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it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing

What we want isn’t necessarily what we need December 28, 2005

Filed under: blogspot,Uncategorized — sp @ 11:50 pm

Advice for guys on buying gifts…

So a certain boyfriend of mine was trying to pick out a gift for my parents. At first he was looking at sausage and cheese baskets at Hickory Farms, but I recommended a food basket with something more European, such as pate or smoked salmon, instead. My sister suggested a dustbuster or a set of everyday glasses because these are things that are lacking in my parent’s, and currently, her, home.

So he decided to get them glasses, because he’s practical like that. So I look online for some suggestions, and then he goes to the store to pick them out. While he’s at the store, I tell him that they don’t really need 16 glasses (like the set I had shown him online), so it’s ok to buy a set with less glasses, but perhaps better design because my dad’s really into that Mikasa stuff and would appreciate something a bit nicer than ordinary glass cylinders. Later he tells me that he went to a different store (Wal-mart, the horror!) because the set he really liked at Target had 16 glasses, and I had told him that my parents don’t need that many glasses.

At this point in the story, some guys might be thinking, what’s wrong with that? While I, and the other half of the human race, realize, uh-oh – there’s been a break in communication due to gender differences.

Somehow he had interpreted my saying “they don’t need that many glasses” to “they don’t want that many glasses – don’t buy it”. For a second, I envisioned a future of gifts that I only needed – food processors, vacuums, linens, printers, etc. – and I knew I had to make sure he understood the error of his logic. He sighed, and complained, “women are so hard to understand!” But really, what’s hard to understand? When I said they didn’t need 16 glasses, I literally meant they didn’t need 16 glasses. I wasn’t implying they wouldn’t want so many or wouldn’t like so many. If I had wanted to communicate “don’t buy it,” I would’ve just said so explicitly, instead of trying to get him to understand hidden messages.

So for all guys who haven’t learned this lesson yet, just because your girlfriend/wife says she doesn’t need something doesn’t mean she wouldn’t like it or wouldn’t want it. I mean how many of us really need that pretty dress from Express or those pain-inducing heels from Nine West (we’ll buy them anyway)? Or that lovely bouquet of flowers? Or, for that matter, that lingerie from Victoria’s Secret that you’ve been drooling over?

There’s nothing wrong with buying gifts that are practical, just be careful to not cross off a potential gift just because she said she doesn’t need it. Personally, I like gifts that have thought/meaning (has anyone seen the Everybody Loves Raymond episode ‘The Thought that Counts’ ?). And besides, it’s often the most unnecessary gifts that make a girl feel special.

P.S. Just to clarify – Josh has bought me great gifts for Christmases/birthdays past, and yes he’s even bought me some totally unnecessary flowers on more than one occasion.

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