back to article Gadgets are NOT the perfect gift for REAL men

Let’s pretend it’s your birthday. For some of you, it may actually be your birthday, in which case you’re going to find this bit simple enough. Now, what kind of present would you like? Concentrate as I work myself into a trance. The mists are clearing... you want... you want... some sort of techie gadget. Well, that was easy …

COMMENTS

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  1. Gideon 1

    So disappointed, after three boring minutes I was expecting its head to explode or something...

    1. LarsG
      Meh

      A real Gift

      I'd just like a weekend on my own, just me, no children, no wife, just a beer and a take away.

      That would be the perfect present to me.

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Simple enough

    I was told many decades ago never to buy a woman a present that had a plug on it (if only for the eminently practical reason that it might replace you). So far as buying for men: a bottle of single malt is universally acceptable.

    1. teebie

      Re: Simple enough

      Ach! Whisky? Gross!

      ...which is my way of saying that the acceptability depends on the receiver.

      1. Mike Taylor
        Pint

        Re: Simple enough

        The one good thing about receiving whisky is that it'll last long enough to be given to someone who will like it. Despite the fact that I gag when people mention the blasted stuff, never drink it, never express an interest in it, I have been given half a dozen bottles of it over the years. God knows why. And I'm such an easy person to buy presents for! (Yes, a box of fine ale would be most gratefully received)

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: Simple enough

          I think someone may have given me a bottle of whiskey as a present. Not sure.

          All I can remember is waking up with an empty bottle on the floor and having "armitage shanks" imprinted on my head (with thanks to Al Murray :) ).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Simple enough

            > having "armitage shanks" imprinted on my head

            "ƨʞnɒʜƨ ɘǫɒƚimɿɒ", surely?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simple enough

        "Ach! Whisky? Gross!

        ...which is my way of saying that the acceptability depends on the receiver."

        No, obviously what that means is that you're not a real man. Perhaps you'd like some Malibu and a pint of milk instead?

        1. toxicdragon

          Re: Simple enough

          Ach! Milk? Gross!

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Simple enough

      I was told many decades ago never to buy a woman a present that had a plug on it

      So, it should have been a cordless Powerfile.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a sociological/psychological experiment, you could get him an Ipad and see if it turns him into a slobbering iTard.

  4. Andrew Moore Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Bang on...

    My wife needed a new printer. So I got her one for her birthday. Was not well received...

    1. Gideon 1

      Re: Bang on...

      Giving her something like that has the benefit of lowering her expectations, and forces her to be more explicit about what she would really appreciate instead of expecting you to mind-read her.

      1. Paul Kinsler

        Re: useful presents, eh?

        Costly but worthless gifts facilitate courtship

        Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 272, No. 1575, p1877-1884 (2005)

        doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3152

        by Peter D. Sozou, Robert M. Seymour

        What are the characteristics of a good courtship gift? We address this question by modelling courtship as a sequential game. This is structured as follows: the male offers a gift to a female; after observing the gift, the female decides whether or not to accept it; she then chooses whether or not to mate with the male. In one version of the game, based on human courtship, the female is uncertain about whether the male intends to stay or desert after mating. In a second version, there is no paternal care but the female is uncertain about the male's quality. The two versions of the game are shown to be mathematically equivalent.

        We find robust equilibrium solutions in which mating is predominantly facilitated by an ‘extravagant’ gift which is costly to the male but intrinsically worthless to the female.

        By being costly to the male, the gift acts as a credible signal of his intentions or quality. At the same time, its lack of intrinsic value to the female serves to deter a ‘gold-digger’, who has no intention of mating with the male, from accepting the gift. In this way, an economically inefficient gift enables mutually suitable partners to be matched.

        1. Irony Deficient

          life lessons from Badfinger

          I put away the knife, the chisel and the saw

          I’ve locked away my life behind this old oak door

          To make a simple spoon, a token of my love

          In hope that maybe soon, it’s me you’re thinking of

          ~~~~~~~~

          So take my spoon, Blodwyn

          Make it soon, Blodwyn

          The valley knows the way I feel today

          So take my spoon, Blodwyn

          Make it soon, Blodwyn

          Before some other spoon takes you away

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: useful presents, eh? -Costly but worthless gifts facilitate courtship

          So what are these "intrinsically worthless" gifts? I suppose an enormous firework display while the woman is wearing dark glasses might count, or perhaps a trip on a superyacht in conditions so vile that everybody is puking down below.

