When I first saw the next prompt for Monday Listicles, I drew a blank. A complete blank. I couldn't think of a thing, even something lame. I then realized that, with my awesome circle of girlfriends, I could wrangle a bit of help with this week's list. I'm so glad I did!
The topic? Top 10 "Oh No You Didn't!" Gifts. Now, I read this with saucy tone and a finger wag. But when I asked others, I got responses like diamonds, trips and electronics. I looked back at the prompt and realized it could be taken both ways. However, the good things are predictable and not nearly as hilarious as the bad gifts. So we went in that direction.
Thanks to the help of my friends, without further ado, here is the final draft of:
Top 10 Worst Gifts - Valentine's Edition
10. Anything that is obviously for you.
This could include tickets to a wrestling match, a night out at an action movie (although I, for one, am super excited that the new Die Hard movie is coming out on Valentine's Day), or a romantic dinner in (you know, you cook for her, save on a tip, and she gets to clean up the mess).
9. Anything obviously left over from Christmas.
Santa chocolates, anything red-and-green - it all screams clearance bin. And that you might have grabbed it from a nearby sale bin while in line waiting to pay for your deodorant.
8. Anything she will end up paying for.
Don't charge flowers to your joint account so she gets the bill (true story!). Think she'd like a pedicure? Go ahead and spring for it - don't think giving her a 50% off coupon will suffice.
7. Anything obviously regifted.
Regifting is a dangerous, dangerous strategy that required the utmost in organization and recall. Do NOT, under any circumstance, give her back a gift she gave to you. Do NOT give her a gift you got from an ex. This might sound like common sense, but I think it bears repeating. Check the signature on the card before you give it to her - be sure your ex-girlfriend's name isn't on it!
6. Anything obviously from a gas station.
Think she needs a jerry can? New windshield wipers? Maybe she does - but not for Valentine's Day! Don't even think about it. When she unwraps the last-minute chocolate purchase and finds it's gone white, it would have been better to give her nothing at all. And don't get me started on beef jerky. Basically, if it's for sale at a gas station, it's not fit for the most romantic - albeit contrived - day of the year.
5. Anything that doesn't fit.
Too-small (or too-large!) lingerie, full-length Spanx, or anything that is could end up making her feel crappy about herself. She already does this too much on her own. Don't do anything to exacerbate the situation. Another category along those lines is:
4. Anything aimed at fixing her flaws.
So, she's no Betty Crocker? Unless she has specifically asked you to buy her a cookbook, don't do it. Don't spring for fancy cooking lessons. That obviously (to her) means you think her cooking is terrible. Same goes for any book from the self-help section of the bookstore. You can go ahead and steer clear of that!
3. Anything weight-related.
Yes, you might think you're being helpful! The truth? You're not. Don't buy her a subscription to Weight Watchers. Don't buy her a fancy new scale, a gym membership, or a treadmill. Certainly don't buy her low-calorie treats. That just says to a woman that you think she needs to watch her caloric intake.
2. Anything considered a household item.
You might need a new vacuum. And yes, most girls dream of having an Electrolux or a Dyson, but it does not make a suitable Valentine's Day gift. If you give her a wrapped gift that's shaped like a mop, she may hit you over the head with it (with good reason!). And under no circumstance should you ever buy a toaster as a gift.
And the number one gift you should never consider appropriate for Valentine's Day is.... (drumroll please!!)...
1. Anything signifying the end of your relationship.
Should you split up with a significant other on Valentine's Day, word will spread about you so fast you'll have to move to another country before you'll be able to get another girlfriend. And, given the popularity of Facebook and other social media sites, even that's not a guarantee. If you really know the relationship has to end, do it on February 13, even 15, but not the 14th. Don't call her to break up, give her a break-up letter (or worse, a text or post-it), an eviction notice, divorce papers, or, really, if you don't her breaking up with you, anything from the other nine items on this list.