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The Gifts that Keep on Giving: Husband Version

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As we move towards Father’s Day, I thought it only fair to give equal shopping coverage to our male counterparts in response to my previous “please don’t do this” guide in The Gifts That Don't Keep on Giving, which was, in summary, “for the love of Mary Magdalene, stop with those IOU gifts that require work to redeem making it homework, not so much a gift. And sure, yes, it’s the thought that counts. If the thought was “I bet Mom would love to *make* herself an appointment for a pedicure once she figures out *how* to fit it into her schedule by switching around seven other things, remembering to shave her lower legs, and not feeling guilty for spending her grocery money on a hot stone rub.”)

I know. That was a long summary. I was trying to weed some of our male readers out.


So, ladies, I was just about to say, come this Sunday, which is Father’s Day, you’ll want to set your alarms a bit earlier as the first task will be to preheat that oven in order to bake a nice quiche.

Whip together probably a dozen eggs or so, farm-fresh if available, with some heavy cream, aggressively enough to form tiny peaks (is that enough? Have the men all stopped reading at this point? I don’t actually even know how to make a quiche. No, I know you did, Mom - but I don’t know where I put it).

Okay, now that it’s just us.

Men are so stinking easy.


If you have ever stressed about the perfect gift for your husband/boyfriend/partner, then you have skated right past the most obvious shopping zones (most of which do not actually require an “add to cart” action. Let this blog serve you so well (and so far beyond Father’s Day) that you will probably erect a statue of me in your garden.

No, really, much of this very basic information can also be filed into the relationship-saver, get-out-of-a-jam, I-might-have-spent-too-much-on-those-shoes categories as well.

Men? Men really just want to feel regular fulfillment in each of only four quadrants. Tap into about half of those quadrants each day and you will be giving yours everything he needs to maintain a sense of running bliss that comes with generalized happiness and contentment.

No, ladies, we don’t have those four quadrants. We have somewhere in the 947 constantly changing buckets range, which is why this is such a difficult concept for us to grasp. It is also why we get so offended when our husband’s dip into those four quadrants when presenting gifts to us. It is not because they don’t know us well or care or aren’t trying - it’s because those four quadrants are really, really stinking important to them and, therefore, tapping into them just makes sense.

Before you call foul on this whole train of thought you should know that, if he didn’t stop reading at “quiche,” my husband is one thousand percent nodding along enthusiastically right now.

Without further adieu.

The quadrants?

Aliens, Boobs, Hunger, Doodies

Those are the hopes and dreams for the day, each day when the typical man hits that ‘off’ button on his alarm. Preferred order? That may be tricky - perhaps even differing from male to male and maybe even from day to day - but I suspect that’s as complicated as it gets.

For the guy that shares my bed, the most preferred order is this:

Alarm: beep, beep, beep

  • Reaches to see if I am still in bed (is it too early to see my wife’s boobs?)

  • Brushes teeth (should I have bacon or cereal for breakfast?)

  • Listening to a meeting (cues up Pacific Rim on YouTube for a quick peek at the monsters)

  • Midday, every day (tells me about this amazing dump he took earlier (I applaud))

  • Immediately after lunch (I wonder what’s for dinner?)

  • Immediately after dinner and until bedtime (is it too early to see my wife’s boobs?)

The truth is, the grown men that live in our homes are not that far removed from the teenage boys that they once were and those teenage boys are not that far removed from the little boys who were discovering their willies in the cookie aisle at the supermarket.

They still want snuggles, they still want to impress you, and they still want to know if you brought a surprise back from the store (please let it be a donut).

They want you to ask about Star Wars or Jurassic Park just so that they can have a chance to say space things or dinosaur stuff. And they definitely want to know what’s hiding underneath your clothes even though you may think it’s very boring or shaped differently than before or not as happy with it as you once more.

Did that last bit sound too 1960’s? It could be, I suppose, if used for calming down purposes or to get-out-of-a-jam but, um, so? Remember, my husband is nodding along at my wisdom right now because he knows that I care about his quadrants.

Let me write it in a different way.

Your husband doesn’t want another multi-tool or flashlight or tie or a giftcard.

He wants something with bacon and grease that will cause the potential need for his favorite bathroom to remodeled later.

And he wants to eat it while watching something with aliens and explosions and very little dialog and that he’s already seen several dozen times and, yes, he’d much prefer to watch it alone.

No really, you don’t even have to stay.

It’s better this way, see, then there will be no need for explanations about who is on what space team nor any chance that he’ll see you sneaking peeks at TikTok. Go out.

Before you leave, “lose” your keys.

Lose them right on the kitchen table where he will be sure to find them easily. As you head out the door, praise him endlessly about his amazing eyesight, throwing him a quick wink with a just a hint of how you might reward him later.

That is all the gift he needs.


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