What Women DON'T Want: A Holiday Guide
Flashback to Christmas 2000. I was in the living room of my boyfriend's house along with the rest of his blonde-headed family. There was wrapping paper scattered everywhere, the cat was leaping through the piles, and we were all feeling magically merry and bright. Then, suddenly, the clutter parted and I saw my boyfriend's hands handing me one final gift. It must have been hidden behind the tree! OMG! Would it be a ring? One of those new cell phones that take pictures? Genuine UGG boots?!
I held my breath and watched my college-aged fingers shake as I unwrapped the ribbon, tore off the paper, and pried open the cardboard box.
Excitement quickly turned to terror at what I saw before me. My spirit sank with a resounding THUD.
It was not a ring, you guys. Not an electronic gadget. Nothing warm and UGGly to put on my toes. In fact, it was a godawful Woolrich sweater. A purchase I suspect he made at the hardware store the morning before. The color scheme was an awkward pattern of brown gray and rust. The fabric was pioneer-days caliber wool. The cut was anything but flattering. I can't be certain, but I still suspect my boyfriend at the time thought I was actually a lumberjack.
Now, over ten years later, I can't remember a single other thing that sweater-guy bought me during our years-long relationship. Because that ugly sweater? It trumps all, you guys. So why not learn from my heartache and let this serve as a warning to you this holiday season. There are certain gifts you simply do not want to give. Or, rather, there are certain gifts that us women simply do not want to receive. So, in addition to the aforementioned hellacious sweater? I feel like we can comfortably avoid these as well:
Unless you're trying to offend your girlfriend or wife in virtually every way possible, and all at once, a "feminized" version of anything is a huge no-no. Pink handles? Please. A lighter-duty hammer for delicate fingers? You're kidding, right? Unless you want that infantilized toolkit to be used in connection with your suspicious disappearance, leave it off your gift list this year:
Her: But how could that be a murder weapon, officer?
Officer: [Inspecting aluminum composition and butterfly accents.] You've got a point there, ma'am.
If you want to buy her some tools? Buy her some real damn tools.
Is it just me, or do those commercials leave you feeling confused and somewhat hungry? We're supposed to desire these...discolored diamonds? Regardless, every year, a variety of jewelers outdo themselves with fantastically creepy commercials pitching the latest diamond fad.
Commercial: It's diamonds! PLUS CHOCOLATE! WHAT COULD BE BETTER?!
Her: [Internal eyeroll.]
Him: [Internal dialogue] O...M....G. It's brilliant.
Guys, if you want to jump on a fad bandwagon, go buy some pop music or something. Don't drop money on a quirky diamond for crying out loud. Especially if this is your first grand gift gesture. If you're stuck on the chocolate gimmick, couple a clear, brilliant diamond with some Hershey's, for chrissakes.
3. A gift certificate
Listen, a gift certificate isn't an automatic fail. But it IS an automatic sign that you're kind of clueless, perhaps intimidated, and downright befuddled by the female species. And as much as this MIGHT be true, let's not help things along, shall we? Can't you see how it will end?
Her: A gift...certificate?
Him: I figured you could just have a fun day of shopping...you know, buy what you like!
Her: As if I can't do that any other day of the year? What is this? ARE YOU TRYING TO CONTROL ME?!
Him: [Blank stare.]
Sure, you run the risk of becoming that wretched Sweater Boy for the rest of your life, but if your head is in the game, it's a reasonable gamble. If you're unsure of her taste and preferences, email her friends, bring her mother along, or even consult with a stylist in the store. The extra effort will most certainly gain you an A for effort. Well, at least a C.
4. Designer anything
Photo Credit: streamishmc.
There are a few risks running here. If you're not sure of her devotion to a particular shoe or handbag designer, don't run blindly to Nordstrom and grab the most expensive thing you see. Even Ed Hardy costs a lot of money, is what I'm saying. Then you've wasted your money, exposed your ignorance, and made everyone feel a bit awkward. On the other hand, going for cheap is not a great plan either. Imposter bags will have the same general effect on your significant other. I can see it now:
Her: [Holding up skimpy dress with a furrowed brow.]
Him: The lady at the store told me one of the New Jersey Housewives wore a similar design on the Reunion Episode!
Him: [Ahem] And...ah...I know you really like that show...and stuff....so...[voice creak.]
Him: [Tugs at collar.]
Just bite the bullet and take her shopping already. You as her personal, ENTHUSIASTIC, shopping companion for the day? Priceless!
5. Good-deal electronics
Photo Credit: cmuffins.
Modern women are on the pulse of technology. We know about the latest advancements, the newest gadgets, and the hottest item of the holiday season. So if you're searching for her gift in the bargain bin at Radio Shack, you are certainly setting yourself up for failure. Picture it with me:
Her: Ohmygoodness! It's...it's...[Opening package]...it's...a Sony Discman?
Him: With anti-skip technology!
Her: Our toddler now has a better music player than I do, husband. [Tosses Discman at his head.]
Nothing says holiday disaster better than a trip to the emergency room for blunt-force trauma, amirite?
So, take my advice for what it's worth. (Posssibly very little.) If you're at a complete loss for what to buy her this holiday season, you could always try asking her directly. Or just hack into her email account. Either/or.