The Good Husband’s Guide to Gift Giving

(Note, the date June 15th was chosen at random and is not relevant to the point of this article. Please mentally insert the date of your own anniversary, wife’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or any other date you’ll catch Hell for missing.)

Tomorrow  is June 15th. Hmmm, that date somehow rings a bell. Is it the Giants-Dodgers game you scored tickets for?  No, that’s the 29th. Mom’s birthday? No, that’s in September. Credit card payment due? Nope. June 15th…. Where have you heard that date before?

CalendarThen it suddenly dawns on you like a crashing meteor.  June 15th is your wife’s birthday….and has been for the entire decade you’ve been married to her. Hopefully, one of these years, you’ll remember it more than 24-hours ahead of time. But enough dwelling on future goals, you’ve got shopping to do.

Most men admit that shopping for their wives is a task as unattractive as enduring a prostate exam. But nonetheless it’s something you gotta do. Here are a few gift buying suggestions to help ensure her thrills of gratitude and your dog house reprieve at least until the next special occasion rolls around.

Foremost, your wife wants to receive gifts that show you treasure her and have at least a remote idea of her likes and interests.

First of all, forego any urge to buy her a household appliance, small or large. No matter how many times your wife has said “I bet that Shark steam mop would make our tile floors look new again,” do NOT give it as a gift to her. A present like this says to a woman, “I see you primarily as the household servant. Any other role you play is secondary.” This would likely cause her to hurl said steam mop directly at your head.

This rule can be confusing at times and may need further clarification. For example, if your wife’s been hinting around about a Keurig coffee maker or a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, these gifts reflect her interest in good coffee and baking, which aren’t related to the drudgery of chores like the steam mop. See the difference? Go ahead and buy her the coffee maker or better yet, a gift card to a kitchen shop that sells it.Not a gift card to Walmart; those are too easy to spend on groceries.

No matter how much a woman loves bargains, clips coupons or brags about the great deal she got on her Coach purse at TJ Maxx, the gifts you give her shouldn’t shout “CLEARANCE BIN” or be shipped directly from Most wives want to feel like they’re worth full price once in a while. If you do happen to find an awesome deal on something she’d love, be smart enough to disguise where it came from.  

Teddy Gram - What NOT to buy.

What NOT to buy...

“Your wife will love it!” Yeah. Right. Avoid gifts advertised on ESPN, CNBC and other networks watched by men who routinely forget their spouses’ birthdays. Vermont Teddy Bears and Pajamagrams are strictly forbidden. Every year around Valentine’s and Mother’s Days, commercials promoting these gift ideas run every nine minutes, while poor, clueless, lemming husbands across the country dial the number on their screens. We’re grown women now. Teddy bears and footed jammies don’t warm our hearts. They’re like drawing the Dog House card in the game of marriage. Do not pass “go.” Do not collect $200.

Be careful of flowers and candy. Yes, they’re the old stand-by’s. Most women do indeed love getting them, but don’t overdo it. Buying her a dozen roses for every single special occasion will cause her affection to die quicker than the bouquet itself. If you know she loves flowers, pair them with something else unique to her personality, not generic. If you give candy, make it high quality, See’s, Ghiradelli or Godiva. No wife wants to receive daisies and a 10-pack of Butterfingers, even though some stores package them together.

Stay away from self-help products. Surely, you know this already. But just in case you don’t… Anything that helps her look thinner, have less body hair, fades stretch marks or sands down the crusty calluses on her heels could result in your demise. If she doesn’t kill you immediately, her wrath will make you wish she’d go ahead and get it over with. Wives are all too aware of our physical imperfections. We may mention them to you regularly. But don’t YOU ever do or say anything to acknowledge that you think your woman is any less than a Perfect 10 in your eyes. We’re hard enough on ourselves as it is.

Still can’t think of the perfect gift for her? Open your eyes and ears and observe what she watches on TV, what she talks about with her friends, all those comments she makes to you that you normally ignore. Choosing the right present for a special occasion requires paying attention the rest of the year. If you do, chances are you won’t be blindsided on June 14th….or whatever that date of panic happens to be.

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Filed Under: Husband 101


About the Author: Angela is an award winning humor columnist, freelance writer and public speaker living in Middle Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses her keen insight and clever wit to help husbands understand the complex mechanisms that are their wives. “I like to think of as an owner’s manual for the average wife. Of course results may vary, but we’re all fairly similar whether we admit it or not.” Angela uses her background in psychology, the myriad of learning experiences offered through her ten year marriage, and input from her “in the trenches” audience members across the country as input for her articles.

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