Gifts Not to Give Women
Introduction: Avoid Insulting and/or Impractical Gifts for Women
When gifting a woman, you'll want to get them something they'll love -- something that shows them how much they mean to you. Gift shopping shouldn't be treated like a chore to check off your to-do list. With just a bit of planning and consideration, you can impress the special woman in your life with a meaningful, memorable gift.
Why is it that so many people end up buying insulting gifts or impractical gifts for women, then? Is it because they are clueless? Because the best gifts are too expensive? Or, maybe it's because they just can't think of anything else to buy?
Sometimes, all of the above.
While each woman's individual tastes differ, there is a fairly short list of gifts not to give women (unless she specifically asks for one of these items).
Avoid these present buying mistakes, and you are half-way there:
- Kitchen appliances
- Cleaning products and/or supplies
- Lotions, bath oils, and candles
- Cheap perfume
- Fake jewelry or knock-off designer handbags
- Weight loss programs and gym memberships
- Gift cards
Read on to learn more about each.
What Not to Give Women: Small Kitchen Appliances
Like it or not, a blender or a mixer often carries the implication that you'd like your gift recipient to spend more time in the kitchen (usually preparing meals for you). Even if it is the hottest, most amazing new invention on the planet, a woman is likely not going to appreciate it as a gift.
The same goes for knives. It's dangerous to give an irritated woman knives, when she may have been expecting a smaller box.
Gifts like these send an unintended message that simply isn't heartwarming. Remember the scene in Father of the Bride when Annie's fiancé gave her a blender? She nearly called off the entire wedding!
What Not to Give Women: Cleaning Products or Supplies
Believe it or not, my father once gave my mother a vacuum for Christmas. What may be even more surprising is that they're still married. But she never lets him forget that big gift mistake.
Just as is the case with kitchen appliances, anything that purportedly makes cleaning the house or doing laundry easier is not a proper item for a gift. It's the kind of thing that you bring home from the hardware store on a random day just because, as opposed to on a birthday, Christmas, or anniversary. Even then, though -- tread carefully.
I suggest the following script (spoken brightly and with excitement): "I know how much you hate vacuuming/dusting/washing the windows. I thought I could use this new [fill in the blank] to help more often."
Then, you must actually proceed to do so. Trust me, it's one of the easiest ways to turn women on.
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What Not to Give Women: Lotions, Bath Oils, and Candles
Lotions, bath oils, and candles are the classic cop-out gift. Most of them are cheap and heavy with fragrance. To me, they say, "I couldn't think of anything else to buy you."
If a woman really wants these items, she will purchase them for herself. Chances are, she already has a shelf full of lotions, etc. received as gifts from her girlfriends. The other pitfall with buying candles, bath oils, and the like, is that the fragrance will likely not be one that she enjoys. For example, my mother-in-law is not a fan of lavender, while I myself really enjoy it (this isn't a hint as a gift for me, by the way . . .)
Bottom line: Pass on the lotions, bath oils, and candles. Don't give her another item that she'll eventually re-gift.
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What Not to Give Women: Cheap Perfume
If you're purchasing a fragrance for a woman in a drug store or discount retailer, please don't bother. Cheap perfume is even worse than lotions and bath oils. There is really no use for it, and you can't even properly re-gift cheap perfume (unless you want to come off appearing tacky or cheap).
To play it safe, you don't want to buy perfume online either. Unless, however, you're picking up a new bottle of a fragrance she already has and that you know she enjoys.
Keep in mind that fragrances worth buying as gifts usually cost at least $50 for a few ounces. To avoid getting an unwanted gift for the special woman in your life, take her shopping and test out a few fragrances in the perfume department together. Then, when she opens her gift, she'll be pleasantly surprised that you remembered the one(s) she liked best!
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What Not to Give Women: Fake Jewelry or Knock-Off Designer Handbags
Fake jewelry is another gift not to give women. Do not, under any circumstances, try to pass off cubic zirconia as diamonds or silver-plated jewelry as sterling silver. Like the old adage: if it looks too good to be true, then it probably isn't real.
If the special woman in your life wants fine jewelry, then she must also know that she's worth it for you to make the appropriate investment. Trying to fool her is not only insulting, but the truth will almost certainly come out eventually. Fake, cheap jewelry may turn her ears or fingers green. Cubic zirconia will lose its sparkle and luster over time and end up looking like small chunks of glass.
Additionally, trying to pass off designer-inspired handbags as the real deal is just as insulting. If you aren't going to purchase the actual Coach or Burberry bag she wants, don't waste your money or time on a knock-off. Women know what to look for and will inevitably spot a fake. Even worse, what if her friends tell her it's fake before she discovers it for herself?
What Not to Give Women: Weight Loss Programs or Gym Memberships
Like it or not, one of the worst gifts to give women is membership in a gym or weight loss program. This is the opposite of the message she wants to hear: that she is beautiful no matter her size or shape.
She may drop hints all the time that she wants to lose weight or tone up. But, like many of the gifts not to give women in this Hub, this is something she will have to invest in herself, on her own time, when she is ready. The same thing goes for home exercise equipment. Unless she has specifically asked for weights or a treadmill, don't risk insulting her with these gifts.
What's slightly less insulting, though, is a joint membership to a gym (but never a weight loss program) with the commitment from you and a comment that you yourself want to get in shape, and that you'd hoped she could come along to inspire you. Just make sure that this statement is: (1) true, and (2) believable!
What Not to Give Women: Gift Cards
My mom always taught us that its rude to tell someone what you spent on their gift. We always carefully remove price tags and avoid any references to an expensive shopping trip or the great bargain we were able to score.
That was nearly 30 years ago, though. Today, gift cards are prevalent and can be purchased for just about any service, item, or experience. However, a commercial gift card specifically shows exactly how much money you spent on the recipient. The potential for insulting a woman is high. Plus, it also sends the message that you simply could not come up with anything to purchase which shows a lack of interest or laziness on your part.
If you want to give a gift that cannot be wrapped or must be purchased in the future though, why not create your own gift certificate? One without any reference to price, etc. For example, a night at her favorite restaurant on New Year's Eve. Or, a trip to the wine country together.
Make sure that the gift is about her tastes and not yours, however. A certificate to the Monster Truck Rally, or chainsaw carving convention likely would be additional gifts not to give women.
© 2011 Stephanie Hicks
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