My boyfriend gave me $200 cash for Hanukkah and told me to buy myself whatever I wanted. He got the idea from your column, but he didn’t bother to read the fine print [where I recommend cash as a gift between couples who are financially intertwined–JB]. We’ve only been dating for three months. Should I be offended that he didn’t even think to look for the fine print? Shouldn’t it have occurred to him that there’d be some?
Happy new year,
Not That Type of Girl
Dear Not that Type,
Yikes. Sorry about that. And it wasn’t even ethereal fine print, he missed the whole first half of the sentence. (It’s the postscript to the second letter: “For married/cohabiting folks with shared financial accounts, true romance is the gift of a frivolous splurge….”) To be clear, a ribboned roll of bills says love between partners who criticize each other’s spending–not couples who’ve just met.
But is it possible that the words true romance jumped out at your man and he filed misgivings under things about women that men will never understand? Don’t write him off as a chauvinist creep if this is the first sign of it. He took a woman’s advice, after all, and sex is innately transactional, we can’t blow up every time the romantic pretense slips.
If his lack of attention to detail bothers you in and of itself, though, you’ve got a legitimate gripe. Join the club. But you don’t have to join the club yet if you’re not ready, a mere three months in.
My girlfriend and I exchanged gifts all eight nights of Hanukkah, and I got her all the usual culprits–jewelry, a handbag, iPad accessories, chocolate–you get the idea. She mostly seemed pleased with her loot, but nothing gave her an orgasm, so to speak. Is there anything I might have overlooked that I can get her for Christmas? She’s not a stereotypical woman, but she appreciates the stereotypical things.
Aiming to Please
Dear Aiming to Please,
Switch off Netflix and put down the remote. You’ve been watching too many “Sex and the City” reruns and I don’t know what else: an orgasm face does not resemble a pleased-with-a-new-pair-of-shoes face. If you’re expecting a When Harry Met Sally moment over every trinket, remind yourself that said moment was fake. Double fake–an actress pretending to pretend. But let’s move on: you detract from your girlfriend’s enjoyment of your gifts when you keep checking whether she liked them, i.e. keep reminding her where they came from. If she mostly seems pleased with your stereotypical (yet thoughtfully-selected, I hope) offerings and you’re not ignoring hints that they’re off-base, focus on giving them without requiring a specific response. And please don’t second-guess the volume of her moans when satisfying her sexually, which usually entails genital stimulation.
Can I ask my fiancee to shave her pubes for Christmas (or any other gift occasion? Valentine’s Day?)?
Foregoing a Clever Handle for the Sake of Decorum
Of course you can ask, so long as you phrase it nicely and don’t mind her deducing that you’ve been watching too much porn.
This is your fiftieth “What’s Wrong With You” column. How come you haven’t been offered a book deal yet?
Wow, fifty columns–120 questions, give or take–but this one has me stumped.