It would seem that, for some mysterious reason (probably starting with “Affiliate links”) Business Insider has published a list of gifts that men can buy for their wives or girlfriends. (Particularly, I suppose, if the lady in question works at Business Insider.)
They polled the ladies around the office for ideas, then expanded on them. (More affiliate links that way.) My wife and I got a good laugh out of them. Some of the ideas are okay, but some, well, let’s just say that if you follow BI’s advice, you may need a good proctologist to dispose of the Christmas tree this year.
- “We could go out to eat at a nice restaurant — the memory matters more than something material”
All right; that could work. But this:
A nice dinner is a sweet thought, but you can amp up that evening out by signing up for a cooking lesson or wine tasting class.
Is asking for trouble. Guys, do not, I say again, do NOT buy the woman in your life cooking lessons for Christmas. You might as well say, “You’re not a very good cook, but I expect a lot of good meals out of you, so here’s some lessons.” Buy her an exercise DVD while you’re at it. And a big stick, so she can beat your dumb ass.
An overpriced expresso machine. How romantic. Okay, sure, if she likes expresso.
Do not do this. You don’t know her shoe size, you don’t really know what style of shoes she likes, (No you don’t. No, don’t argue; women’s shoes are a mystery beyond male comprehension.) or what she needs or wants. This is very hazardous territory, like buying a gadget for a gadget-geek. You’re out of your depth and the recipient either already has it, or doesn’t want it.
“Some fun jewelry, but nothing too fancy. Solid suggestion. Go for something classy, not flashy.
“I’d love for him to plan a weekend away, since I’d never actually do that myself”
My first thought was that this meant for the guy to go away and leave her alone for a weekend. That’s a better idea than the hideous bag they suggest you buy her (affiliate link!) to go with the trip.
- “A classic Chanel purse that I can use until I’m in my 80s“
Like the shoes, this is very hazardous territory. Do NOT use your own judgement in picking out a purse for your lady. Wait for her to subtly hint at which one she would like. (For example, if she shoves a purse in your face and says, “You should buy me this purse for Christmas,” takes a picture of it and emails it to you, you might want to consider adding it to your list.)
- “Tickets to Broadway“
Okay, sure, if you actually live somewhere vaguely near Broadway. If you’re in, say, California, not so much.
- “A new wallet“
Yeah, right. My wife laughed and rolled her eyes at this one. Not only that, but the wallet they suggest is a checkbook wallet. So, yeah, I guess if your wife or girlfriend is an AARP member and still writes checks at the grocery store, knock yourself out.
- “Cozy Ugg slippers“
Hard to go wrong with slippers. Solid, conservative suggestion.
- “I’d like him to cook a romantic meal“
Well, it beats a checkbook holder. If you want to really score points, though, cook the romantic dinner for no good reason at all. Just surprise her with one some night.
- “Spa treatments“
Make sure it’s a classy place and you’re golden.
- “An iPad“
No woman will turn up her nose at a nice, purse-sized, iPad Mini. Best idea yet.
So, out of twelve suggestions, what are we left with? A kitchen appliance, jewelry, slippers, a spa visit, or an iPad. Nothing terribly original, but I can say, speaking from the experience of my many thousands of years of marriage (give or take a few; it’s hard to keep track), that they work.
Just don’t be the guy who got his wife cooking lessons.