Mary Oves Danny Drake

Men are clueless. Well meaning, but clueless. For the most part. Or maybe it's just the men I know that make me think that.

When thinking of presents for women, men are four dimensional. Perfume. Jewelry. Gift certificates. Maybe the occasional item of clothing. So cliché.

But I'm picky. I wear one scent, and only one, and it's hard to find. I don't like most jewelry, it's too dainty. Gift certificates are good, but so impersonal. And clothing? Don't even go there. Even my pajamas have to meet a certain standard.

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So for you guys who think you know your women, think again. We are relatively easy to buy for, but you make things so difficult for yourselves. I want to give you some ideas, because I've been poring over Christmas catalogs, ooh-ing and aah-ing over things, thinking, "Man, if only anyone in the world actually knew me well enough to know that I would love this." And it occurred to me that unless I tell someone, no one will ever know.

So I wanted to offer the gentlemen some ideas for the women in their lives. Because while admittedly they are things I covet, they're actually things that will tap the innermost part of any woman. The wonderful women in your life will open these gifts and think, "Finally, after 20 years, he knows what I like!"

I hope some of these ideas will work.

J. Crew Shoe of the Month Club - This is for the working woman who has it all. It's expensive, but when that pink shoe box arrives every month, she'll kiss the shoes and then she'll kiss you. Twelve times!

Pendant necklaces - These are cool, cheap, and come in every design and length. has great ones, and if you just want to get the expensive pendant, A.C. Moore has cheap chains. Engraved or not, every woman likes pendant necklaces. They're a little edgy, and add tons of character to the most boring outfit.

Uggs - Of course, right? But stay away from classic style, unless she requests them specifically. Anyone can buy classic. There are some new ones that just reek of individuality. Get her a pair, and when she opens them, say "These just seemed like you." She'll fall for it. I did.

Keurig anything - Get her the Keurig machine, and lots of coffees, teas, and hot chocolates to go along with it. Then log onto, and get her a special mug, and a coffee caddy that twirls. A beautiful piece of pottery chosen with her in mind is special, and she'll know it.

Is she an athlete? Go to, and you will find beautiful snow boots, cool sunglasses, ski goggles, yoga mats, running sneakers. If she does it, you can find gear for it here, and the products are distinctive. Anything I have ever gotten from Athleta has elicited an "Ooh, where'd you get that?" from anyone I'm with.

Buy her a heifer - Or a goat. No kidding, this is a new program where you can buy an animal for needy families around the world. They will receive training and learn how to become self-reliant. After you donate, you can print out a card that tells the recipient you've honored them with this gift. Cool, huh? Who need another scarf?

Don't buy her a Border's gift certificate. Buy her a book. How about a coffee table book on her favorite country? Artist? Musician? Sports team? Your depth will astound her.

Some ridiculously expensive Ray Ban sunglasses. Wayfarers and Aviators look good on everyone, and they up a woman's cool hot factor by ten, no matter how old she is. And if you have a lot of money to burn, wrap the sunglasses around tickets to somewhere like the Dominican or Hawaii. Yum.

A portrait of her children - She'll think of you every time she looks at it.

A month's worth of professional housecleaning - Need I say more?

I could go on, because there are so many great ideas. And I'm sure you'll do fine. But just in case, hope this list helped.


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