4 Thoughtless Gifts Men Buy (And Why They Bought Them)

Men don’t tend to be great at buying nice, thoughtful gifts. You really can’t blame us — we don’t expect anything more than nostril-hair trimmers for our birthdays and a decent tie or two on Christmas, so we end up giving similar gifts to women, which doesn’t always turn out well (I’m nursing a head wound right now). Here’s a look at a few thoughtless gift ideas that could only have come from the warped mind of a dude.

  1. Bath Stuff. Every guy I talked to admitted to visiting Bath & Body Works or some similar store in a last-minute gift panic. They figure that since women like to smell good, they’ll enjoy a big basket of stuff that makes them smell good. Their intentions are solid, but a basket of bath salts works better as a housewarming present from a real estate agent.

    What He’s Thinking: “I have no other ideas for a gift, so I’ll stop into this overwhelmingly pungent store and grab something at random. It’s a great way to find a great gift without even opening my eyes, and everything’s overpriced, so nobody will accuse my gift of being thoughtless, other than maybe some jackass blogger …”

  2. Gift Certificates. Gift certificates basically take money that’s good anywhere and make it utterly useless everywhere but one store. If that store is Foot Locker, well, bad gift.

    What He’s Thinking: It’s not that men don’t know what you like, it’s just that we don’t know where to buy it. We figure that gift certificates are a great way for you to buy your own present. How are we supposed to know that a store like Hot Topic doesn’t carry the cool stuff you’ve been hinting at?

  3. Gifts Secretly For Us. “Secretly” might be too big of a word here. Sometimes a guy will pick up a gift so blatantly self-serving that there’s no reasonable explanation. My father would frequently tell the story of how he once bought my mother a left-handed catcher’s mitt — she’s not left-handed. Oh, and she doesn’t play baseball.

    What He’s Thinking: Pretty much nothing other than “I really want this.” I can’t really defend this type of gift-giving from any guy who doesn’t have a severe neurological disorder.

  4. Sexy Gifts. Once again, guys usually have better-than-average intentions when packaging up some slutty lingerie and edible panties. One of my friends provided a seven-day set of edible panties for his girlfriend. Even if she wouldn’t mind wearing Fruit Roll-Ups for a full week, there’s something terribly unhygienic about making underwear part of your own diet via crappy gift.

    What He’s Thinking: Guys who buy the sexy gifts usually make their mistake in thinking that women’s sex drives go from zero to 60 in four seconds or so, because that’s how our sex drives work. If he would have planned out a big romantic date, ending with some tasteful lingerie and whatnot, that might be a really sweet idea, but trying to use a gift to jump straight into sex is like making dinner without putting anything in the oven.

Ever deal with a horrible man-bought gift? Post your story in the comments.