          It seems to me that the authors of this paper might need more background research in economics, because the whole "intrinsically worthless" thing looks like it needs more definition.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: useful presents, eh? -Costly but worthless gifts facilitate courtship

            @ribosome

            > So what are these "intrinsically worthless" gifts?

            Concert tickets for Adele. Two tickets are doubly-worthless and doubly-expensive, but shows your commitment to her. ;-)

            [Useful trick here is to date someone with a sister/really good best friend: when she says "I wish X could come as well" you can 'reluctantly' give up your ticket to the sis/bestie. You've still spent the money but at least you don't have to sit through the concert - only the reliving of it afterwards. Forever.]

            1. Rune Moberg
              Mushroom

              Re: useful presents, eh? -Costly but worthless gifts facilitate courtship

              Sigh. I bought my wife a pair of tickets for something called "P!nk" thinking she'd take one of her gfs along. Unfortunately, the designated victim fell ill at the last moment and I had to attend in her place.

              Four hours of my life I will never get back. Grrr.

          2. OzBob
            Joke

            Re: useful presents, eh? -Costly but worthless gifts facilitate courtship

            Best pointless gift, 2 tickets to the ballet, then you can sit there in your best bib-and-tucker and ask the following questions,...

            - Which one is Wayne Sleep? he's the only one I know.

            - Will there be a half-time break?

            - There's no numbers on their backs - how does the referee know when they're offside?

            - Why is there a net over the orchestra pit?

            It may be painful in the short term but you will get silence and non-participation during the next footy game.

      2. John Miles
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Bang on...

        Currently in the "Highly Rated" comments on article page, this is comment (about lowering expectations) is just below the one about Dutch Oven as if a reply. Just seems so fitting

        http://imgur.com/pwznhDH

  5. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Well speaking personally...

    I'll need a new reserve chute and helmet sometime next year. A shiny new wing'd be nice, too, but I think I have to save up for that one!

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Geronimoooooooooooooo ............. <splat>

      > I'll need a new reserve chute

      Might I suggest it's unwise to accept a parachute from a person who stands to benefit from your life insurance.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Geronimoooooooooooooo ............. <splat>

        Nah, if I do things right, I never need it!

  6. MJI Silver badge

    Last Christmas/Birthday

    I received a Vita - I was happy to get a gadget!

  7. The Man Himself Silver badge

    I am not making this up

    Gifts I have bought for my other half over the years include....

    Cheese grater

    Kettle (she *loved* it)

    USB hard drive

    ...and we're still together

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: I am not making this up

      I've learnt that it's often a good idea to get a 'wind up' present so the real gift is a little better appreciated if you've bought something that may not have been appropriate.

      For example, one year I went into a clothes store during a closing down sale and bought the bottom half of a female manikin. Along with the real present (can't actually remember what it was) I gave my wife the new bum she complains about wanting from time to time.

      After the initial shock (perhaps letting her unwrap it in front of her entire family was a bit mean), it went down reasonably well and made for a memorable gift. Made a good footstool too!

      The worst thing you can buy, is an Iron - even as the wind-up present - it just doesn't fly (or if you're unlucky, it does - at you).

      Got my 5ft Mother-in-law a couple of Yellow Pages books the Xmas before last too

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: I am not making this up

        Ben, if you were part of my family, you'd be either a homeless person or a body discreetly buried under the chicken coop. :0)

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: I am not making this up @ Ben Tasker

        "The worst thing you can buy, is an Iron ..."

        As my dad found out many years ago. Mum had been saying that the old one was not working properly, and so he really thought this would make a good present for her birthday ...

        Trouble is, he didn't learn - I remember the (apparently) seven-day frosty atmosphere after he got her a new chip-pan after complaints about the old one!

        Did it sink in with me, you might ask? Well, probably not, given the receptions to a satnav, an MP3/4 player, and a pair of hiking boots over the years (not for my mum, though). I now insist on either a) a very clear statement of what she wants or b) it is going to be something soooooooooo useless and expensive that the argument is going to be as big as getting something useful (and probably cheaper) anyway. I refuse to buy silly fluffy monkeys just to "show I care".

