Valentine’s Day UNregistry: what NOT to get your woman on V’day


VD is the one day I shove the feminist in me and openly declare that I need pampering. And gifts are a big part of it. We can all wax eloquent about the joy of gift-giving but we know it’s bupkis when compared to the joy of unwrapping one. Finding a good gift for a woman is easier than finding a graphic scene in an Irving Wallace novel. As much as Men’s health magazine would have you believe, you need not delve deep into our core beliefs to get us one—A pretty, well-fitting dress that none of my friends have. A shiny-but-not-too-tawdry pair of earrings. A relaxing day at the spa followed by a home-cooked meal. Simple joys of life are all what we crave for.

Yet, men over-think it every year. Fights ensue. Insecurities are disengaged from their deep seats. Year-old issues are roused from the dead, ultimately leading to questions of the “where is the relationship going?” nature. In short, no action. Just angry reactions.

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Subtlety is overrated

I know that men are inundated with choice which could paradoxically limit their ability to choose. By flagging some of the options as verboten, I hope to ease the situation:

1. Gift cards

This includes all food coupons, department store cards (Victoria’s secret too), Amazon and iTunes cards. We get it. They’re utility-based gifts, but that’s something you give a long-distance friend when you forget his birthday, not someone you’re having dinner with that night.

2. Teddy bears/ figurines/statuettes of any kind

As much as we need to support our knees when we see one, we don’t want you to give us cuddly things. It just makes us look vulnerable. And we want to be pampered without appearing vulnerable. Same goes for figurines, but in a different way. Anything that could adorn a showcase in the house is best left for the wedding registry.

3. Chocolates

We love chocolates. Any shape. Any form. I am sure many men do too. That’s precisely why we don’t want them. Plus, you could get them at a Walmart.

4. Home appliances 

You might think that an easy-bake oven is the perfect gift for your wife/girlfriend who loves baking. Maybe for Christmas, sure. On VD however, no allusions or even mild winking at gender stereotypes. Even though we’ve all seen that scene from “The father of the bride.”

5. DIY books

Books on how to change a tire or fix the motherboard on the computer might speak to our feminist side, but remember how we decide to dump that side on VD? It’s best to steer clear of any procedural books for the day.

So, yes. The gift should be feminine, not feminist. It should be useful, not utility-based. It should make us feel pretty without being confining or stereotypical. And it shouldn’t look easy. That’s all it takes to make a woman happy.

Or you could just say that you don’t want to exchange gifts this year because spending time with her and seeing her  lovely smile trumps a million gifts. Your take.

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18 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day UNregistry: what NOT to get your woman on V’day

  1. Agree, agree, agree! Gift cards are my #1 pet peeve gift from anyone who’s close to me. It just comes across as lazy and half-assed in my opinion. Somehow, if guys read this, I feel like they’d get even more confused about what to get us girls….. :D

  2. Hey! I went with a teddy bear and some chocolates for the gf this year – a double foul! At least I didn’t follow that up with a washing machine.

    Fun post Aparna! Hope you had a great V day! : )

  3. This is a bit late. Just stumbled across your blog. I once gave the missus a mincer (like for mincing food) for xmas. I still don’t understand why she wasn’t impressed. She could have done home-made sausages. Can there be anything more interesting to make and cook? But I agree whole heartedly with items 1 to 3 and item 5. What are my fellow men thinking of?!

    • Haha! I think, and i could be wrong that couples always find means to buy stuff that they need. These include the utility goods I talked about. What we often hesitate to buy are the things we really want. Gifts are a wonderful way to fill this void.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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