OPINION

Gifts Men Should Not Give Women

September 29, 2010
Mansi Bhatia

I recently read a blog post talking about why men should give women flowers and instantly I knew I had to do a follow-up post of my own on why men shouldn't! While I'm at it, I might as well list everything else I think men should not gift women.

1. Let's start with flowers: While research may tell you that flowers make one happy, the fact of the matter is that they wilt and die a slow death. Do you know how painful it is to throw away flowers that you've attached so many sentiments with? And when you can't throw them away because they were oh-so-special you Google how to preserve flowers and even then you don't get it right. The result? A lot of heartache and angst. So, men, think long term. You'll end up causing the woman grief, not happiness. If she's the caring, nurturing types, though, by all means gift her a blooming plant — something she will look at and smile for a long time. For a cactus-killer like yours truly, though, even flowers rooted in soil are  a bad idea.

2. Perfumes: Please let a woman select her own brand of scent. Don't make assumptions about all women liking citrus smells or "the delicate scent of a warm rose." Also keep in mind that some of us women might be allergic to the chemicals in perfumes causing us to go into sneezing bouts. And, one more tip: some women might actually deem a gift-wrapped perfume bottle offensive. If you're scratching your head at that last statement, think about how you'd react if someone told you in a passive-aggressive way that you don't smell good.

3. Jewelry: I know most women swoon over big diamonds or rubies and can't stop gloating over their bling, but I urge men to be the "sensible" ones here and take their lady loves on a memorable trip instead. Spend $5,000 on an exclusive island getaway for a week instead of on a stone. Cook for her. Surprise her with a picnic on a regular weekend. Don't take the easy route and buy her a shiny stud — put some more thought into creating memories that will last a lifetime. It's not the bracelets and the pendants she'll remember when she thinks of your love ...  it's the time you spent with her that she will cherish.

4. Chocolates: Most women have a weakness for chocolate, but they also know the pitfalls that come with it. You might have garnered by now (through the media and other personal experiences) that women are conscious about their weight. Don't tempt them with calorie-laden sweetness that will end up being the cause of a lot of arguments later in the relationship.

5. Clothes: Women have very distinct preferences of color, fabric, style and what not when it comes to clothes. Don't even try to dress them up or down. There's no way you're getting out of that attempt victorious. You might think you're buying her something flattering, but she might interpret it very differently. Let me put it this way: what a woman likes on the walls of a house are not the kinds of prints or colors she likes in her clothes. She may come and ask your opinion after she's bought a new dress or a pair of shorts, but that's only to validate her own decision. Stay out of her closet and you'll be a happy man.

I am not like most women, so I can see a lot of hue and cry being made about the above list. But even though my gift-receiving tastes might be different from the majority of women, I think all of us have one thing in common: we treasure experiences so much more than any objects you men gift us.

I'm not urging men not to splurge on their women. Just don't spend your money buying "things."

Mansi Bhatia is a writer/editor currently residing in San Jose, California. An Indian by birth, a world citizen by choice.
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