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What Do You Get for the Man Who Has Everything?

I love birthdays. I love Christmas. I love gifts.

Well, at least I love the idea of all of those things. I hate the actual act of giving gifts. It has nothing to do with the expense, it has to do with the inability to know what others might want. I always feel a bit heart-broken when I exchange gifts – as if I’m going to let the person down. 

I’m always reminded of that episode in Will & Grace when Grace is giving Woody Harrelson his birthday present (their first birthday together). Very sweetly, she decided to give him a book on motorcyles since she knew he always loved motorcycles. But minutes before she can give him his book, Karen walks in and gives him an actual motorcyle.

Grace is crestfallen. That is me.

This isn’t a new phenomena for me. I must admit that things got better when I was dating Matt for 10 years. He made it perfectly obvious what he wanted (usually CD’s and DVD’s). I know I let him down a few times, but overall he made it clear what he wanted and gift-giving was made simple.

Things are a bit more complicated with Randy. For example:

1) He’s comfortable enough financially that he’s already bought everything he wants or needs

2) He’s not given me any idea of what he might want (well, until this morning when he requested a flat screen TV…yeah, maybe not).

3) He has a reputation for returning things. In fact, last year for Christmas he gave me specific things he wanted (even telling me the store to go to and item to get).  He still returned them. But I don’t take it personally…he returns at least half of the things he buys for himself, too.

Anyway, I’ve got just over two weeks left to figure things out. If I fail, the gift he wants most just might be a new boyfriend.


  1. Comment by Brad on August 9, 2007 1:08 pm

    So get him a gift certificate. I’m now doing this for about 90% of people. I don’t mean to sound unromantic, but the idea of agonizing over gifts is not a good way to spend time. I think it’s better to give a certificate and then the fun part comes when you go to the store with the person and get to witness them picking something that they really want or like … or if not for “stuff”, get it to a restaurant and make sure it’s large enough so that both of you can go out together.

  2. Comment by Dennis(from Knoxville, TN.) on August 9, 2007 3:13 pm

    A gift card is the way to go. I myself am in similar situations with my partner and our best friend. Gift cards make wonderful gifts and if you feel that is not enough, buy something cheaper but romantic in nature, a great bottle of wine, favorite chocolates, an additional gift certificate to a favored eating establishment.
    Good luck!

  3. Comment by jeff on August 9, 2007 4:22 pm

    In only two weeks, and I have not gotten my invitation yet. I’m going to walk down to the mailbox right now and check for it!!

  4. Comment by snarl on August 9, 2007 8:28 pm

    I know, Jeff! That’s another thing I asked him (do you want a party) and he can’t even give me an answer for that! He’s so on the fence!

  5. Comment by Karyn on August 13, 2007 9:41 am

    Can you let me know where you shop for new boyfriends?

    Is there a coupon for that, or a promo offer , and most importantly, what’s the return policy?

    I love gifting and the creative challenges that go with it… but every now and again you do run up against a really tough customer.

    Chin up; who could do better than you?

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