The Present Tense

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 can all make or break a relationship from a woman’s perspective. My current quandary is Mrs. Phil’s birthday is coming up in a couple weeks and I have the pressure of choosing a present.  My problem is that I think of presents like a guy and she thinks of presents like a woman. Here are a few examples of how men and women might view the same present differently and why I’m terrified of choosing and may just give her cash:

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 Ipad3! 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)

(Calm down all you tech geeks, the IPad 3 isn’t out yet) 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!”

All of this thinking out loud isn’t getting me any closer to choosing a present. If you’ve got any suggestions I’d love to hear them in the comments section below. If you enjoy my nonsense follow me on Twitter @ThePhilFactor or subscribe to my blog on your Amazon Kindle so you never miss an issue and so I can afford to buy my wife a birthday present that compensates her adequately for being married to me.

5 responses to “The Present Tense

  1. Your poor wife. 😀 Well you know I'm not into gender stereotyping that much, but I'm sure whatever you get your wife she'll love, because it's from you. 😉

  2. Haha… very true. Although, I've never been the sort to look for romantic gestures from men.

    How about a gift certificate for a mani/pedi, or a massage? You could get her some nice perfume, or a gift basket from Bath and Body… Or some expensive scented candles…

  3. bahahahaha!!!
    ” . . . compensates her adequately for being married to me . . .”

    Massage!
    Never go wrong with that.

  4. Maybe a romantic card, breakfast in bed and roses?

    Or you could get her a book that she's been wanting to read but has not bought for herself.

    Why not ask one of her girl friends what you should get for her? If all else fails, you could always buy her that trip to Paris – assuming she likes to travel 🙂

  5. Perhaps thinking about what her love language is might be a step in the right direction?

    http://www.5lovelanguages.com/learn-the-languages/the-five-love-languages/

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