2014-02-14 / Columnists

Slice Of Life

Not Just The Thought That Counts
By Beth Hanning

Over the years I have received interesting gifts from my husband. I say interesting to be kind. They were actually horrible gifts. I sometimes wonder why many men are horrible gift givers? One of the reasons is that they do not ask for help and the people that men look up to give awful ideas.

Horrible Gift #1: I once received the exact same bracelet two holidays in a row. Not a similar bracelet, not the same color or design, the EXACT same bracelet. Now the reason this is a horrible gift is because it implies the gift giver did not remember purchasing the gift before AND did not remember that I wore the bracelet all of the time. Tip: make an effort to have the gift be something you remember the person mentioning or the gift reminds you of them in a certain way.

Horrible Gift #2: Any technological item. I once received a VCR for a present. “Oh thanks for giving me this VCR so we can both watch movies.” PS: This goes for all pieces of technology and home appliances as well. Tip: Men enjoy appliances and technological gifts. Women usually do not. P.S. Many women agreed with me on this.

Horrible Gift #3: Vermont Teddy Bears. Now some of you may be saying, “What an ungrateful receiver of gifts.” Sorry, anyone who knows me has to know I would not want a teddy bear in a funny outfit. I am an adult, not a teen with my boyfriend at a carnival hoping he will win me a stuffed animal.

It was only after a relative received a “pajama-gram” (an expensive pair of pajamas with hearts on them) did I realize who was giving men the awful advice about gifts: Sports radio hosts! Just this morning I heard an advertisement on the “Boomer and Carton Show” for the pajama-gram. As of Tuesday morning Boomer guaranteed delivery for Valentine’s Day. When I told my husband that was going to be part of the gift column he asked: “Don’t you want a nice pair of pjs?” I answered, “No thanks, I can buy my own pajamas.” After I received the Vermont Teddy Bear I heard numerous advertisements on the then “Mike and the Mad Dog Show.”

Now I know women are difficult to understand, and all women may or may not agree with me on the abovementioned gifts. ASK. Do not listen to what other men are advertising for money on their show; ask their

Some ideas:

1. A home cooked meal. Women that I asked about the column said they usually do not enjoy going out on Valentine’s Day because of the preset menu. One said she would love surf and turf and no substitution of shrimp instead of lobster. She wants lobster. AND clean up after you cook.

2. Spa treatments: Many women are stressed out and a massage or facial would be a great gift. Now you can also purchase it local. I have heard wonderful things about the new spa Nicole Frontera Beauty.

***Correction*** A few weeks ago I wrote an anniversary column thanking all of the people who have inspired and supported me this past year. I omitted a huge group of people: my friends. Each week I receive positive AND negative reviews to the columns and they are always responding to my texts and emails when I have writer’s block suggesting topics. I am very lucky to have the friends I do because they are so honest with me. Thanks to all of my friends who help me every week!

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