Proof Good Wives Are Out There (And How To Test For One)

Sometimes even I get surprised. I was expecting that I was going to get a at least some negative to guarded reaction to buying Jennifer pots and pans (of her choice) for her birthday in yesterday’s post.

Instead this is the reaction I got in the comments, and believe me, I’m not even cherry picking a handful of good ones, this is about 75% of all the comments. Just listen to the women talking here. I’m so tired of being told I found Jennifer riding around on a unicorn. These are fairly standard female MMSL readers and I’m proud of all of them. Perhaps a really cool kitchen item is an acid test you should throw the way of a prospective bride before you sign on the dotted line. Looking back, I’m pretty sure Jennifer would have loved a cool household item from the start.

Kort:  My parents gave me my grandmother’s pots and pans, that still have the warranty on them, for a housewarming gift. And let me know that, as soon as the next piece in the set comes out, they’ll get that for me, too. They are closely guarded and much beloved. I bought myself the expensive vacuum for my 30th. I’d earned it.

Seriously, I love practical gifts. If my hubby got me the non-stick pans I’ve been eyeing for Christmas, it’d be a major step in the right direction. It would show that, after 10+ years, he knows me. Yeah, I’m betting I get the bath and body works gift set that I’m allergic to and a sweater.

Yep, totally jealous of Jennifer. And to all the haters: there is nothing wrong with getting a good set of pots and pans for a major birthday!

Julia:  We’ve usually gone the practical route also; foot massager, kitchen ware, woodworking tools, etc. How much can you really do with a piece of jewelry? At least you still put in the effort to do the gift exchange thing; we’ve slacked off the past few years.

Mike 43:  For one of my wife’s birthday, I bought an expensive mixer. I mean, 300 dollar range. She’d been pining over it for months, so I got it for her.   I let slip that I bought it at work, and the ladies were horrified. But now that I think of it, it may have been of my surety that should would regard it as a great gift, or that she did.   They all asked how she liked it, I just grinned.

Anacaona:  Oh I love kitchen tools! Totally good presents in my book

Shanna:  @Mike43  I totally want one of those mixers! Lucky. (said in Napoleon Dynamite’s voice)  Anyone who would be horrified at that or the pans Jennifer got couldn’t be my friend.  OH and I just got a scale for my bday, too! It tells me bodyfat, muscle, BMI. I love it.  Actually if someone buys you a scale that must mean you’re NOT fat. Because if you WERE fat and they bought you a scale, that’s just rude, right?   Love the ceramic pans! I mean- who wants to die of Dupont Teflon poisoning?

Lindy:  Hubby got me a nice set of stainless steel pots and pans the Xmas before we got married (we don’t do non-stick b/c we’re dirty hippies). I loved it!

Jessie:  Happy Birthday! I always want practical presents, too. I think I’m the only girl in America that would cry if I got jewelry. But I do a happy dance over appliances, knives, etc. And my favorite present ever was my all-clad pots and pans.

Bleeping Slooty:  The best holiday gift I ever got was a Kitchenaid mixer. I hope this Christmas I finally get that sexy Dyson vacuum cleaner. (I have an internet nerd crush on the Dyson vacuum guy.)

Jacquie:  Twenty years ago I was read the riot act by a woman we’d just met and struck up a conversation with in the mall. I mentioned that we were there shopping for a stainless steel colander I’d asked for as a gift from my husband. She tried to make me feel pretty rotten for wanting something practical instead of jewelry or flowers and such, in front of my husband; and went on and on about how if her man got her something practical like that she’d make him wear it. We both remembered that incident recently in our red pill awakening and just had to chuckle. Glad to be here and know we’re not the only ones who think like this.

Wendy:  I wasn’t jealous until I read that they are ceramic. Score! Happy Birthday Jennifer

HeSedSheSed:  Ha. I got a Dyson Vacuum for Valentine’s Day….and I LOVED IT!

Anonymouse:  At least I’m not alone in my desire for housewares as gifts Happy birthday Jennifer!

