“Husbands: An Owner’s Manual,” has a whole chapter on gift-giving. The author (that would be me) rightly points out that gift-giving is a skill for which most men are not factory equipped.  Here are some mistakes they often make.

Overly Practical: Gifts of vacuum cleaners, washing machines and sauce pans imply you might as well wear flannel pajamas to bed.

Insulting:  Thigh Masters, over-sized sweaters and gym memberships (unless specifically requested) say he’s been eyeing younger women at work.

Thoughtless: Then there are those “Holy-crap-it’s-her-birthday-what-am-I-going-to-do-Walgreen’s-specials” like stuffed animals, helium balloons and Russell Stover boxed candy. (I won’t stoop to comment.)

Most men never get it right and give up trying. But I’m beginning to think it’s not their fault. It’s ours.”

We want them to know us so well, that we will pick the exactly right gift down to the right color and size.

We want his gift to be just what we’ve always wanted, but would never be so indulgent as to buy it for ourselves.

We want it to be a declaration of undying and self-sacrificing love.

No wonder we’re usually disappointed.

That said, the above photo shows the best gift Jack Schindler ever bought me.  We were at a mall in the suburbs when this necklace literally stopped me in my tracks.  I loved it, but I could not justify buying it, so I took a photo instead.

Without telling me, Jack went back out to the store the following day and purchased the necklace.  A month later he gave it to me for my birthday.

Here’s the moral of the story.  Up until then, he didn’t have a clue.  When I gave him one, he jumped on it.

Feel free to try some variation of this approach yourself

In the meantime, please use this comment link to let me know the best — or worst — gift your husband, boyfriend or significant other ever gave you.




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