The Present Tense

In the past I’ve used this space to point out the differences between men and women. How we communicate, what’s important to us, and the inequities of societal grooming expectations are all ways men and women differ. Another great divide between the sexes is our views on presents. Anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas all can make or break a relationship from a woman’s perspective. Before everyone paints me as a misogynist for that last statement, let’s look at two examples:

Example 1:
Guy: Happy Anniversary honey! Here’s a card, a dozen roses, and I’ve taken out a second mortgage so I can fly you to Paris for a candlelight dinner on top of the Eiffel Tower!
Woman: You are so sweet! With all my work this week I didn’t have time to get you a present. I’m sorry. How about if I make it up to you (wink, wink) back at the hotel after dinner? (sly smile)
Guy: YAHTZEE! (fist pump)

Example 2:
Woman: Happy Anniversary honey! Here’s a card and a present!
Guy: An Ipod! Thanks baby, this is great! With all my work this week I didn’t have time to get you a present. I’m sorry. How about if I make it up to you (wink, wink) in the bedroom tonight? (sly smile)
Woman: You forgot! How could you be so thoughtless?!!? You can sleep on the couch tonight! (storms out, door slams)

Sometimes even the presents themselves can mean different things to men and women. Here are some examples of presents men might give, how we mean them, and what they mean to women.

1. A romantic card with breakfast in bed, flowers sent to your work, and a nice dinner out.
What men are trying to say: “Will you sleep with me?”
What women think: “He’s a sweet, thoughtful guy.”

2. A safety kit for your car with road flares, tools, and a shovel.
What men are trying to say: “I love you and I want you to be safe.”
What women think: “What a thoughtless, un-romantic oaf.”

3. Lingerie
What men are trying to say: “I think you are a beautiful, sexy woman.”
What women think: “That selfish bastard is thinking with his little head instead of his big head.”

4. Any kind of home appliance
What men are trying to say: “I’ve noticed how hard you work. I want to make your life easier.”
What women think: “If this isn’t grounds for justifiable homicide, I don’t know what is!”

15 responses to “The Present Tense

  1. Okay maybe my mind is not all female, or some such thing….my responses..1. Very nice thoughts honey, but we can’t afford that. And I would never forget a gift, that’s why I keep 3 calendars…so I don’t have to feel the guilt 🙂2. I would be a tad (lot) disapointed if it were a forgotten anniversay, but if he was really that busy I would understand, BUT expect it to be made up at later date….and if he offered an allover body massage with that *wink wink* then offer is accepted. *wink wink*The Presents1. I would KNOW that sex was in the cards….most women would I think.2. Would bring my independent streak out..I would be thinking “What? You don’t think I can take care of myself?”3. I love getting lingerie as a gift, to me if I spend the money on myself, I am splurging, if He spends the money on me, he desires me…so all is good.4. Home appliances are like a man buying a tool, you buy a new one you when you need it. Gifts are meant to be little extras that say this is something that reminded me of you, etc. A hand mixer=kitchen drudgeQuestion,If I gave you the gift of silky navy blue boxers—what message does that give to the man? Or a weekend in the whirlpool suite at a local hotel?Both messages from this female brain–is baby I am wantin’ some *wink wink*

  2. Oh Phil…if you submit your ideas to a network, youd have that OTHER Phil off the air in no time.

  3. LOL, me thinks Phil has the keys to my mind!

  4. That’s why I stopped long ago trying to give the right gift for whatever occasion. After 36 years we’ve come to an understanding–for that special occasion we each get to gift ourselves whatever we really want or need at that time. No one is ever disappointed that way. Romantic? No. But we never needed gifts to keep that aspect going anyway.

  5. Very insightful. Many years ago my first husband gave me a passenger side rear-view mirror for my Mustang. I was very irritated. And how could that keep me safe? All cars since then come equipped with them, and I still don’t use that mirror.

  6. Sunny- Somehow I knew you’d have a different perspective on this.Princess- thank you. Is there anything you can do for me up in Canada. Any openings on CBC perhaps?Michelle-I don’t have the keys, I think you left it unlocked with the door swinging wide open!Bob- I think you and Mrs. Bob may have a great system going.Geewits- See how much he loves you!

  7. I dont know about that….my brother in law is a producer at CTV, for MTV Canada…I can look there if you want. Whats your angle? I’ll pitch it.

  8. Dude.thats one of the funniest blog posts i’ve ever f@@@in’ read! Excellent.Are you married or single? It’s almost a married man’s perspective…

  9. Princess- What’s my angle? I’m Phil! What more angle do I need? Maybe I could be a Dr. Phil for the MTV generation. Sort of a counseling Carson Daily.G-Man- Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it. You must be married if you laughed that hard at this.

  10. Very fun post Phil, darling. But I would have say that I feel as sunny does on some of it.

  11. Berly- I guess you and Sunny are two of the good ones. Hopefully your hubbies are smart enough not to let you get away.

  12. You are too funny!I will have to remember those. Oh BTW, I don’t work at Starbucks. I was being sarcastic. :0)But if anyone else out there does, send a care package my way!

  13. You know what, you are mostly right in most cases. One year I got a new Vaccuum for Christmas and was thrilled. Because I needed it badly!! But that is just me, now I have to keep all the other women from slitting my throat now… Tawnya

  14. what i don’t get is this: why when we drop hints of what we want you to give us exactly, you go and buy something else, usually more expensive yes, but something we hadn’t dropped any hints about???? eh??

  15. I’m so awful at present-shopping that I’m a little relieved if the other person goes easy on the extravagant gestures. Plus I’m the rare breed of girl that gets excited at getting a really awesome set of curtain tie-backs as a gift. (But they have to be awesome.) 🙂Other than that, I think you’ve nailed the dynamics between many couples I know.

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