Dear Crabby, What Do I Buy My Wife For Her Birthday?

Dear Crabby,

It’s my wife’s birthday tomorrow and I have no idea what to get her. Do you have any suggestions?

Sincerely, Danny Dunno

Dear Mr. Dunno,

Well, there is nothing like waiting until the last minute to think about that special person in your life. I can honestly tell you that I have no clue what your wife would want for her birthday. This has become a sore subject to many couples over the years. I had a friend whose wife decided that if he really loved her and knew her like he should, he would automatically know what to buy her every year.  She would not help him or drop hints or answer any questions about what she may want or need for a gift. That drove him crazy as he tried to guess year after frustrating year about what to buy her and wondered whether or not she would like it. My own wife tried this tactic only once. Her birthday came and went without any warning; she never mentioned that it was coming or dropped hints about what she wanted.  So, of course, I didn’t buy her anything.  In fact, I didn’t even tell her happy birthday. She was furious, and I simply responded that if she had wanted me to remember, she would have reminded me. It only took about six or seven weeks before she started to talk to me again. We decided that I would remember her birthday on my own from now on. The next couple of years she decided to give me vague hints about what she might like, but no specifics.  From my experiences, I can tell you what not to buy your wife! Do not buy her a vacuum. Do not buy her a new remote for the T.V. Do not buy her a gym membership. In fact, do not buy her exercise equipment or any kind of weight loss program at all!  Trust me, it will not go well for you.  Even though these things are practical and useful, these are not things that a woman wants for her birthday. It’s also a bad idea to buy any type of clothing. If you buy something too small, they are upset and feel that they are too fat. And if you buy something too large, they are upset and feel that you must think they are too fat. If you get lucky and happen to guess the right size, they get upset and wonder why you think they need new clothes. You really can’t win with any clothing scenario. I will tell you about one gift that she really liked. It was the surprise party I threw her when she turned 50. She was shocked that her friends and I could keep a secret for all those months without slipping.  I never told her that I thought of the whole thing about three days before her birthday when her best friend called me at work and asked what we were planning on doing for her big day! I quickly put her friend in charge of all the phone calls and I booked the first available restaurant that would hold our friends and family.  That is the first time I was ever thankful for my wife’s nosey friends! So, good luck! I hope you find something that works for you!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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