Stingray:   This is awesome. My husband bought a new carpet cleaner from a neighbor once that he decided he didn’t want after he brought it home. We just bought it from him since he was just going to take it back. My husband told him it was going to be my Valentine’s day present (which we don’t celebrate) and this guy nearly choked to death. “You’re giving it to her for what?!?!?!?!” It was hysterical. And it was a wonderful present.

Practical presents like this are wonderful, especially if they are something you would never spend the money on otherwise or buy ones that are as high quality. It is such a nice surprise to open the box and see something in there you have really wanted around the house, that you have been doing without because it’s not really necessary, but would be oh-so-useful. Those are my very favorite gifts.

Julie:  Great birthday gift in my mind! Ya know what my husband got me for my last birthday? A lovely apron and new dish towels!!!! He got them because that is what I asked for! They were from Williams-Sonoma and not cheap. I love kitchen items for gifts because I LOVE to cook and bake for my man and my kids. I don’t care what anyone else thinks-fabulous gifts for me! I actually don’t want jewelry as with two little boys I am constantly cleaning up messes, changing dirty diapers, wiping up spills, being puked on, etc. Not practical for this stage in my life.

RedPillNewb:  My wife can’t stand frivolous things like flowers or jewelry. I get great mileage out of intentionally outraging other women with stories of my gifts (or lack of gifts). I can’t understand why they think they should be outraged on behalf of a woman they hardly know if that woman doesn’t get something they would want.

RedPillWifey: Nothing wrong with practical. Happy birthday Jennifer!

Jennifer:  Thanks for all the birthday wishes! And yes I would have loved a cool house present from the start…although Athol was the cook at the start of our marriage so I wouldn’t have known what to do with an expensive mixer or something lol…





  1. Another thing is that using the right tools for the job makes the job a lot more enjoyable. A good kitchen knife or two will go a long way. Cast iron lasts forever. If you bake a lot, a Kitchenaid mixer is the dog’s bollocks.

    I’ve always been a practical sort myself. Flowers are nice but not much use. A house plant is better than flowers – lasts longer!

  2. A good rule is: buy something they can use every day, but of the very best quality. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just nicer than they would buy for themselves. I still have the trash can my nephew and niece bought for me. Awesome!

  3. You know, I actually think that might be a good litmus test for a potential wife, like Athol said.
    All the girls I know that would have preferred an expensive handbag, jewelry (or something else flashy to show off in public) haven’t made good wife material. A couple of them aren’t even married anymore. Never thought of that!

  4. When I get flowers, they’re attached to roots or bulbs. Or they’ve been cut from the garden. Practical is good. And when he know what I need before I do, it’s even better! Mixer, computer, Kirby vac, new desk chair…
    All I want for Christmas is a pedestal hair dryer for home hot-oil treatments. And I’ll probably get it!

  5. I adore practical gifts. I don’t really like surprises so dh gets me the things I ask for like vacuums, new doors, window treatments, whatever.

    I’m trying to hold off on a portable compact ipod speaker system. Last Christmas I got a huge one. I wanted a small one. I love the thing but I do want the smaller to carry around the house for chores.

  6. Sweet! I wouldn’t mind a quality pot series, either. A word of caution, though: I think that only works is she’s really into cooking. If it’s you (or you both) who’s cooking in your household and she sees it as an unpleasant chore, it seems to her that the gift is not for _her_ at all, just something _you_ wanted for yourself. It could even seem a rebuke that she should cook more, and no one wants a rebuke for birthday. But if she’s passionate about, say, sewing, you can always buy her a new sewing machine instead :)

  7. thediverdown says:

    I just celebrated closing on my very first apartment (in the US) ever, so I guess housewarming-gift-season is in full swing. I overheard (eavesdropped!) that my parents are getting me some sweet ceramic pans from BedBath, along with a set of drinking glasses that my mom rescued from my late aunt’s house before the estate sale. I’m absolutely thrilled about both. People have been loading me down with practical things, like their favorite can opener, cookbooks, “do you want this coffee table?” “here, have my couch!” and it’s pretty much like my birthday, Christmas, and every other gifty holiday rolled into one. Don’t even get me started on the cutlery.

