The things you can only buy yourself
One thing that my husband and I do this time of year is give the gift of permission. What? No, I’m not throwing back to the days of OBEY in the marriage vows. Instead, I’m suggestion that there are some really wonderful (sometimes-pricey) items that a woman might want that cannot and should not be given as gifts. Ever!
Thus, we give each other permission to buy our own selves splurgey gifts once in a while. Here are some examples of things that you should not buy me, no matter how much I might want them:
- Vacuum. O, how I covet this freakishly expensive life-changing hands-free roomba or a super sucking $500ish Shark (now on mega-sale!) or Dyson. Why I want it: Certainly I want — and deserve — a device that does housework while I sit on the couch watching House of Cards. But a vacuum for Christmas just feels like a throwback to the 50s. DO YOU EXPECT ME TO CLEAN UP AFTER YOU? That goes for many other drool-worthy appliances that are for the whole family, like…
- Blender. For years, I coveted a Vitamix blender and nobody bought it for my birthday or Christmas because I suppose they wanted to avoid my feminist rant. Hell, why not an iron?! Since I have treated my own damn self to this treasure, I wish I had done it sooner. My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. P.S. The $200-ish Vitamix is as hard-working as the $700-ish one.
- Professional organizing service. Why I want it: I am a slob. What it tells me you are thinking of me: You are a slob. Ouch, that stings a little.
- Parenting classes and books. I love me some parenting books like Minimalist Parent, Calm the F Down, and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen because I am a maximalist who yells and wants to enjoy my children more by doing less. Other parents have gone down this path before me and have useful tips. What it tells me you think: “You are a shit parent in need of intervention.” The only way to give these books to another person? A well-worn copy handed from mom to mom at a playground with the words, “This really helped us with Johnny’s biting/bedwetting/greed, maybe you will like it, too.”
- Similar but different: Happiness classes and books. Who doesn’t love being more happy? Gretchen Rubin, Meagan Francis, Christine Carter have fantastic advice from the mom trenches. What this gift says from someone else: “Gee, Heather you used to be so fun and happy. Look at you now!”
- Lingerie. Why I want it: every gal deserves the perfect bra and some undies that make her feel great. I’m confident that you can’t get me a bra that fits if I don’t try it on. And about those panties: too small and I’ll hate them; too large and I’ll be insulted. Too skanky? I’ll wonder why you don’t love me just the way I am in my tank top and flannel PJ bottoms. It’s pretty much a lose-lose.
- Body wrap. Why I would want it: to become thin without working for it. What it tells me you think: You are floppy and lazy. I love the basic spa treatments, but this one has a person wrapped up like a sponge and squeezed until every spare droplet of bodily moisture is pooling at the ankles. Yucky, uncomfortable, and insulting. Not the kind of thing you can give as easily as, say, a massage. And, nevermind, I’m not buying this one for myself either. Pass me another donut.
- A Yummier Tummy aka shapewear. Why I want it: These tanks, leggings, and weird undies are so great for the waistline and confidence (and your best friend would probably love it). But if you give it to me, it says “I think you’re chubby” [read Whitney’s review of leggings that post-partum women will want to make out with]. I’ve had my Yummy Tummy-brand tank for about seven years and it still does its job.
- Other things that say “Yes, your ass does look big in that” include: A gym membership, hand weights, exercise DVD, personal trainer, a juice cleanse, and sessions with a dietitian. Gift-givers should opt for a massage. Ladies with “permission to gift themselves” can splurge for a very expensive cleanse package. Yowza! See how this works?
- Wrinkle cream. (Here’s hoping my siblings don’t read my blog.) I think a woman should buy her own old-age prevention potions but this Origins eye doctor tonic that my brother gave me is actually wonderful, as confused as I was to receive age-defying cream from my younger brother.
Merry Christmas everyone! Let me know if you get any of these gems under your tree and can appreciate them in the spirit they were given.