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I am not making this up

      I did think about getting my wife a memory upgrade. Can't find anyone that makes a compatible one...

  8. Tom7
    Pint

    Must be Friday

    Ah, Dabbsy, more reliable than the BOFH and nearly as funny. Have a beer.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    REAL Blokes expect REAL presents

    Who actually likes those rubbish, plasticky "gadgets"? They're totally sodding useless.

    Much better to put some thought in to it and discuss what they want/need in their work/hobby. Nothing worse than having to fake happiness when someone buys you something you already own.

    Also, if you do have to give up and decide to go down the voucher root, forget vouchers and simply give cash. Vouchers are too easily turned to rubbish these days by chains etc. going bust.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do petrol strimmers count as gadgets? Because that's what I'm coveting at the moment.

    1. rhydian

      No, that's a tool, and a perfectly reasonable purchase at any time.

      1. moiety

        Actually; if the guy isn't into gadgets then power tools may well be the way to go...the more dangerous the better. Or something like a Leatherman. Or one of those Cree 1500 lumens torches from eBay...£15 and they're awesome.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Talking of power tools ... I find that if i whine for long enough I usually get what I want.

          After an inordinate amount of hinting I scored a snow blower last christmas. This year's campaign is focused on a robotic lawnmower.

          I almost feel sorry for my long-suffering family.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            This year's campaign is focused on a robotic lawnmower.

            Best gadget ever.

            I hate mowing, and the little green robot means I don't have to do it. The dog ignores it. It just trolls around slowly in the sunshine apparently doing nothing, and then you notice the grass is now short.

            Just get one. You will not regret it. I don't work for a lawnmower company, but I really wish I'd invented it.

        2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          if the guy isn't into gadgets then power tools may well be the way to go

          I found myself wondering about the blurry line between gadgets and real tools. For example, how should you feel if your gift was a set of three miniature chainsaws ... and a juggling instruction DVD?

          1. moiety

            That would probably count as gadget....if you can only lose one finger at a time then it's probably not a real chainsaw.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Gadgets vs. tools

        Here I was all these years thinking how useless some of these electronics were. Now I understand. I think the most gadget(y) thing I own is the sound system in my car. But somehow that seems a bit to big/integrated/custom to qualify as a gadget.

  11. Ninetailed

    I periodically remind friends, family, and associates that I don't "do" birthdays. I do not stress about getting presents for them, and don't even give them the option of doing the same for me by simply never revealing my birthday where it is not legally necessary to do so. Has caused offence a few times, but they all get the hint after a while.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Occasionally I find that I have to cheat and either tell someone that my birthday is the 30th of Feb, or just pick a random date at least 8 months away, hoping they'll forget by the time you get there.

      It's amazing how annoyed some people will get if you tell them that you don't do birthdays,

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Man, I wish I could +1000 this. One of my ex-friends is precisely for this reason. He'd get really offended and pissy when I shied away from the birthday thing no matter how many times I tried to explain it. One year I just finally told him to fuck off and die.

        Since I can't think of gifts for other folks, I feel *really* bad when someone gives me something, especially since it's never anything close to something I want, and since I'm not good at faking my expressions, you can tell right away from my face. Plus I hate a big fuss over things.

        A simple "happy birthday" is sufficient and maybe an amusing card if you really want to go overboard.

        I'll have to steal that "Feb 30th" trick.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Anti-selfworship

          To do or not to do birthdays...

          I totally agree. I cannot fake things and my face shows it all:

          "What? Why did you even remember my birthday? Oh! it was so we could have another excuse to have a pint!? Good on you matey!"

          "What? Why did you even remember my birthday? Huh? I hate these kinds of shirts..."

          "What? Why did you even remember my birthday? Shit... It's the wrong model..."

  12. Norm DePlume

    Power tools are gadgets too

    The older generation seem to prefer power tools, but they're just big gadgets really.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Power tools are gadgets too

      Gadgets don't rip up a 10cm concrete floor - power tools do. Real power tools, that is,

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Power tools are gadgets too

        The difference is:

        Gadgets: Fun, but of no real practical use

        Power tools: Primarily designed to do actual, practical work

  13. IglooDude
    Happy

    Last wife's birthday I got her a slow-cooker. Year before that, a Dutch Oven (aka big iron pot). If I'm to believe her (and I do), she REALLY appreciated the gifts.