    I wonder what it says when a girl squees over veggie peelers as much or more than an expensive purse. I mean, I’d take the purse and be grateful for it . . . but I’d be vaguely embarrassed about how much was spent on such a nonessential item. A girl who expects a luxury item as a gift, and would recoil in horror if she got a CuisineArt Griddler . . . it seems like that’s the kind of girl who doesn’t subscribe to the old adage “it’s the thought that counts”. The Griddler might not be as fancy or as expensive as that Prada bag, but it shows that her man was being thoughtful, and trying to get her something she would love, something that would make her life a little bit easier.

    Seems to me like someone who doesn’t consider the thought behind an action, the intention behind an action, and the effort put into that action would make for a miserable wife. I imagine that a girl like that would only be looking at life from her own perspective without any attempt to understand her hubby’s reasoning. Who wants to be with a woman like that?

    I like the suggestion of giving a wife candidate an awesome appliance before proposing to test the waters. Ace move, especially if you know of one she’s been coveting. And really, if there are no cooking appliances she’s been coveting, that might be a red flag right there. Unless she has the most fully loaded kitchen of all time. I mean, life skills. I wouldn’t want to marry someone who couldn’t cook, just like I wouldn’t want to marry someone who couldn’t drive or balance their checkbook.

  8. Definitely agree this is a good test. Near 100% in my experience. My neighbour (another wife who requested cast iron cookware for her 40th!) has a theory on flash kitchens too – the wives with the fanciest kitchens are the ones least likely to use them.

  9. I received a really high quality iron, and ironing board, for my last birthday. I’d been coveting them for a while, but I’d never spend that kind of money on myself. Best. Birthday. Present. Ever. He’d been paying attention and he was also telling me that I *was* worth that kind of money. (Shallow, yes, but that’s the message that quietly high quality, practical, personalised gifts send to your beloved.)

    I actively dislike a lot of the “romantic” gifts. I don’t wear jewellery. I’m allergic to flowers, perfumes, bath salts, most metals etc. (Yeah, I’m one of *those* people.) Unless someone has specifically asked for the gift, it’s usually just filling in the blanks with the nearest cliche.

  10. Re: How to test for one….


    True story.

    When I was married one of our first Christmas together I bought the then wife every household item under the sun. Best pots and pans, dishwasher, vacuum, bunch of other stuff. I also bought her diamond and ruby ring. We had not been married long and had very little in the way of household items. That year I had really started to make good money so I outfitted the nest so to speak, grande style.

    Wife at that time looked at me like I had taken a shit next to the Christmas tree. The ruby and diamond ring was ignored and all she could do was call monster-in-law and bitch what an ass I was for buying presents like pots and pans, etc. Then word spread among her sisters and I got the stinkeye from them as well.

    To this day she still laughs about that Christmas and not in a good way. I should have got her a bag of skittles and a mop. Yeah, she turned out to be a pretty rotten wife.

    When I date a woman these days I ask her if she can cook. If she looks at me like I’m a retard or sexist pig for asking, it tells me something. I didn’t ask her to cook for me (yet) I just asked if she can cook. I’ll tell you another thing, when they say “no” or “not really” I just look at them and go “hmm”. They get an embarrassed look on their face. They know they are lacking. Cosmo mag be damned. Dudes wants women who can cook and dames want dudes who can earn.

    Funny thing is I’m hiring a housekeeper/cook. For 20 hours a week I can much more cheaply replace the labor contribution a wife would make. ( grocery shopping, cook dinner, do kids laundry, clean a bit). She won’t bitch or complain about having to do it and she will do these things with a smile. Just like a wife she also will not be having sex with me. The Lolz!!! I have outsourced the American wife to foreign competition. Now I can fully concentrate on banging dames without having to do any screening for domestic partner viability. The Lolz again! Win!

