Dear Irby and Ian,
My husband gets me the worst gifts. He tries, but they are just terrible! How can I be stealth about giving him a few good ideas? Or is there a way I can tell him without hurting his feelings?
irby:what kind of gifts is he giving you? do they seem to be thoughtful? if so, this could be a fucked-up, mean-ass situation you are about to instigate, sister, since he’s actually putting some goddamned mental effort into making your ungrateful ass happy. if they’re generic gifts like heart-shaped necklaces from shopping mall jewelry stores or hastily purchased items in the check-out line at walgreens, get ready to put on your junk-punching gloves because he's obviously a jagoff and he hates you. oh, i'm kidding. no, i'm not. i'm an ingrate, and if you don't get me something good i'm likely to pout like a sullen child. and before you guys publicly stone me to death with ugly sweaters that don't fit or a big batch of your homemade peanut brittle (or whatever stupid thing you thought i'd be happy to receive on THE GLORIOUS DAY OF MY BIRTH that isn't made of angel tears and unicorn hair), can i just point out how easy it is to not give a shitty gift? i know you thought that giant yankee candle would add a nice touch to my bedroom, but "rotting human corpse" isn't my favorite scent. would it have killed you to notice the sachets of "sulfur-drenched dog vomit" i have scattered around the house last time you were over for dinner?! I THOUGHT YOU FUCKING CARED ABOUT ME. *sob*
i take bad gifts personally. because good gifts are totally easy to give, even if you're fucking stupid, especially when the recipient has a working vagina. have you ever heard of a florist, son? why spend an hour in that gift store at the mall agonizing over which "love is" figurine i might like best? (the answer is: NONE, MOTHERFUCKER.) just go to a flower shop and buy me something expensive that doesn't have carnations or baby's breath in it. better yet, whole foods has decent flowers. go there, bro. and get me a couple tubs of that overpriced cut-up watermelon ooh and some chicken from the hot bar while you're at it. unless you're caucasian. then the flowers should be enough. every time i see an ugly-ass handbag some lady is carrying around because her manfriend thought it was okay to PICK OUT A FUCKING PURSE i think to myself, "damn, y'all ain't got a 7-eleven with roses where you live?!"
i totally give the best goddamned gifts, especially if i'm banging a dude who isn't a shit-eating dicksnot. my old boyfriend omar was a fucking peach, and for christmas a few years ago i gave him a wii. i had to drive all out to the western suburbs to find that shit, too. it was the first year they came out and every best buy and target parking lot within a fifty mile radius was full to overflowing with SUVs and minivans manned by harried mothers trying to get there hands on a dwindling supply of their children's new most favorite toy. i left work early and drove to bumblefuck and told the best buy manager i had a wii on hold for "johnson," figuring there had to be at least one johnson in the city of chicago trying to layaway a wii for their kid. dude came back and said, "james johnson?" and i was like, "YES, I AM JAMES JOHNSON'S WIFE," and i paid for that fucking wii and walked out of the store with it and gave that shit to a dude who broke up with me six weeks later over something stupid. i RUINED THAT JOHNSON CHILD'S CHRISTMAS, and this dude was all, "yeah, sorry, i don't have time for a relationship or whatever. you're cool, though." i should've bought his ass something terrible. and explosive. sigh.
okay then. for practicality's sake, if you're too much of a pantywaist to tell him yourself (can i just interject here? just for a second? let me ask you, how come married people are always so afraid to talk to each other? you bet your fucking ass that if i sign up to incur half a dude's debt and be responsible for the care of his gnarly, cancerous ass when he's old then that motherfucker is going to be the kind of dude i can GODDAMNED TALK TO. i can't imagine smelling a dude's disgusting nightmouth every single day yet being afraid to tell him that I HATE THOSE PAJAMAS FROM KOHL'S that he insists on buying me every goddamned birthday. the horror! anyway) maybe you could get in touch with his best guy friend and get that guy on your side. that’s who guys talk to about things like gifts, you know. their single male friends. just write him an email and explain the situation. "marquise, j'avondre buys me the worst gifts, can you straighten him out? he bought me a tackle box for my birthday last year…" if marquise is an idiot too, your ass might be fucked. like i said, shouldn’t you know how to do this by now? marriage is all about manipulating and tricking your significant other. so get out your loaded dice and your phony card decks.
besides, i don't believe in "stealth." stealth is the reason you girls are still faking orgasms, because you're too mousy and weak to demand that a dude do what you WANT instead of what he thinks is a good idea. men get everything fucking wrong, and most of them know it and are happy to be relieved of the burden of thinking for themselves, particularly when it comes to buying you something awesome. i have very specific, impossibly fancy tastes, and i dread any event that involves someone giving me something unsolicited that i have to smile and pretend that i like. so i either say "that's okay, your presence is present enough!" barf or i say "i just ran out of kiehl's musk oil" at the top of my lungs while circling my birthday on the calendar with a red marker. or i'll make a reservation someplace nice and say, "dude, you're coming with me and paying." he'll be too flummoxed at how forward you are to object.
i don't understand people who want handmade, thoughtful gifts. you know those bitches. the ones who want you to make a scrapbook of your first year together full of movie ticket stubs and dried flowers and printed-out screenshots of your facebook "in a relationship with" status. that, to me, is garbage. i don't have time for that shit, ho. you know i love you, now WHERE CAN I GET YOUR ASS A FUCKING GIFT CARD FROM?! and it requires so much unnecessary work, all that goddamned thinking and coming up with something creative. plus, when everything ends in a flaming ball of regret, as all relationships inevitably do, burning that patchwork quilt you spent two months cobbling together in effigy on your man's front lawn could get you in some serious trouble with the local fire department. i am so not sentimental, and real love can be proven in so many more tangible ways. get me some itunes cards and keep it moving. so make sure he knows what stores you like and tell him to slap some money on a gift card for you. or do what i do and go buy your own shit and hand him the receipt. i'm not kidding. that shit works. AND IS TOTALLY BRILLIANT.
also, if you decide to do it, be careful talking to that motherfucking friend of his. maybe i've watched the hand that rocks the cradle more times than a normal, healthy, well-adjusted woman probably should, but striking up a friendship with your husband's friend could be a slippery fucking slope. and NOT the sexy kind. seriously, they didn't have to do marlene like that. ALL SHE WAS TRYING TO DO WAS PLAN A GODDAMNED SURPRISE PARTY FOR THAT UNGRATEFUL BITCH, CLAIRE. SHE DIDN'T DESERVE TO DIE LIKE THAT. *welp*