    God, how I do love that woman.

    1. Fake Ninja
      Mushroom

      Dutch Oven...

      I gave my wife a Dutch Oven once; I slept on the sofa for a week...

      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dutch+oven

      1. cotsweb
        Go

        Re: Dutch Oven...

        That was a usage of "Dutch Oven" that I was unfamiliar with, have an upvote for making me smile and for helping me stay out of trouble

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dutch Oven...

        Could have been worse. A Cleveland steamer if you'd followed through for instance.

      3. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Dutch Oven...

        Thats very poor of her not to appreciate your carefully stored & matured flatulence. I suggest further training as follows:

        1. Try and concentrate on a high fibre diet, pea or onion soup combined with a roast dinner & stuffing. Then perhaps a curry, timing and order of these are essential.

        2. Next consider the pre delivery approach, you have to hook your one leg around hers . Then in one move of the free leg, cover her in the duvet at the same time embracing with your arms, this renders her unable to move.

        3. Deliver. Timing here is vital, too much pressure will result in disaster. Hold firm if she wriggles but if successful, the potent aroma circumnavigates foreplay and she will demand immediate satisfaction.

        4. It may be inadvisable to smoke afterwards

    2. bikerdev
      WTF?

      Dutch Oven?

      I am guessing you don't mean the sort that happens under a duvet? If she enjoyed that then she's one wacky lady ;)

    3. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      The strange thing is a Dutch Oven and a slow cooker are essentially the same thing.

  14. monkeyfish

    Best. gift. ever.

    Get your whole family, immediate, extended, all, to give you the gift of a day to yourself. You may do as please. Go out, stay in, tinker in the shed, and no one will even speak to you unless spoken to.

    Surely that's what every man wants? Yes?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Best. gift. ever.

      I've asked for that several times. It is about as popular as telling people that I don't care about birthdays (see comments above from other posters).

      1. moiety

        Re: Best. gift. ever.

        You could try asking for a shed. Same result; more diplomatic.

  15. ukgnome Silver badge
    Coat

    I bought the wifelet a vacuum cleaner, and not a posh fancy Dyson, I am sure she loved it! I did also buy her a fancy shiny shiny slate as well, so maybe the droid tech is the gift that prompted her her smiles. But in my mind it was the cheapo vacuum cleaner, hey it had a hippo filter which is useful right, I mean who want's to inadvertently suck up a hippo.

    Actually my Wife hardly ever buys me tech as that would be like buying me a tie. In fact I ask for puzzle boxes and all manner of things that make my brain hurt. And she usually gets bought a gadget, it's a sort of present reversal as she is an academic (just how many degrees does one women need) and I'm more stuck in my world of IT hell.

  16. Cliff

    Nothing in flimsy plastic

    That includes crappy bopping monkeys and cheapo real headphones, anything sold as a 'gifts for him' in BHS, etc. It's fit for landfill before it arrives. Nothing with a screen either, if it's in the gifts league it'll be crap - I spend many hundreds of quids on the best smartphones at their expensive sunrise technology peak, whatever you find will not compete. Best present this year was a good spy novel :) Oh, and some nice hot horseradish.

    For the Mrs, I still really on guesswork but have found transient stuff like nice flowers and snazzy picnic foods work well. Grand gesture gifts usually fall flat so have given them up!

  17. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Reminds me of the story where Bill Shankly (legendary former manager of Liverpool FC, for non UK readers) was seen in the stands at a football match with his wife beside him.

    Catching up with him later, a reporter jokingly asked: "So, did you bring your wife to the game as an anniversary present?", to which reply was: "No, it was her birthday. Do you honestly believe I'd go and get married in the middle of the football season?"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Don't buy me tech; please!

    If you want to deduct this to 'real men' then I think 'real men' better buy their own tech goodies.

    I don't know about you, but when I get myself a goodie I'm a nitpicker. When I set my eyes on model 3515SB1a I most certainly will not settle for 3515SB1b, even though we might be talking about minor differences. Simply because I read the specs for the 'a model' and I know what it can't do. "This one is just as good" does not cut it for me when talking tech.

    I'm weird enough to pay close attentions to details like that, but I honestly doubt some of my non-tech friends or even my gf would. So to avoid any awkward situations or ending up with tech goodies I might not even use I'd rather have my friends not buy me stuff like that.

