Okay men: so your anniversary is steadfastly approaching and your lady is growing more lovey dovey by the day, reviewing the year’s experiences together in full, mentally logging all the reasons why you’re so great and dreamy.
You know you need to have some sort of a gift for her, something great. So you gun it to the mall and find the perfect thing after only half an hour of tearing through Best Buy! What luck! She’s going to love her new pair of…high-tech earphones?
No, she won’t. Even if you’re positive she wanted earphones and these are way better than the ones she was going to get. Even if they’re in her favorite color and have her initials on them. She won’t want them. Not now. . .
Unbeknownst to too many men, romantic occasions, such as anniversaries, call for romantic gifts.
These romantic gifts should express your feelings for her in a way that warms her heart and makes her feel special; they should be intimate gifts that she wouldn’t receive from just anyone.
A romantic gift should bring you two closer together, not drive you apart; presenting her with a pair of earphones leaves her to conclude that you’re just like every other guy, not a special one – you’re not romantic, but pretty much like every other schmuck boyfriend she’s had that gave her gift certificates or DVDs on Valentine’s day.
Don’t do that to her. It never turns out well for either of you. And, if she doesn’t make your very unsentimental gift an issue at the time, just know that it will likely come back to bite you in the ass at some point, even years down the road.
So, what type of gift qualifies as romantic?
Think in terms of the categories listed below, and think very hard in terms of what you know about her in respect to them – meaning, if I suggest flowers, as I do under The You’re Sweet But Broke category, and you give her a bunch of lilies, knowing that she’s allergic to them, you still come off an insensitive schmuck and you can’t blame it on me.
Also, under each of the categories are a couple examples to get you thinking on the right track. And I’m giving you options in a variety of price ranges, so choose according to your means.
Remember, the rule of thumb is that if you’re broke, it’s the thought and the sensitivity you used to pick out just the right gift for her that counts, dedicating your time and efforts to the cause. If you’re not broke, and you don’t cough up the funds for this heartfelt expression, you’re cheap.
THE SOFT, CUDDLY AND CUTE
Fluffy, live animals like bunnies, kittens, puppies, etc. work here.
A caveat: don’t get her a pet she can’t commit to or that will get her evicted. Also, don’t buy her a chick – they grow up and what the hell is she going to do with a rooster or a chicken wandering around her apartment
As an alternative, oversized stuffed animals also fit into this category.
THE PRETTY, SPARKLY
Go for the pretty, sparkly, real jewelry. Forget cubic zirconia – this is for your lady, not your Aunt Mildred with the wandering left eye who will wear any piece of jewelry, so long as it’s brightly colored and weighs over eight ounces.
THE PRETTY, YOU’RE SO PRETTY
Pick out pretty and feminine dresses or nightgowns with the assistance of a fashion-savvy, female family member.
Believe me, your girlie won’t be thrilled if she discovers your lovely friend Marisa, the one with the canyon cleavage, helped you pick it out – she’ll say it’s ugly; likewise, if it’s ugly because you had your Chico’s-sporting Aunt Mildred, who is typically robed in something that looks like a Jackson Pollock rendering, she’ll hate you a little and weigh the embarrassment of actually wearing it to make you feel good, against her love for you – not safe.
Also, this is not an opportunity to buy your love anything that has nipple tassels, or is vinyl or crotchless; if you’re good, maybe that will be your gift.
THE FANCY SMELL
Expensive perfumes by designers you’ve heard of. Go for names like Gucci or Armani and find a scent you actually find appealing.
THE GROOMING & PAMPERING
Get her spa treatments like massages, body wraps, facials,etc.
THE SWEPT AWAY TO FANTASY LAND
Take her on vacation or a weekend getaway.
If you can’t afford to take her to another country or state, pick the nicest place you can afford to take her that’s at least in a nice location, and whisk her away for a couple days. Bed and breakfasts are usually a splendid option.
If you can’t find one of those, or an impressive hotel, or if you find an impressive hotel , but it’s in a crappy location, make sure your room has a private hot tub – women like hot tubs and will forgive you the rest.
THE YOU’RE BROKE BUT SWEET
These gifts need to come in sets of twos or threes because they’re fairly paltry when gifted individually.
Boxes of gourmet chocolates from some specialty chocolate company (avoid Hershey’s like the plague if you don’t want to kill her – their chocolate all comes from Three Mile Island – you know, where that nuclear meltdown happened and has been giving inhabitants within a ten-mile radius all kinds if cancers ever since? Yeah, that one!), flowers, smaller stuffed animals, etc.
THE TALENTED AND ALL YOURS
This category is only for you if you’re genuinely a talented artist and people other than your family and life coach have confirmed that talent.
If you’re not really all that impressive, you’ll just kind of look sad when you attempt to create something for her. And, looking sad, though it will garner you all kinds of attention and, perhaps, smothering kisses and ego-stroking, she’ll feel less attracted to you and more like your mother, willing to wipe away your tears of good effort and intentions, falsely building your confidence until you’re once again right as rain and ready to go out and play, leaving her to clean up your creative enterprise and later tell her friends in a voice reserved for infants and poor significant others who’ve missed the mark, “…oh, but you should have seen how cute he was!”
But, if you do have a bit of magic up your sleeves, or in your vocal cords, hands, or any part of your right brain, go to town expressing all the romantic feelings you have for her through your creative medium.
So, that’s all you get.
I’ll leave you with these final words of wisdom:
an ex-boyfriend of mine once showed up at my house on Valentine’s Day with a half-eaten box of juju beans that he dug into on the drive over. He was rich and had plenty of chic female friends and relatives to advise him. My roommate at the time told me he was a schmuck a minute after he walked into our apartment, and then, every time i was upset with him, she reminded me of how big of a schmuck he was on that day.
Men: I suggest you aim somewhere on the opposite end of the boyfriend-achievement spectrum; take my advice and don’t be that schmuck.