Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dude: When she complains about the toaster oven, she doesn't want a new one as a gift

We men are funny creatures when it comes to gift-giving, aren't we? Well, maybe not so much funny as silly. Okay, stupid. Sometimes.

A guy friend of mine recently told me, somewhat proudly, that he was going to buy his wife a new toaster oven for her birthday. Incredulous at his manly blindness, I asked him, "Why on earth would you do that? Do you want to spend the next few years of your marriage practicing celibacy?"

"What? Man, I know she wants one! She told me she hates the toaster oven we have now. She complains about it all the time. How it heats unevenly, how it's so dirty she can't get it cleaned off completely, how -"

I cut him off, because he's my friend and, well, when you see someone about to stick a fork into their eye, you stop them. Because that's what man-buddies do for each other.

"Dude," I interrupted. "She doesn't want a new toaster oven for her birthday." He started to protest again but I gave him the talk-to-the-hand gesture. "Oh, she may want a new toaster oven. But she doesn't want it For Her Birthday. Do not give a practical item - especially a household cooking appliance - to your wife as a birthday present. You don't celebrate the existence of your beloved wife by giving her an appliance! Your wife's birthday gift should not be practical!"

Man thought. Neurons activating, synapses firing. Like when the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey figured out the bones thing. He got it.

"Oh, I get it." He shook his head and looked at me like a man who had been about to stick a fork in his eye but stopped at the very last second.

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