    For my last birthday my gf treated me (and herself ;-)) to a nice dinner in a restaurant. That's the kind of stuff I really enjoy much more than a well meant attempt of giving me some tech stuff.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Don't buy me tech; please!

      There is a lot of truth to that. In the past, I have tried to be as specific as possible about what I want (having been hedged into a corner by the "but you can't buy your own present" non-argument). It was then my fault because the sales-monkey had, for whatever reason, not just handed one over (pre-internet shopping, of course), and the standard birthday argument ensued because I *had* got what I wanted :-(

  19. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    The problem with a gadget as a gift for a techie is that it's likely to be inferior to, and possibly more expensive than, the model that you'd have bought yourself after exhaustive research.

    So-called "kitchenalia" seems to be acceptable to both sexes (except unredeemed men who can't cook and old-school feminists who won't). My ex-wife recently gave me a food mixer and a pasta maker, both very welcome. I'm thinking of buying her some decent kitchen knives, as the ones in her kitchen are blunt rubbish, but for some reason I'm queasy about the idea of a knife as a gift.

    1. Irony Deficient

      knives as a gift

      Kubla Cant, as long as the gift of cutting is accompanied with a storage block, you have no need to feel queasy. If you still can’t shake that feeling, perhaps a knife sharpener would be an acceptable substitute? Or even a gift certificate to have her current set sharpened, rather than a device to do so herself?

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Pasta-maker

      Ah, yes - the only "tech" I've ever bought for a woman that was appreciated (she had asked for it specifically, and went with me to make sure I got the right one).

      Completely wasted on me - pasta is pasta is pasta. It is a flour and water paste in different shapes. There is (in my opinion) no difference between the cheapest dried stuff from the bottom shelf in Morrison's and the stuff my wife spends hours making (and then giving to people as presents ...)

  20. Haku
    Coat

    How To Please A Woman Every Time:

    Caress, praise, pamper, relish, savor, massage, make plans, fix, empathize, serenade, compliment, support, feed, tantalize, bathe, humor, placate, stimulate, jiffylube, stroke, console, purr, hug, coddle, excite, pacify, protect, phone, correspond, anticipate, nuzzle, smooch, toast, minister to, forgive, sacrifice, ply, accessorize, leave, return, beseech, sublimate, entertain, charm, lug, drag, crawl, show equality for, spackle, oblige, fascinate, attend, implore, bawl, shower, shave, trust, grovel, ignore, defend, coax, clothe, brag about, acquiesce, aromate, fuse, fizz, rationalize, detoxify, sanctify, help, acknowledge, polish, upgrade, spoil, embrace, accept, butter-up, hear, understand, jitterbug, locomote, beg, plead, borrow, steal, climb, swim, nurse, resuscitate, repair, patch, crazy-glue, respect, entertain, calm, allay, kill for, die for, dream of, promise, deliver, tease, flirt, commit, enlist, pine, cajole, angelicize, murmur, snuggle, snoozle, snurfle, elevate, enervate, alleviate, spotweld, serve, rub, rib, salve, bite, taste, nibble, gratify, take her places, scuttle like a crab on the ocean floor of her existence, diddle, doodle, hokey-pokey, hanky-panky, crystal blue persuade, flip, flop, fly, don't care if I die, swing, slip, slide, slather, mollycoddle, squeeze, moisturize, humidify, lather, tingle, slam-dunk, keep on rockin' in the free world, wet, slicken, undulate, gelatinize, brush, tingle, dribble, drip, dry, knead, fluff, fold, blue-coral wax, ingratiate, indulge, wow, dazzle, amaze, flabbergast, enchant, idolize, worship ....

    How To Please A Man Every Time:

    Show up naked with beer.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: How To Please A Woman Every Time:

      So, your recommendation is that I buy her a thesaurus?

      1. dogged

        Re: How To Please A Woman Every Time:

        Or the edited highlights of a Carry On film collection, apparently.

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Re: How To Please A Woman Every Time:

      Fuck me, she'd be snoring her head off after that lot,

      Just use your tongue in some interesting places.

  21. Darryl

    See-through stapler?

