There’s a lot wrapped up in a gift. That box, whether big or small, can contain a whole lot of symbolism. Some people pack a bunch of hidden meaning—love, appreciation, desire — into gifts. Others just wish gifting had never been invented, or that there was a 911 line dedicated to birthdays and anniversaries.
There isn’t. And in fact it’s next to impossible to crack the gift-giving code. No two people are alike. Case in point: my friend Veronica once received a diamond pendant from her then-boyfriend. Diamonds are a girl's best friend right? Wrong. Not this girl. She found the expenditure extravagant and wished he’d ploughed the money into winter tires.
Nope, there’s no easy answer to this one. All we can do is laugh about it. So, with laughter in mind, I polled my girlfriends and Twitter followers for the best and worst gifts their spouses had ever given. (And so I’m not accused of penning a sexist column, let me assure you, I did survey my male friends, too, but their answers were too profane to publish.) Interestingly, I didn’t get a single “best,” only a long list of “worsts.” “There aren’t enough pages on your site to include all the crappy gifts I have received from my spouse,” emailed one friend, who went on to list about five of them (including a card depicting a romantic Quebec City trip that never, ever materialized.)
Well, that got the “reply all” flying. Throughout this estrogen-laden cyber-exchange, one of my gay gal-pals listened quietly (and maybe the teeniest bit smugly) before sagely commenting: “Maybe this is one of many areas where having a female spouse really makes a difference.” Yeah, maybe.
And maybe good gifting just boils down to good communication. So, here’s my advice:
The Top 10 Worst Gifts Ever Given*
And the winner is…
* Based on real gifts given to real women by real men.
Join relationship columnist Liza Finlay each week as she dishes on ways to keep you and your partner close through the rocky terrain that is marriage with kids.
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