Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

An Age Old Question

[Reposting due to the Blogger maintenance fiasco that caused one dropped post and several dropped comments here]

As a result of a combination of me being out at sea a lot during our early years as a family and the fact that I have absolutely no sense of fashion or color coordination, my wife and I have evolved a system of gifting whereby my wife tells me exactly what she wants, and I get her those things, or else she just buys them herself and lets me know what I got her.

My wife's birthday and Mother's Day are always close, occasionally on the same day. She's always been very insistent that she get separate gifts for those two important days, which I think is reasonable and fair. Since this is her 25th Mother's Day as a mother (she was carrying our first child on Mother's Day 1987) I thought I should get her something special. [This should set off alarm bells already among experienced husbands.]

She had given me a list of exactly two things she wanted, so in an effort to surprise her I decided to spend the same amount of money and get her one of the things she wanted (but of lower quality), and one item that she has always kind of said she wanted but never really asked for. She was very surprised at the "bonus" item and seemed very happy, but now, a couple days later, she's saying, "I love it, but why didn't you just get me what I asked for?" I don't really have a good answer; it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

So what do you think? Should husbands just get the presents their wives want, or should they try to surprise them?


Blogger Sara E Anderson said...

If she's making specific requests, I think it's likely she's given up on waiting to be surprised. A surprise-gift that's not an obligatory one is probably the best way to go about surprise gifts. If you're the type of household that uses birthdays and whatnot as an "excuse" to get the things you've been putting off, the direct request is probably the way to go.

5/12/2011 10:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter which way you go, the odds of getting it right depend on the receiver and experience says you will be wrong every time:)

5/12/2011 10:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only my wife would tell me what she wants!

5/12/2011 10:55 AM

Anonymous Sparky WT said...

Bubble Head --

And I thought you're an engineer!

5/12/2011 11:03 AM

Blogger hughmon said...

There are two files on our computer - "Stuff He Wants" and "Stuff She Wants".
Words, pictures, links, model #s, anything goes.
Works like a charm.

5/12/2011 11:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you had wanted to surprise her, you should have gotten her exactly what she wanted...PLUS the bonus gift.

PS...I am the world's worst wife-gift-buyer, ever.

5/12/2011 2:02 PM

Blogger Zoe Brain said...

Both. Get her what she asks for - then get her something special as well.

If only a box of chocolates you can't find in stores, or a single red rose with a small white card and the simple words "I love you".

A ring from a crackerjax box, and a note saying "I want to spend the rest of my life with you" is worth more than mere diamonds.

5/13/2011 6:38 PM

Blogger Mike Golch said...

I'd like to know if those "Geeks" over at blogger are gonna restore the comments that they caused to disapear.

5/13/2011 6:49 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

They claim they are, but I'm hearing from other guys that they're not making much progress.
Zoe - Good to hear from you!

5/13/2011 7:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just got my blog back, minus a lot of posts, and all the advertising stuff. Hrrrmph.
People in Oz are saying it was a Friday 13th malicious act.
Who Knows.?

5/13/2011 7:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, i forgot to say Women seem to like things with no intrinsic value that smell okay. Or have frills, or made of chocolate.
So, going by this, an acrylic fur perfumed chocolate cushion.

5/13/2011 7:34 PM

Anonymous Stsc said...

For Mother's Day, I do not give my wife a gift item. Instead, I try very hard all day to keep things running smooth and try to make it an 'effortless' day for her that we spend together as a family. That means no cooking or cleaning for her, and I tackle as much of the Mommy stuff for our 4 kids that day as possible.

My Mom gets a call and a card usually.

As to birthday gifts, if it is in my budget I get her what she wants, and try to add a little surprise with a card tucked under her pillow or hidden in a pocket somewhere she'll find it sometime during the day.

5/13/2011 8:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have to ask then I think you already know the right answer: buy her what she wants! Remember your Navy training:


5/13/2011 8:18 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

On random days I'll send a simple bouquet to my wife at work. Makes her GFs and co-workers jealous. HUGE points.
One Valentine day I sent a 4 man barbershop quartet to her work (I got her boss in on it so he could get the guys in and make sure everything was cool).
That night was rather spectacular (if you know what I mean) and I'm stiull the "hero husband" of her co-workers.

