Many 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.