    Dabbsy, I don't think you have entirely got the idea when it comes to getting the wife something see-through as a gift... Just sayin'

  22. Lloyd
    Holmes

    I'd like to think that my wife would never buy me tech

    She knows bugger all about it and would invariably buy the wrong thing, she's also sensible enough to know that. She did however get me a signed photo of Bruce Campbell which has pride of place in the dining room.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: I'd like to think that my wife would never buy me tech

      >> signed photo of Bruce Campbell

      Groovy.

  23. Zmodem

    its all about the hard to find li-ion battery charger that does'nt need that travel adaptor with a 1 amp fuse and takes 24 hours to charge for 15 mins of 1200 lumens flashlight

  24. Terry 6 Silver badge
    Pint

    Surprise

    She doesn't like surprises and I don't get many chances to acquire gadgets.

    So we tell each other what we want.

    In plenty of time.

    Then we wait for the surprise gift that we know we'll like.

  25. David Hicks

    Wanna Hang?

    Right, so wanna hang allows you to remotely/discretely proposition potential mates in the same room. One presumes then that these folks are supposed to also be running the App, which will ping and beep when a message is received.

    And this is a non-interruption?

    Either way, it requires someone else to go into a pre-meditated "yes I'm looking for some attention" state, which seems pretty bloody unlikely outside of a 1970s car-key party.

  26. Don Jefe

    Gift for a Mans Man

    If whisky isn't appropriate and they don't smoke I get them a hammer. A man can never have too many hammers and these Gramercy cabinet makers hammers are great.

    http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/CGT/item/GT-KHAM.XX/Gramercy_Tools_Kings_County_Cabinetmaker's_Hammers

    They look wonderful, present well and no one has ever been disappointed. If nothing else they are caught off guard and you can't help but admire the craftsmanship.

  27. WylieCoyoteUK

    I have bought my wife gadgets that she likes.

    A digital photo frame, later replaced by a wall mounted PC in the kitchen, which is used for recipes , music, and as a digital photo frame.

    A Netbook, recently replaced by a Nexus7.

    I have also bought her gadgets that did not go down as well..

    Best present I ever bought her was a holiday to Nantes, which included a trip on the Sultan's Elephant at the Machines de l'ile. (mega gadgetry!)

    She in turn has treated me to a food mixer, and more recently, a baking stone, a baker's peel and a grignette amongst other farinaceous gadgetry....

    In the past I have had expensive Olive oil and a large container of Saffron...

    But mostly, these days we just buy ourselves what we want, it's easier.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alistair, I seem to remember you started the techi gifts when you were in Rodes all those years ago so things haven't changed much since then.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      >> when you were in Rodes all those years ago

      You should have seen my mother-in-law's face when she unwrapped a foot-massage roller we'd given her one Christmas. She managed to open the end of the parcel so carefully that the roller slipped out neatly on its own, leaving the packaging and instructions unnoticed inside the wrapping paper. She held it upright and stared at it for a full minute before we spotted her and were able to assure her that it wasn't a carved phallic totem.

  29. Benedict

    @Pete 2, GHD hair straighteners are apparently an exception to that rule.

  30. KBeee
    Coat

    Perfect gift

    What woman wouldn't LOVE a 3D printer????

  31. Nogbad1958

    Real women like tools!

    My sweetie has had a hammer, a set of screwdrivers and a stepladder in recent times, all of which garnered me extra cuddles! Of course it does help if said sweetie is of the bodge it yourself variety, and it means I don't have to think where the h**l is my stepladder when I start a job.

  32. Steve Davis

    I once bought my wife an handheld electric whisk which she immediately recycled as a projectile. Ouch!

    I bought my son a torque wrench. He waited until he got home before opening it in case it was a disappointing wind up (carnations in a torque wrench box). Phoned me to say it was the best present he had ever been given.

    My daughter bought me a Chinese wok set a few years ago and I am ashamed to say that it is in the back of the cupboard unopened. Still using the wok I bought in the Chinese supermarket 20-odd years ago for about two quid.

    The video of Clockwork Orange, still unopened after five+ years :(

  33. N2 Silver badge

    My best gifts

    A brand new .22 rifle & an axe with a hickory handle, really nice balance.

    & Im hoping to get a Husky 365Xp for my birthday - please

  34. Shanghai Tom
    Joke

    Birthday Treat

    It was my Wife's birthday , and as we were walking down the road we walked past a Restaurant, "Ah, that smells good", she said.

    So being the Northern softie that I am I walked her past it again....

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