By Amy and Brandon Chaffins
Brandon: I like to think of myself as a seasoned husband; I am ever attentive to my wife. Sometimes, when we’re out shopping, I pretend that I don’t hear her comments on how nice something is. Secretly, I save that information for a later time; it’s part of my ever-evolving master plan. The plan: Get the right gift.
Amy: Oh, this is good.
Brandon: One time, we were shopping, sauntering through the appliance aisles. Amy commented on a few things. She said, “Oooooh, a Ninja blender, a Magic Bullet, a toaster….” I thought to myself, this is a golden opportunity to get the right gift. I covertly remembered her ogling looks and comments about the appliances.
Amy: I don’t ogle appliances. I definitely ogle purses and puppies.
Brandon: Anyway, around rolls Amy’s birthday. What to get? Ah ha! I remembered the comments about the appliances. Now, which one should I get? After about a half hour in the appliance aisles, I came to a decision – I picked a super cool combo type appliance that I could use too…a breakfast sandwich maker thingy. This thing was super cool! You could toast an English muffin, cook an egg and even cook some type of a meat garnish for the whole thing. Woo hoo! Oh, yeah, I did get a birthday card too.
Amy: True story. (Insert eye-roll here.)
Brandon: I figured for sure I had finally done it! I’m so gonna get the right gift! Man, I was almost giddy. So the day comes. I even put my best attempt forward on the whole gift wrapping thing. It was somewhat presentable, but still kinda looked like it was wrapped by someone who enjoyed the art of collage. I can never cut the wrap to the right size so that it wraps completely around. I always end up chunking a piece in there to get the job done. It’s the thought that counts, right? I set out the gift and card so it would be the first thing she’d see; I could hardly wait for her to wake up and come into the kitchen. Out comes Amy.
She sees the gift and card, and her eyes light up because I actually remembered her birthday this year. The card was read, I got a hug and a smooch – this is going pretty well. She unwrapped the gift, looked at the awesome product display photo on the box and suddenly, greyness clouded her eyes. That voice in my head said, “What just happened here?” She said, “You bought me an appliance?” The look on her face said it all. She looked at me like I had a piece of bologna stuck on my forehead. Apparently this is some unknown rule – no appliances as gifts.
Amy: Oh, my little petunia… you’ll have to admit that was a rookie move. You buying me a breakfast sandwich maker thingy is like me buying you socks. At no point should practicality be presented as a gift to a woman. Ever. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mixer, toaster and food processor, but there’s just something about receiving an everyday kitchen item that fizzles my anticipation for a great gift. Here’s the deal: The more impractical a gift is, the better received it will be by a woman. You want to make a lady swoon? Give her jewelry, purses, exotic vacations, spa days, etc. The more practical a gift is, the more time you spend in the dog house. You want to disappoint a lady? Give her silly small appliances, power tools, magazines and caramel corn, a kerosene heater (these are actual gifts received by women I know). Of course, there are exceptions… actually, no, there are no exceptions when it comes to the rules of giving a woman a gift.
Brandon: Great, another rule. Well, at least I got it half right and remembered a card. Keep fighting the fight, fellas!
Brandon and Amy Chaffins of Alexandria have been married 10 years – long enough to have learned to live with each other’s “quirks.”