    But seriously, when did so many (not all, but many) chicks get so full of themselves as people that they think it’s beneath them to have basic living skills like cooking? We’re not so far removed time wise from when that was a necessary living skill and mate attracting quality. It would be like if a woman was considering a man for a husband and he had zero income generating skills. Not very attractive.

    A chick that can cook and bake like a fiend while wearing a genuine smile gets major points. Just like a husband who can kick ass at work and not come home and whine like a little bitch about how mean everyone at the office is. Lolz.

    I figure if I can bring home the bacon and I can fry it up in the pan, why can’t women have fry it in the pan skills or do it without acting like a martyr? Is this a product of second gen bra burning moms with no skills to pass on to daughters? Or does the stay at home mom with the degree in English Lit think its beneath her? Dunno. Maybe my ex was just royally useless in this department. (hint: yes). Poor dumb and young me, picked a woman for a SAHM that had no skills. Hehe. Live and learn.

    I do know that at family gatherings when we tell stories about great grandmothers and grandmothers one of the first things to come up is that awesome whatever she used to make. It makes a dude feel cared for.

    Oh nose, I rambled! Off to make more bacon…

    (No, you chicks cant have any of my bacon anymore but I will dangle it out there in front of you, like playing with a cat).

  11. @ZLX1 – 99% of what a woman can do around the home can be done by men anyway. The only thing you need a woman explicitly for is to have sex with. It’s amazing how little some women bring to the table.

  12. @Athol,

    Yeah I know. Hehe. I was being a little tongue in cheek, but seriously we’re hiring a housekeeper/cook. I need an Alice around here. It will free my time up for better things. (Like commenting on blogs – the lolz at me – I need to quit dicking around this morning.)

    In regards to what many bring to the table. Yep. That is a thing that I do find a bit irksome at times dating. I’m sitting there thinking, “Wow, I’ve busted my hump to make a business, take care of my kids full time (I have custody), maintain a home, do all that stuff, and you bring what?” “Oh yeah, boobz!!!”

    That’s perfectly fine for dating and the general goofing around I do with women these days, but these women want a serious “relationship.” I’m left thinking that even if I did want that right now, many of these women are nuts in terms of what they bring other than boobies versus what I would give up / put at risk by getting married or locked in right now.

    Maybe I’m thinking about it all wrong and I should seriously just approach it from the standpoint of having boobies and being cute is all that is required. Dunno. I still love you ladies, even when you leave me smirking in disbelief sometimes.

    [I will admit that I still hold onto .328% (that’s a decimal) internal hope that somehow I meet someone who just knocks my socks off and wows me to the point where I do some serious re-thinking about my whole “F a serious LTR” stance. What can I say? There’s a little Disney magic in us all isn’t there?]

  13. @ZLX1
    I remember once when I was a kid, my dad came in from work and asked me to make him supper. I didn’t have a clue what to make, so I made him a peanut butter and marshmallow cream sandwich. I thought it looked amazing. He threw it away and had mom teach me how to make hamburgers soon after that.

  14. @ZLX1
    I think the women who are offended that you ask if they can cook are hypocrites. Aren’t they wondering if you’re handy around the house (fix a leaky faucet, troubleshoot a lawnmower, minor car repairs, etc) as a way to judge your worth? If not, that’s pretty stupid. Men should have skills to bring to the table besides just making a paycheck.

    Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the “kitchen belongs to the woman” attitude. I’d encourage husbands to be able to cook at least a few basic dishes for special situations (you know, in case you want to surprise her or she’s working late or in labor or sick or whatever). So they aren’t MY pots and pans, they’re OURS…he’s welcome to use them too. If something’s MINE (like my toothbrush or curling iron), he’d better not be using it at all. But that’s just how I define my personal boundaries.

    I did get a mixer one Christmas for a gift. It was awesome! I am the baker in my household, so it was something special for me (and only me) to use. The best part is that I mentioned it months and months before, yet it was still remembered. For me, the thought is important. Buying her pots and pans because she’s supposed to get in the kitchen and start gourmet cooking for you is NOT a message I’d appreciate…But “hey, I remembered you said this would make your life easier” is really sweet. Thoughtful AND practical is what does it for me.

