Gifts men should not give women

September 29, 2010

I recently read a blog post talking about why men should give women flowers and instantly I knew I had to do a follow-up post of my own on why men shouldn’t!

While I’m at it, I might as well list everything else I think men should not gift women.

1. Let’s start with flowers: While research may tell you that flowers make one happy, the fact of the matter is that they wilt and die a slow death. Do you know how painful it is to throw away flowers that you’ve attached so many sentiments with? And when you can’t throw them away because they were oh-so-special you Google how to preserve flowers and even then you don’t get it right. The result? A lot of heartache and angst. So, men, think long term. You’llwoman with gifts 200x300 Gifts men should not give women end up causing the woman grief, not happiness. If she’s the caring, nurturing types, though, by all means gift her a blooming plant — something she will look at and smile for a long time. For a cactus-killer like yours truly, though, even flowers rooted in soil are  a bad idea.

2. Perfumes: Please let a woman select her own brand of scent. Don’t make assumptions about all women liking citrus smells or “the delicate scent of a warm rose.” Also keep in mind that some of us women might be allergic to the chemicals in perfumes causing us to go into sneezing bouts. And, one more tip: some women might actually deem a gift-wrapped perfume bottle offensive. If you’re scratching your head at that last statement, think about how you’d react if someone told you in a passive-aggressive way that you don’t smell good.

3. Jewelry: I know most women swoon over big diamonds or rubies and can’t stop gloating over their bling, but I urge men to be the “sensible” ones here and take your lady loves on a memorable trip instead. Spend $5,000 on an exclusive island getaway for a week instead of on a stone. Cook for her. Surprise her with a picnic on a regular weekend. Don’t take the easy route and buy her a shiny stud — put some more thought into creating memories that will last a lifetime. It’s not the bracelets and the pendants she’ll remember when she thinks of your love …  it’s the time you spent with her that she will cherish.

4. Chocolates: Most women have a weakness for chocolate, but they also know the pitfalls that come with it. You might have garnered by now (through the media and other personal experiences) that women are conscious about their weight. Don’t tempt them with calorie-laden sweetness that will end up being the cause of a lot of arguments later in the relationship.

5. Clothes: Women have very distinct preferences of color, fabric, style and what not when it comes to clothes. Don’t even try to dress them up or down. There’s no way you’re getting out of that attempt victorious. You might think you’re buying her something flattering, but she might interpret it very differently. Let me put it this way: what a woman likes on the walls of a house are not the kinds of prints or colors she likes in her clothes. She may come and ask your opinion after she’s bought a new dress or a pair of shorts, but that’s only to validate her own decision. Stay out of her closet and you’ll be a happy man.

me on the beach 300x225 Gifts men should not give womenI am not like most women, so I can see a lot of hue and cry being made about the above list.

But even though my gift-receiving tastes might be different from the majority of women, I think I have one thing in common with them: we treasure experiences so much more than any objects you men gift us.

I’m not urging men not to splurge on their women. Just don’t spend your money buying “things.”

Also posted on Desicritics.

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20 Responses to Gifts men should not give women

  1. Albert QianNo Gravatar on September 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Mansi, that’s an interesting list. I would say I have never given flowers or perfume, but jewelry I have given. I basically look at their eye color and then coordinate a nice color to that, and it comes out pretty okay. Reaction is usually positive, probably out of being nice, but I don’t know. Most do like it. Then again, I don’t have friends who are high maintenance or anything (thank goodness).

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      Low-maintenance women still like to be pampered, albeit in different zero-cost ways. Thanks for stopping by, Albert.

  2. Shachi ThakkarNo Gravatar on September 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I am very much like you :) …when it comes to gifts from spouse.

    From friends though, I have some who ask me which perfume or gadget I would like to buy and then gift that to me….rather than gifting something I would not like – I do the same as well….but lately I’ve been writing a letter or making a card at home or a collage of pics or a bead keychain or something unique n personal as gifts….it is appreciated much much more :)

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      Personal gifts show an extra level of care that off-the-rack presents don’t. That said, gifts that don’t cost a dime sometimes are the best.

  3. AhabNo Gravatar on September 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Good observations. I agree with not giving perfume as a gift, since perfumes smell slightly different on everyone because of different skin chemistry. What smells delightful on one person might smell unpleasant on another.

