to see what "fantasy" you bring home in that Victoria's Secret box. I know the salesgirl busted out laughing at you when you left the store, knowing I would force you to take that back.
Take us shopping! Or stick to simple accessories, like brand name handbags, shoes, and scarves.

1. Anything your mother says is "cute" - You should know by now that we think your mother has horrid taste. Plus, she will always (in our minds) have the underlying want to destroy us. So, no, that ceramic thing will not look good on our dining room table. And, no, that velvet skirt with the fringe will not look "cute" on us. You'll be lucky if we don't choke you with it.
If you can't think of a gift, try asking our close friends. Or at the very least, OUR mother.

Note to Self: Also keep in mind that just because it's expensive, that doesn't mean it's a good gift. Good gifts take thought and effort. You can't go wrong if you take the time to pull something from the heart!


Anonymous said...

Hi MJ,

And, since I started the whole thing, with the idea that someone might just possibly give me a clue as to what to get my wife after twenty something years of marriage, I would only point out that I know all of that, from hard experience. Where, I would ask, was the Internet 15 years ago?

Still, and keep in mind that I do all the cooking and cleaning, I would point out that actual gift ideas would be nice.

Throw us men a rope here.

Mister Manly

Peter Parkour said...

I enjoyed your 'don't do it' approach and I will take it to heart.

Danielle said...

My boyfriend has a great way of buying me stuff - he takes me window shopping. The best birthday present I ever got was from him: a box filled with office supplies from Staples. (What can I say? Office supplies make me smile... mmm... paperclips...) He actually paid attention to all of the little things that I oohed and ahhed over.

The alternatives were great - pretty much all of them were things that I would appreciate.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

This post is so fantabulous, I must stumble it!

Anonymous said...

Mister Manly has a point... or two.

MJ said...

MM - You'll have to stick with Girly for the gift ideas. I'm really no good at picking out the what to gets. Really, I've been happy in the past getting video games, car accessories, and most recently, a gun... I'm really only good at advising you on how not to get kicked out of the bed.

PP - 'Preciate that. I feel if you can narrow down what not to do, you have a better chance of learning how to do it right on your own.

D - That's generally what mine does. I'm an easy girl to buy for because I blabber on about stuff I want all the time.

NGIP - Thanks!

Livin - Manly always has a point. Wait, what are we talking about again? ; )

Anonymous said...

This is great MJ! I will link back to it when I post my Girly Gifts list tomorrow...

K Trainor said...

I say this should be required reading for every man on the verge of saying "I do." It could save the poor boy and his bride much frustration for years to come.

MJ said...

Girly - Cool, yo! Can't wait to read it!

K - Agreed.