Friday, September 21, 2012

Gift Time? Make Your Man a List!

I have the best guy in the world as a husband, and while he shines like the sun in almost all categories, he has not always been famous for being the best of gift-givers.  Amazingly, I have heard similar complaints from other women about their significant others.  While being careful not to make massive generalizations, I think I have had enough conversations over cocktails with women to say that many men could use AND WANT some help in the gift-giving arena.  Am I right?

A friend of mine recently told me that her then-boyfriend, now-stellar husband (and he REALLY is a wonderful man), wrote her into his will as a make-up gift when he failed to deliver in the gift department for her birthday.  Really?  He sincerely believed this was a romantic gesture.  Generous?  Perhaps. Romantic?  Not so much.

I know you've heard it before, but I'll say it again.  Be specific!  If you want something done (and you're not prepared to do it yourself), let your partner know exactly what you want.  If you want to be surprised, then provide a list with plenty of options and update it regularly.  You can even have a "plant" in the form of a mutual friend who can say something like, "Here are some things I think ______ might like.  I thought you might want to know since her birthday/Christmas/Mother's Day/Insert Occasion Here is coming up."

Another massive generalization?  Men do not analyze comments like this in the same way that women might. Believe it or not, they might take them at face value, not suspect a thing, and be pleased that they are now armed with the list they need to go shopping, get on the internet, or call in the catering crew and travel consultants, all the while believing they have come up with these gems out of their own genius minds.

I just heard last week of a woman who has her "wish list" on Amazon and her husband needs only to go and check in order to fulfill her desires.  She mentioned it off handedly years ago, and he's been using it ever since in his gift buying for her.  They've never ever talked about it, yet everyone is happy.  I'm thinking I may do the same.

I just have an ongoing list that I keep in the back of my date book.  When my darling asks me what my deepest desires are, I just invite him to peruse my "things I want" page.  I've  had great gifts ever since.  (I have super cool Prada sunglasses and a Coach handbag, among other lovely accoutrements, none of which I would ever have dared to buy for myself, but were easy enough to write down on a piece of lined paper.)  Big. Small.  I list them all.

Me in my Pradas.  Super-cool, right?

Meantime, if you need some help to get started on making a list of what you want your partner to do for you, feel free to cut and paste my list and add and delete to suit your own agenda/tastes.  Then leave it lying around for your sweetheart to "accidentally" find.  Or better yet: just hand it to him and say, "Here.  I know you have no idea how I tick and what it will take to make me happy.  Take your pick."  I promise: he'll love you for it!

The following is a list I like my sweetie to refer to regularly so the love can keep in coming, "just because," not because of any particular event.  

List of "Surprise Me Anytime" Leah Desires:

  • Share a bottle of wine down on our village beach
  • Anytime flowers (that aren’t from the grocery store and don't involve carnations or baby's breath)
  • Magazines or books specially chosen (from my wishlist on Amazon)
  • A sprig or flower randomly plucked and given whilst strolling together
  • A voucher for a massage 
  • A breakfast on the balcony off the bedroom with coffee and mags and cinnamon toast and berries
  • A surprise cocktail 
  • Setting up a movie or tv show to watch together/pop the corn – make it a surprise
  • A cup of Earl Grey tea with sugar and lemon suddenly showing up beside me and my computer
  • A special card with your own sentiment/poem in it
  • Take me to some new place we haven't been before and make it a surprise instead of me always choosing (even though most of the time I DO want to)

Am I high maintenance?  You bet!  Am I worth it?  You'll have to ask my guy, but I'm guessing he'll say yes.  Here's hoping...

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