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks, Ahab, for your insights. Perfumes make me sneeze — so general rule of thumb before gifting anyone (man or woman) a scented gift is to make sure they aren’t allergic. I once gifted a scented candle (labored 40 minutes over which scent she would like) to a colleague only to find out she had no sense of smell.

  4. ApoorvNo Gravatar on September 30, 2010 at 1:07 am

    I wish all ladies think like you mansi. It would have saved me countless hours buying each and every one of the gifts listed above.

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm

      Neah, you wouldn’t want that Apoorv :-) We need ”womanly women” to keep the balance and things moving just right ;)

  5. dhakkanzNo Gravatar on October 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Perfumes: You’ve hit the nail right. Others: I am surprised. I’ve myself seen women expecting such gifts. Specially chocolates.

    And jewelry being the most surprising. If you buy ladies jewelries (specially when they are with you, so that they can make their choice), they just love it.

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      As I said in my post, Mohit, I ain’t your typical example of a woman. So, don’t take this advice to heart :-)

  6. Nalini HebbarNo Gravatar on October 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    A potted plant is a great idea, if they love plants that is! Or it will be in the nearest waste bin!
    I guess every woman is different and the man needs to understand her before choosing the gift.

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      Absolutely, Nalini. Every woman IS different and this is written from the point of view of just one :-)

  7. DaveNo Gravatar on October 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Excellent list, Mansi! I agree with every one of them, and so does my wife! Well, if she read it, she would, because we’ve talked about these very things before.

    In fact, just recently we were talking about flowers. She said that she momentarily thought it would be cool to get flowers at work for her birthday, kind of an ego thing (i.e. everybody sees her getting flowers). But then she quickly reverted back to her normal self, thinking that flowers die quickly, it’s kind of a waste of $50 when that $50 could be spent on something much better and longer-lasting. Even just a good meal would be more pleasurable, because it was spent with good company, rather than flowers that wilt away.

    As for the rest, it’s much the same way. Scents bother her, so I would never buy her perfume, even if there wasn’t the possibility of giving her the wrong one.

    She’s very particular about clothes, so there’s no way I would chance it.

    As for chocolate, when we want it, we buy it ourselves. A gift of chocolate doesn’t really do much for either one of us.

    Gee, I refrain from blog-reading for a while, and when I do, I leave a book!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks, Dave. I love verbose comments — they make my day, so thank you for taking the time to write a book :-)

  8. Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 5, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks, Dave. I love verbose comments — they make my day, so thank you for taking the time to write a book :-)

  9. anon1No Gravatar on October 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    “I am not like most women”…
    Jeez, will you stop saying that already ?! Everyone who comments here agrees with most things you write about yourself.. Plenty of them are women (I think !)

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 7, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      Good to have you back, anon1. I was wondering where the one critical commenter I have had disappeared! I think you’ll find that birds of the same feather flock together in real life — this blog is no different. People who agree with my viewpoint and are like me visit this blog more often (and comment more) than those who do/are not. I should probably clarify in future posts that “I am not like most Indian women I know…” Would that make you happy?

      • anon1No Gravatar on October 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

        Get rid of “Indian” from that sentence.. and I may breathe slightly easier !
        If birds of the same feather flock together in ‘real life’, I wonder how you know all these “Indian women” who are “so unlike” you ?!
        I know you only through your posts, I admit, but it does seem like you over-(dis/)credit yourself with being different! I read that over and over in your refrain..

        • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on October 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

          It’s because all the Indian women I know in real life are my husband’s friends’ spouses. We spend a lot of time socializing together but I don’t find much in common with them (sometimes there isn’t anything besides our country of origin). You’d have to put yourself in my shoes to know … which you can’t, so I can empathize with your tiredness of what you think is repetitive disdain.

          • anon1No Gravatar on October 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm

            Generalizations, in general, get to me.. :P
            I make an effort to avoid making them, and was naturally a lil irked to hear yours (again !)… especially when your experience (with Indian women) is admittedly limited.
            But I hear you.. and I have to grant you this one, since you (eventually) qualified your statement with “the ones I know..”.
            I cannot argue about your experiences, but I can disagree with your conclusions based on your experiences :)
            (Sigh!) It’s been a long week.. you have a good weekend MB :)


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