I have no idea why, I’m not an evolutionary scientist or a sociologist, but it occurred to me while shopping for mother’s day—in the process of which I spied, at a very good price, an object which I fancied a male platonic friend who’s on a budget might enjoy offering to his wife—that it’s pretty easy for most women to buy another woman a gift she’ll like. It’s harder for a man to buy a woman he’s in love with a gift, and hardest of all (for me anyway) is for a woman to find a gift for a male platonic friend, particularly one that isn’t personal enough to cause his partner discomfort.
I’m talking about small gifts, of course; if you have a thousand dollars lying around for each of your friends I suppose you can make all the male ones very, very happy if you buy them whatever expensive piece of [insert hobby] gear is just outside their budgets. But the small, mid-budget pleasant things that women enjoy in life are different from the small things which appeal to men… which is perhaps the reason most men have trouble picking a girly thing out, especially when they’re in love with the recipient. They might know their lady better than anyone, but they don’t know mother of pearl from a hole in their… well, whatever small stuff it is that dudes appreciate. If anything.
Which led me to wonder. What if instead of trying to buy my platonic male heterosexual friends gifts for themselves for Christmas, I just gave them something nice to give to their girls the next time they have a birthday or whatnot? Give the gift of giving the gift for him! The autism-spectrum monkey in my head thinks this makes perfect sense, and is the most thoughtful thing I can do for my pals. But is this in reality intrusive, or weird, or something I need to explain? Or is it something lots of people should start doing to save each other time, money, worry, and relationship stress? Well… as it stands I think I’m going to go back and buy that thing. If my buddy doesn’t give it to his wife, I can sure use it. The best gifts are the ones you envy.