5/13/2011 9:49 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Concur with Zoe. Get what she wants, but also make sure you show you're still interested and put forth some effort by buying her something she might not expect.

Current girlfriend and my mother both have birthdays around Mother's Day. Ex's birthday was a few days after X-Mas. In all cases, was threatened with death and dismemberment if I ever "combined" gifts.

5/14/2011 5:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter the route taken, you will be wrong. It's even lower odds than 50-50-90. But never retreat from a challenge:)

5/14/2011 1:02 PM

Blogger Curt said...

Cut out the Middle'Man' - She knows what she wants, and she can wrap it better... Get it?

If she didn't know what she wants, well, that's for another thread...

KISS is right.

You want to get her a surprise? Do it, but KISS and on an off occasion - totally surprising.

5/14/2011 2:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have fallen into the same routine for the most part. My wife will tell me what she wants. I do some research (for instance she wanted a new camera). If the brand she thinks she wants isn't what I think she should get I give her list of options and reasons. Then we both win. She gets what she wanted (and still thinks it was her idea) and I feel good about the purchase.

5/16/2011 4:23 AM

Anonymous STS2 said...

Count your lucky stars she actually knows and tells you exactly what she wants. I would kill for that direct of an approach from my wife!! Get her what she wants, then go above and beyond.

5/16/2011 6:16 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

This blog reminds me how difficult it is to fathom the opposite sex. While I was on active duty I had a tradition of sending my wife a dozen roses scheduled to arrive two days before my return from the deployment, trip, etc. When I retired, my wife commented "Thank goodness, now I won't get flowers every time you come home." It turns out, she is allergic to the scent of flowers, including roses, but did not tell me this. Just think of the dollars saved and the allergy agony that could have been avoided if she had told me the first time I sent the roses rather than fourteen years later on my retirement. Now that I am retired I still encounter similar misinterpretations of seemingly innocent comments or gifts. When I "screw up" my wife just returns the item and gets what she "really wanted." Joel, you have my sympathy and empathy.

5/16/2011 10:57 AM

Blogger Gforce said...

After 35 years of marriage my advise is get her what she wants! Preferably have her there with you so there is absolutely no confusion. Only took me about 20 years to figure that out....

5/16/2011 2:53 PM

Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

Yeah, go ahead, get her what she told you to. Also, consider getting her something that she didn't mention. Like, maybe a Silver picture frame with all of your children, including the 25 year old child. Just as a reminder of this anniversary.

My bride and I went for a ride on the "Dinner Train" for our 25th. That's what she wanted. Two years later I bought her another engagement ring, with three diamonds totaling well over two carots.

5/17/2011 9:12 PM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

My Girlfriend's birthday and Valentine's day are fairly close together, depending on the calender. Last Feb what I did was I bought four presents. Two for Valentines day and two for her Birthday. This way, I knew I was clear.

1. A pair of dress boots from Macy's she's had her eye on at $480.00. I've spent less than half that for a pair of Matterhorns.

2. A $200.00 gift card to Victoria's Secret. I figure let her pick out her own panties as to size and fit. If she's uncomfortable with something I pick out while I'm unsupervised, we'll have problems later on down the road regarding fit and comfort. So let her make her own choice. Life is so much easier this way.

3. Flowers...what's her favorite flower? I spent $90.00 bucks on 26 yellow roses (She turned 26 sometime in the second week of last Feb)in a vase.

4. I got a little naughty on this last one...
Not that we needed it, but she's had some of her strongest orgasms ever once I applied this gel. It has a warm and tingly vibe to it and she's a happy girl. It's the intent of every guy to be the most creative, fulfilling and nastiest part of a woman's sexual diary. This stuff me Guys it's worth it.

My main point here is go with creativity & variety and try to figure out what she wants. That means we have to make an extra trip at the end of the duty day and try and remember what indications she's recently made.

Sometimes life is easier if you take a moment to reassess the situation at present. On another thought, she's going to move with me back to K-Bay this mid July. I'm one happy bastard at this point.

5/18/2011 1:32 AM

Blogger Tor Hershman said...

Definitely what she wants + a surprise BUT only ethereal ones, e.g., flowers, candy.

5/23/2011 8:19 AM

Anonymous contactos en madrid said...

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11/02/2011 1:13 PM


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