  15. @Over It

    Well, when we had what is referred to in family lore as the “domestic Christmas”, we really didn’t have much of those kinds of things. Plus we had a kid. So we really needed that stuff. I worked hard, saved and went all out to get all the nice domestic things that a home should have.

    We didn’t even have a dishwasher at that place. So I bought one so she wouldn’t have to do dishes by hand. Is that sexist? I dunno, is it? I worked all the time, she stayed home with the kid and emphatically did not want to work and wanted to be a housewife and mother. So, she said.

    I thought I was buying the dishwasher so that my then wife wouldn’t have to burdened with an onerous chore, also there were lots of baby dishes and stuff to wash all the time. I think she took it as an insult. A feminist volunteer stay at home mom. Interesting.

    I also remembered that chicks dig shiny objects so that’s why I also got a her a nice diamond and ruby ring and other stuff to go with it. She didn’t say thanks. She just gave me dirty looks in regards to the domestic items each time she unwrapped one and commenced bitching about it on the phone to her mom and sisters later that day. Nice.

    Fast Forward…

    In regards to the women these days that I ask if they can cook, it’s seems that the most typical response is that they appear sheepish or embarrassed over it more than offended. Maybe they are all offended too, but mostly they are a bit sheepish about it. I do get the occasional wrinkled nose of disgust look. The Lolz!

    I just do what I said, say “Hmm.” maintain steady eye contact and let a pregnant pause follow. Holy Smokes! It’s a Neg I’m delivering! Hehe.

    I think they know that when people go out on a date they are auditioning each other for whatever opposite sex partner role they have in mind. I’m not looking for a wife, but I have found that asking that question gives some interesting insight into things. Any answer other than a flat out “No” or “No, I don’t cook.” is workable for me. I’ll even take an honest “I do, but I’m not very good at it.” But a “No” followed by a funny look is kind of meh.

    But this brings me back to something that is probably a “me” issue to sort out.

    Specifically: “Why do I even care?”

    If, as I have said so many times, (probably to reinforce the point to myself) that I’m not looking for a wife (pretty solid on that) and I’m not super interested in a serious “relationship”, why do I even bother to ask things like that or take it into consideration? Why am I on here and not hanging over at Roosh’s place all the time for that matter?

    If I am truly just out for giggles and good times, then cute, boobs and not annoying or crazy should be my only criteria. I really shouldn’t care at all about anything like that, should I? No, not really. I should sort out why I care what a woman brings to the equation other than boobs and good humor. Good question for self reflection.

    Possible answers:

    1. That’s all first wife brought to the table (plus a bad attitude) and that wasn’t enough.

    2. I feel (and I hate this word) entitled to something “better” in that respect since I have worked so hard for everything and to build something for myself over the years.

    I don’t want to share it with someone who just shows up with nothing much on offer. But then again, I don’t care about her career or money, or anything of that nature. I’m all good there. I’m not looking to have more kids, so I don’t need “good mom” potential in her.

    So what the hell am I poking around at when I ask things like that and why do I do it? Scratches head.

    3. I’m subconsciously screening for an LTR partner despite all my bullshit and bluster about not being interested in that.

    4. There is some subconscious drive to meet someone and “do it over again” but this time get it right and to not repeat the mistakes of the past. Not possible though. I can’t go back in time to my twenties and start all over fresh and make a nice new family and all that with a different woman.

    5. All of the above / Fill in the blank.

    I do know that when I meet these women and go out on dates, I’m not just thinking “I’ll smoothly get her into bed and ride it out for a bit until it fizzles…” I am definitely thinking I’m going to get her into bed, but I’m also thinking “Man, I really hope that she’s got a lil’ something special going on…and maybe, just maybe…” So far, natch.

