Biblically, men are givers and providers. Period. The debate on whether women should also buy men gifts is much ado about nothing.
ALSO READ: Eight amazing gift ideas for your mom
The last time a woman tried to play role of ‘giver’ cum provider was in the Garden of Eden and we all know what happened during that infamous ‘fruit incident’ — both Adam and his chick Eve were cursed and kicked out!
Men buying women gifts is a culture that has been with us since time immemorial.
Fake jewelry, cheap perfume
Unfortunately, we hit the streets of Nairobi with this matter, it was evident that many Kenyan men don’t buy their women gifts. And when they try, they always get it all wrong.
“Getting a gift from a Kenyan man is a miracle. They just don’t buy women gifts. The few who try are awful gift-givers,” hissed Caro Muchoki, a Nairobi-based beautician during a street interview with us. Caro has no kind words for Kenyan men on this.
Hear her go ham on them: “When buying a woman a gift, it has to be something she loves. Not what the giver loves! The present has to be not just meaningful, but also memorable. A Kenyan man will buy you fake jewelry or cheap perfume and still give you that sheepish look, expecting you to praise and clap for him”.
Annoying gifts men buy women
Why is it that Kenyan men always buy their women annoying gifts? One wonders. Is it because they have no clue about their women’s tastes and preferences? Or are they just tight-fisted and find good, meaningful gifts too expensive? Or they are not romantic and gentlemanly enough?
If the opinions we received on the streets are anything to go by, all the above could be true.
Women love gifts, but there are some they don’t expect from their men, especially during this festive season. Men, kitchenware as Christmas gifts to your wife or girlfriend is a no-no.
Sufuria, knife as x-mass present
Even if it’s the best and newest design on planet earth, for crying out loud, women are not going to appreciate a knife or a sufuria (a clear indication you expect them to hang around the kitchen, cooking for you) as a present this festive season!
“It is shocking that even around this time of festivities when men are supposed to be buying their mothers, grandmothers, daughters and wives gifts, they still stroll home empty handed. You would think they are from church,” scoffs Lucy Muhanji, a receptionist in Nairobi.
Women always complain
“These are not the times for a man to walk home with nothing but a newspaper firmly tucked in his armpit. And if they want to buy us gifts, it better be something worth making us feel they love and cherish us. As a man you send a very wrong message when you buy your woman bathroom slippers, a new cooking stick or pot as a Christmas gift,” chuckles Lucy.
She goes on: “More importantly, it is not just unwise, but also dangerous to, for instance, buy a furious wife from Nyeri a knife as a Christmas gift when she is expecting a bouquet flowers.
“Gentlemen, tread carefully! Such gifts send the wrong message. Not heartwarming at all during this time when people are supposed to be jolly. Do something special to that woman you have been annoying — coming home late, waking her up to warm your meal, sleeping out and whatnot — since January before the year ends,” she warns.
Men, here is the thing. Bearing in mind women will complain and find fault with you (Women, don’t even try to roll your eyes! Even when a man performs a miracle like walking on water, you will claim he is doing so because he doesn’t know how to swim), play safe by keeping off gifts such as lotions, colognes and related accessories and beauty products.
How to play safe
First, you are clueless about such stuff. Second, if she really wanted such, she would buy herself. Again, chances are she has shelves full of such from her girlfriends. Put differently, folks, avoid presents she will re-gift.
“There are things I don’t want my man to buy. Last time my boyfriend bought me a cologne it was a cheap one with a fragrance I would only be caught dead wearing. I gave it to my female relatives in the village. Which serious woman in this city (Nairobi) still uses Bint El Sudan perfume?” giggles Brenda Moseti, a teacher.
When she re-gifts your present
“Some of the gifts men give are so bad, you feel so embarrassed to even re-gift them to villagers, unless you want to come off as a cheap person. I mean, which woman still puts on petticoats? Those outdated things! Men lack creativity. Why would a man buy his wife a handkerchief on their marriage anniversary? I thought this is when you take her to her favourite hotel?” she days.
Women are smart, they know how to spot fake things. The worst fake gift you can buy a woman is a knock off designer handbag or fake jewelry. Gentlemen, don’t, under any circumstances, try to pass off cubic zirconia or moissanite as diamond jewelry.
“My friend, a woman can tell a real deal a kilometer away. While living in Mombasa a while back, I dated a guy who always bought me fake stuff. Fake diamond or gold loses its luster and sparkle with time. If you really love a woman and you want to make her feel special, make appropriate investment in pleasing her,” says Loise wanja.
When fooling her backfires
“It’s also an insult to pass off a fake designer-inspired handbag as the real deal. The worst part is a woman being laughed at by friends at chama and told her handbag is fake before she knows it herself.
Fooling her by passing off River Road-inspired ‘Gushi’ as the Italian Gucci is an insult to your woman. I know I sound like an ungrateful brat, but, surely, if you are to buy her the French Louis Vuitton brand, better go for the real deal than wasting money on a cheap, fake one.
During such festive season, some men’s generosity when it comes to buying their women gifts is legendary. A few men shared with Crazy Monday some of their worst experiences with women over gifts.
Take the case of one Davis, a high school teacher in Nairobi.. He says whenever he tries to surprise his fiancée with gifts, he never gets it right. He says she always finds fault with his presents. The color, fabric or size of his cloth gifts are always wrong.
“When I bring a color she said she likes, she says she has enough of such. When I bring a unique color, she says it’s boring or too bright. Sometime back a hawker came to our office and I bought her a dress, after a female colleague endorsed it. But when I got home, she took it but she never put it on, next time I saw it with her sister,” complains Davis.
Last time Mark, a police officer, tried to surprise his woman with a dress, it was so baggy that she accused him that his mind must have been on his secret lovers when buying it. “She couldn’t countenance that I could forget that she hated anything yellow,” Mark remembers.
While dating, Joshua, a city based electricity metre reader, decided to spice up things by buying his woman what he considered a high end ladies bag. “Upon receiving it, she loudly wondered whether the gift was meant for her or my mother in the country side.”
How to buy a woman a gift
“She told me point-blank, tag such bags belongs to a past era, but can come in handy to her aging mother-in-law- to be,” says Joshua. What’s more, Joshua had, unknowingly, been overcharged for the old-school contraption.
Last but not least, men, you are advised to always consider your relationship with the woman before buying them a gift. If they are your girlfriend or wife, you should know their tastes and preferences.
Alternatively, learn to make her drop hints of what she wants. Just because it’s raining around this time doesn’t mean you buy her gumboots as a Christmas gift.
Bad female gift givers
“Buying your female boss a G-string as a Christmas gift is just gross. Same thing with buying your mother lingerie or a thong,” warns Terry, a journalist, adding: “It’s important to be sensitive. You don’t buy a fat woman a weighing scale as a Christmas gift neither do you ‘surprise’ her with a gym membership voucher. Don’t either insult such a woman with a treadmill as a gift either, expecting her to burst into Christmas carols and infuse in your name.”
She might, instead, express her displeasure rather robustly by planting a savage punch on your chin. Look, if she wants to lose weight, she will do it at her own time.
It must, however, be noted, some women, too, are bad gift givers. By the way, girls, why do you always buy ties, socks, handkerchiefs and belts? You can’t get other better gifts? Where is your creativity ladies. Just a thought.
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