Nina's Stillwater Calendar

Friday, June 22

Gifts Translated, Again

A certain clueless man has objected to the interpretations I have provided for each gift. I would like to remind my readers that each meaning was intended to be worst-case, not typical case. Lest anyone get carried away and believe that 'worst-case' means 'unlikely', I will attempt to expand on my previous translations by providing a more comprehensive list of both what the man means when he says "This is for you" and what the woman means when she says "Thank you." All women should feel free to disagree.

Candles, Worst-case
Him: I forgot it was (your birthday/our anniversary/whatever) until I was checking out at the drug store, so I just grabbed something girlie-looking. See? It's purple with flower things on it.
Her: I wonder if a cheap scent masquerading as "Lavender Midnight Dream" can possibly mask the bathroom odor when he gets done?

Candles, Best-case in reality
Him: I forgot it was (your birthday/our anniversary/whatever) until I was on the way home so I just stopped at a nice store and grabbed something girlie-looking. See? It's purple with flower things on it.
Her: Mmm...smells good for lavender I guess, but doesn't that store have a rose-scented candle that would've matched the potpurri in the bathroom?

Candles, Best-case in some sort of romantic fantasy
Him: I remembered both your love for rosemary-cinnamon scents and (your birthday/our anniversary/whatever) well enough in advance to actually find a rosemary-cinnamon scented candle.
Her: Thank you.

Stuffed Animals
Here I made a mistake in my original list. I stated that the worst possible translation that could be given to a gift of a stuffed animal was I think of women as curvier but no less silly versions of thirteen-year-old girls. I forgot about I assume you receive so few dates that you must need a stuffed animal to share your bed. Honestly, the difficulty in choosing a worst-case interpretation for a stuffed animal is in choosing just one. I propose instead that any clueless men reading this post agree not to give women they don't know well a stuffed animal, and I concede that some women do like one on occasion.

Flowers, cut and wrapped
Him: I screwed up somehow and want to head it off before you realize it.
Her: Lovely. Now I have to root around for a vase, clean it, add fresh water, trim each and every thorny stem, and arrange the flowers before I can go get some dinner. I wonder if a second date is too early to pretend I care enough to dry and keep them? I have a piece of string handy.

Flowers, arranged in a vase
Him: I screwed up somehow and want to head it off before you realize it.
Her: Thank you.

By now you may have noticed a pattern regarding the price of items in this post. Specifically, more expensive items get better reviews. Really, the point is that quality items of a thoughtful nature get better reviews. Three dozen red roses wrapped up and handed to lady right before a date is actually worse than one dozen. Either a few exquisite wrapped roses or roses already in a vase are much preferred. This is also true for chocolate where three elegant truffles are much better than a 1 lb box of cheap ones. (If the box says something like 6 oz Free!, they are cheap chocolates.)

Chocolate, worst-case
Him: I don't bother thinking about what you might actually want.
Her: If I were going to ruin my diet, it certainly wouldn't be with strawberry cream filled Russell Stover's.

Chocolate, best-case
Him: It's a holiday, let's splurge.
Her: Well, it would be a shame to let Belgian dark-chocolate truffles go to waste...Thank you.

Jewelry & Perfume
I really hate to interpret jewelry and perfume for the same reason that I hate to do stuffed animals. Anything with that potential price range (~$5-$5,000) has too many pitfalls to choose a worst-case. I propose the same deal: you don't give jewelry or perfume to women you don't know well and I concede some women you know well might like it.

Pajamas
I know pajamas aren't racy lingerie, but they are rather intimate clothing. Men may give pajamas to the following three categories of women: wives, fiancees, and friends/relatives who absolutely never will be wives, fiancees, girlfriends, or dates. Giving pajamas to women you hope to take them off someday without receiving permission to do so beforehand is asking for trouble.

Sports Memorabilia
My previous interpretation of I wanted this, but couldn't afford it plus a gift for you so I decided to multi-task. I'll want it back when we break up. was perhaps a little sexist. After all, women like sports as well. I would like to instead address a more appropriately titled category of gifts: "Things He's Crazy About." This is the category that applies when my husband suggests that for my birthday he will upgrade my computer by replacing my two-year-old components with his one-year-old components, leaving him free to buy a brand new computer. Other men buy power tools, lawn tools, grills, sports stuff, or even cars under this category. There is only one possible thing a man is thinking, which is, as before, I wanted this, but couldn't afford it plus a gift for you so I decided to multi-task. I'll want it back when we break up. However, a woman has two possible responses. She either thinks Sweet! I always wanted that! or I wonder if this is worth anything on eBay? Either way, the gift is not returned on the event of a break-up.

Little Souvenirs from trips
I decline for personal reasons to continue mocking little souvenirs from trips. My husband loves it when I get them for him and I don't want to poison the success of such an easy gesture that says Thanks for working hard the last two weeks to pay for my lovely trip without you, darling. After all, I may never again find such a gesture or man to give it to.

1 comment:

Jill said...

Wow, Nina. You're cool.