    That’s why I do not self identify as a PUA, playah, whatever ghey labels the 12 year-olds come up with. Probably also why sometimes my comments careen from venomous to cuddly. Oh nose, I am at war within myself! I have issues. The Lolz! Well, I will have to spend some time reflecting on this. Could be an important moment of self discovery and personal growth. Could just be leftover blue pill residue and fantasy.

    I rambled again. Okay seriously, enough hump day farting around. Back to making my bacon. My employees, they need some whip cracking.

    Back on topic: I agree, buying a domestic gift is a good screener if you are looking for a wife.

  16. If I remember correctly, wasn’t Jennifer lusting after a very expensive Pandora bracelet last Xmas? Now that I think more about it, there is always a mix of practical and unpractical gifts with my wife for her Birthday and Xmas…

    She wanted it, but thought it was too expensive. I got the nice silver version for her against some mild protests lol, and then she bought some cheapish beads for it.

  17. RedPillNewb says:

    My wife couldn’t cook worth a damn until we had our first kid. Then I’d come home from work and she would want a break from child care. Yet somehow she expected me to cook dinner, too! So she learned to cook so I could play with the kid and she could be alone for a while. She’s still not much of an intuitive cook like I am, but she produces some really great stuff when she’s in the right mood. I still cook a fair amount too because it’s fun and it’s nice to have her compliment my work.

  18. In the Love Languages questionnaire we took for fun, both my husband and I ranked “gifts” at rock-bottom – so I guess it’s no surprise we both tend to get D- in that department. However, there have been some fantastic highlights anyway. Within a few weeks of discovering our first pregnancy, he took me out on a date to buy our first dishwasher! Since, you know, in a few months I wouldn’t be able to reach the sink very comfortably anymore… And it was kind of over my protests, too, since we were pretty broke and I didn’t think it “worth spending the money on.” That was twelve years, five pregnancies, and two dishwashers ago, but I still have to smile and go kiss him whenever I remember the story.

  19. BorealisBabe says:

    Mr. Kay,

    I have been reading your site as well as Dalrock’s over the past few weeks. Tears are already starting to well up in my eyes as I write this. I have been ungrateful, critical, and demanding (et. al) and in turn have only made myself miserable. Thanks so much for the straight talk and for the understandable language with which you convey your message. Men really aren’t complicated after all and it makes a world of difference to have a definition of “Alpha/Beta” traits and how I should respond to them . So often I would be confused/hurt about he manly Alpha, only to get angry at Beta displays. Bad behavior would ensue on my part, and my already strong silent type would get stronger, silenter, and more attuned to the Harley or the kids. As I look back it hasn’t been his wrongdoing, but my lack of understanding…cause’ he didn’t function like a chick (Duh, anyone?) Things are different in our home now and things will never go back to the way they were for so long.

    On the subject of receiving gifts: I truly have the best of both worlds! I do like receiving jewelry and flowers, and my husband has always purchased both of these things for me. He has a sixth sense when shopping for me, and I have the funkiest most eclectic array of jewelry, entirely assembled by him. As an example, for our last anniversary, he actually gifted me with a beautiful necklace that I had admired unbeknowst to him (like 2 years before)! I also like receiving practical gifts and he is good at choosing those too. He bought my stainless steel pots the first year we were married off of QVC! We lived in an old apartment with no cable, but on his day off he discovered we got a few extra channels, one of them being QVC. My pots showed up a week later and I have been wearing them out ever since.

    Thank -you for what you do, please keep it up!

  20. I just want to clarify, that I didn’t mean I *never* want jewelry or flowers. The hubs had sprung for these on anniversaries, valentine’s. But I don’t expect it. Nor do I ask for it.
    @Athol: ok, I really rarely disagree with you, BUT
    “99% of what a woman can do around the home can be done by men anyway”.
    Not in my world! Hubs just came home for lunch and just about burnt the house down via the toaster oven. (I was in the bedroom tending to a sick kiddo. I usually make his lunch.)
    Also, his pant inseam is 31″ so I have to hem almost all his pants because most are 32″.
    I also cut his hair because he doesn’t like how anyone else cuts it. I could go on, but I won’t ramble like ZLX1. (teasing!)
    So there. I am valuable besides dos boobies. :) And he is very valuable to me for 500 reasons.
    By the way, ZLX1 – the “domestic Christmas” you describe – plus jewelry, would be a dream come true! Something was definitely wrong with her perspective.

