Men, help your wives avoid jail by returning that stupid gift you got them before it’s too late

The wives of men who trusted their gift-giving instincts.
The wives of men who trusted their gift-giving instincts.
Many years ago, I bought my ex-wife an Epilady shaver for Christmas. Because it was a sleek, modern, electrical device costing more than $50, there was no reason to suspect it would feel like someone had just ripped the hair out of her legs using Super Glue and a roll of duct tape. While I’m sure I’d gotten her gifts she didn’t really like, she’d accepted them. But in this case, as she chased me through the house completely naked and swiping at my scalp with her new Epilady, two things came to mind:

1) She really hates this gift,


2) I shouldn’t have gotten her the cordless model.

Now, before I get an angry letter from Park Products, Inc., I should clarify that this was a long time ago, and I’m sure the latest model is a vast improvement over the one she hurled through our bathroom window.

My point is this: Men, if you’ve gotten your wife a really stupid Christmas gift, it’s not too late to save yourselves. Even if it means dropping the newspaper right NOW and wrestling your gift away from her.

She may be shocked.

She may get her feelings hurt.

But trust me, it’s better than what’ll happen if she unwraps her present and finds a purse that looks like a coconut. As cool as it may have seemed when you bought it, chances are it will go totally unnoticed by the people who matter most — such as detectives searching for the weapon used in your murder.

“I know this is difficult, ma’am, but did your husband own a cannon ball or something similar that could’ve been used against him?”
“Hmmm. Not that I know of. Would you care for a mint?”
“Say, that’s a cool coconut purse.”
“It was a gift from my husband. [Pretending to cry] It was the last thing he ever gave me…”

“Well, he obviously had good taste — OUCH!”
“I’m sorry. Did I close it on your finger?”

The first step in defusing this situation is acceptance; as men, we must accept the fact that we are — by our very nature — total gift-giving morons. We simply do not understand the complexities of choosing a woman’s gift.

Heck, we barely understand the complexities of choosing the correct hand towel in the bathroom. How can we be expected to walk into a department store, spend 5 to 10 minutes scrutinizing hundreds of gift options, and emerge with anything other than a coconut purse?
Furthermore, it’s when denying this fact to ourselves that we really get into trouble. This usually occurs when attempting to be creative with our gift buying by — how else? — trying to think like a woman. This is a bit like Donald Trump trying to be Britney Spears. Even if he learns the moves and memorizes the songs, once the wrapping’s off, no one is going to be happy.

So men, take it from someone who has experienced, first hand, what it’s like to have portions of your hair ripped out by an angry wife wielding a cordless shaver: If you think you’ve unwittingly purchased her a stupid, you must do whatever it takes to make sure she never finds it.

If it’s already too late, then I’m truly sorry.

But chances are, no one is ever going to find you.

(You can write to Ned Hickson at, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR. 97439)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

21 thoughts on “Men, help your wives avoid jail by returning that stupid gift you got them before it’s too late”

  1. Too funny :p Luckily my husband has never bought me anything that I don’t like but I find that I’m the one that struggles to buy appropriate gifts for him. It’s easier shopping for a woman than for a man, at least you guys have more options :p

    1. Lol! That’s true. And our stuff doesn’t seem to cost as much. At least, not unless it has anything to do with sports, hunting or cars. Since I’m not into any of those things, my wife is off the hook; she knows just showing up in my life is good enough 😉

  2. Poor choices indeed, here’s one for you. Mother’s Day had me opening a canister of Monkey Butt Anti Friction Powder (whatever the hell Anti Friction is) from my ex-husband. He thought I would like it b/c it was pink, the monkey had a bow…b/c it was LADY Monkey Butt Powder. The killer of the whole thing was, my butt was perfectly fine. Arggghhhh!

  3. you gave your wife a shaver…………………you understand that you just silently told her she was hairy…. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING????? OH BUT WAIT HONEY I GOT YOU THE CORD-LESS FOR THE HARD TO REACH SPOTS??????
    Ned I’m starting to have doubts about your intelligence…….MEN LOL 🙂

  4. The male mind is not intended for this sort of use – Men! know your limits!

    I recognised my husbands weakness in this area many years ago and came up with my own solution. Ladies, feel free to take this idea and run with it! (you might need to run quite fast)

    I buy my own gift – a great one!

    It might be a little out of his budget but it is Christmas and I know he loves me VERY much. I wrap it, write the tag and pop it under the tree. On Christmas morning I thank him appropriately for his amazing, thoughtful gift and generosity. Everyone is happy.

No one is watching, I swear...

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