Men: Hurry and return the dumb gift you got your wife!

imageMany years ago, I bought my wife an Epilady shaver for Christmas. Because it was a sleek, modern, electrical device costing over $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’ve gotten my wife gifts she didn’t really like, she’s always accepted them graciously. 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 my wife 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 wife’s 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 Kanye West trying to be Lady Gaga; 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 a stupid gift for the woman you love, you must do whatever it takes to make sure she never finds it.

Otherwise, there’s a good chance no one is ever going to find you.





Ned Hickson is a nationally syndicated humor columnist with News Media Corporation and the editor of Siuslaw News. He is also the author of Humor at the Speed of Life, a collection of more than a decade of humor columns; and Pearls of Writing Wisdom: From 16 shucking years as a columnist, a writer’s survival guide. Both are available from Port Hole Publishing.

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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...

67 thoughts on “Men: Hurry and return the dumb gift you got your wife!”

  1. Last year my hubby got me a five pound box of chocolates. And I’m pretty sure this year he bought me an electric blanket. After almost 17 years of marriage and 19 years of living together, I think he’s FINALLY figured out what I like. (being warm, fat and happy) Good luck to you this year, Ned and may your wife’s aim be horrible.

  2. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
    Some timely gift-giving advice for our male followers from the ever-hilarious Ned Hickson. Men, you’d do well to heed his words. Women, it’s that time of year when brushing up on your body-hiding skills could come in handy. Enjoy!

  3. I’ve heard that a frozen leg of lamb (or Christmas turkey) makes a good head-basher, too. Immediately pop it into the oven, and once it’s roasted, you can serve slices to the inspector who’s trying to solve the murder. I’m just sayin’…

      1. Consider yourself reminded. If I were you, I’d also keep me away from large frozen chunks of meat and fowl, too. 😀

        Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family! May 2017 bring you ALL good things. (And one or two eensy little “less good” ones, too, just to keep you humble.) 😉

        1. Lol! Thanks so much, Marcia. And trust me, I’ve got plenty of things to keep me humble. But you knew that (you’ve seen me in a red thong…)

          Merry Christmas to you, and all the best in 2017!

  4. What a hoot! I am sure there are a lot of men out there, right now, sweating buckets trying to find a gift that will be ‘just right’ for their wives. I say, “Good luck”! We’re tricky creatures. And men…well, men will be men. They can’t help it. HAPPY CHRISTMAS, Ned! This post was a delight to read. Brought back some memories. One Christmas present, especially. Nope, can’t write about it. Too bad about that. 😉

  5. You’ve captured the spirit of the holidays, the spirit being stomach-knotting, panic-inducing flop-sweat.
    Hey Ned! Merry Christmas, good man, to you and Mrs. Ned and all the Nedlets.

  6. It took 20 years, but my husband finally figured out that all I want for Christmas is books and wine – and better to just let me pick out my own, so he gets me gift cards and I’m very happy with them.

  7. First, great post… and so very true. I think I learned my shopping skill from my mother. As one boy in a family of 3 sons and 1 father – I learned early on – a toaster, a vacuum cleaner, or a table lamp are NOT gifts to give the opposite sex. My mother, upon receiving either a toaster or vacuum cleaner, explained in very simple (and may I say – STRONG) terms, that was not a gift for her, but for the house. I learned early on. As a father of four sons, I knew immediately that when they suggested I get a dishwasher for mom… there had to be an ulterior motive – they didn’t want to do dishes anymore. Needless to say, mom got a new coat and we bought a dishwasher about 2 weeks later. I’ve been married 40+ years and I can proudly say, I know that clothes, perfumes or lotions of some sort, jewelry, flowers and candy are acceptable gifts. My four sons have been taught my secret. Although my one son did buy his wife a new car and she seemed rather pleased with that offering.

    1. Hahaha! Yes, I’d say your son upped the anti pretty well with a new car. The problem is, where does he go from there?!?

      Thanks for reading, Bob, and for sharing your husband-ly wisdom here. Best wishes to you for a Merry Christmas!

  8. Omg, the visuals from that post, you being chased by an epilady shaver, LOL. I’m glad you admit that most men are not the best present buyers. The trick is to train them well. I always dropped huge hints of what I’d like to save myself from being disappointed. Many times I’d drag my husband to a mall or jewelry store a month or so before Christmas and pick 3 or 4 things I like. That way I gave him a choice and I still didn’t know which one I would get. Works for both of us – I’m never disappointed, and he doesn’t have to live in fear. LOLLLLLLLLLL Merry Christmas again Ned!!! 🙂

  9. Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    I think truer words a were never said. I often wondered if the gift I thought was so grand and yet was totally not what was asked for or wanted. Opps. I am so lucky that the love of my life will praise it as it goes into the never to be used and eventually thrown out drawer. Hugs.

  10. You keep screwing up on presents and the next thing you know, your wife will be guilting you into accompanying her to a spa day, where before you know it, she secretly tells the staff to give you a Brazilian wax.

  11. Well darn it all. The price I pay for being so far behind in my reading is that the annual Yank gag gift exchange didn’t include a coconut purse. Next year…mwahahahah….

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