  21. For the longest time, I thought I couldn’t cook and I’d get mad whenever somebody asked. It was my own insecurities, though, because my first Thanksgiving as a married woman, I cooked almost the entire meal from memory from scratch. I spent an hour crying because I couldn’t get the yeast rolls to come out like my mom did. My mom is a gourmet chef and did stuff that wasn’t in the recipe that I’d never seen her do. I figured it out eventually after several phone calls and a fight over why she’d never told me that part.

    So, I could cook, I just couldn’t cook like my mom.

    Now, I like a nice purse as much as the rest of them, but I’m really lusting for a Miche bag. It’s one where the inside stays the same and you just change the outside. That way, I can change it so it matches what I’m wearing but I don’t have half a dozen purses laying around. They’re also pretty inexpensive for a purse.

    I think my favorite is pretty and practical. The red kitchenaid mixer is on my list since my white one was “lost” in a move a few years ago.

  22. It’s the thought behind the practical gift. My hubs and I tend toward the lamentable gifting of an O Henry story – sacrificing for one another and getting it just a smidge wrong. And then we laugh. We’ve been married 17 years now – and we use gift lists. Very specific lists.

    Absolutely agree that women should have some real skills to bring to the table, and laughing at all those adults (of either gender!) who can’t cook. My 8yo can make you a fine plate of cheesy scrambled eggs!

  23. LovelyLauren says:

    I don’t understand why people don’t just say what they want for Christmas or give their SO a list of a few options. My husband and I always do this and consequently, we are rarely disappointed.

    I am not opposed to household/pragmatic items as gifts, but I like frivolous things too. Last year, he got me a vintage dress that I wear occasionally that I adore. I would never have bought it for myself. This year I wanted a waffle-maker.

  24. We have sort of a list. We email each other throughout the year of things we think are cool. When a gift time rolls around, I pull out the emails and pick one. Usually something practical. Win.

  25. Happy birthday, Jennifer – I hope you had/have a great day. I think you will find that your 40s are, in many ways, better than your 30s.

    One of my best presents – a Kitchenaid mixer for Valentine’s Day. I do think that husbands need to be smart when buying so-called practical gifts. It should be something you are pretty sure she would enjoy, that fits in with one of her hobbies/interests/skills, and that she is unlikely to buy for herself (generally because it’s too expensive). Your basic vacuum cleaner probably won’t do the job (unless for some reason she really wants a basic vacuum cleaner!). The same general rule applies to both sexes – buy your husband or wife a gift that you think he/she will really enjoy and will make him/her feel loved.

  26. anonymouse says:

    One of my first “married” presents from my husband was a dishwasher. I still consider it the best thing he ever bought me <3

  27. Zxl1, I would have loved that house gadget Christmas! I’m sorry it didn’t go over better. It sounds like you put a lot of effort into it.

  28. anonymouse says:

    Not a jewelry person here at all. I don’t think hubs has ever bought me jewelry aside from the wedding ring I haven’t worn in several years (babies make my fingers fluffy). I will take pots and pans and spatulas over jewelry any day ;)

  29. This reminds me a lot of my mom. She still talks about the birthday when my dad bought her a washing machine and dryer and how happy she was because it made her life so much easier. This birthday was about 25 years ago.

  30. I hate practical presents. Pots and pans are things for the kitchen, they don’t belong to me. My husband cooks as well. I like fun things for presents. Not a huge fan of expensive jewellery, but I like Kirk’s Folly. And books, DVDs, Barbies etc are all good things. Failing all else, a Waterstones gift voucher is always welcome. But pots and pans? No thank you.

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