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Christmas gifts
My baby and I have been together for 15 years as of 12/26 this year. In general, life couldn't be better and I am fortunate to have this wonderful, affectionate, thoughtful guy in my life. I love him with all my heart, and I feel loved by him every day.

BUT, and you knew that was coming, there's one pet peeve that always comes up this time of year. And that's gift selection. I am so easy to buy for. I am obsessed with 3 things. Everyone knows about it. I have a room filled with things related to these 3 things. All you have to do to make me happy is buy something, anything related to these things and I am thrilled by the thought, let alone the actual thing.

But he never does that. He buys me out of left field stuff that puzzles me. Things I can't see how he'd ever, ever, ever think I'd like or need. For 14 years, I just took them and smiled and let it go. But last year, on New Year's day, I gently mentioned the "gift thing". It seemed to go okay. But them my birthday came and wow, it was worse. I couldn't bring it up. I just couldn't find a way that wouldn't start a huge fight or hurt his feelings.

So for 8 months now, I have constantly been dropping 2-ton brick like hints. First I said, let's not buy anything for each other. Saying we don't need anything and why waste the money, our gifts are each other. He resisted that and insisted we should just buy one gift each. So everytime we were in a mall I would say really loudly and robotically "Boy oh boy! A silver ID bracelet. I sure wish I had one of those with my name engraved on it" or "Wow! Isn't that a nice jacket! Sure wish I had that for the winter!" etc, etc.

Finally around Thanksgiving, I thought I'd make it easy when it didn't seem to be sinking in at all. I told him instead of buying me a present, just do one of the two following things: fix our dishwasher (which has been broken 4 years and would cost $50 to fix) or fix the drain in our bathtub so I can take a long hot bath on New Year's eve. I made it crystal clear that either of those things or both of them would knock my socks off and not to consider doing ANYTHING A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G else. I gave him the number to an electrician and a plumber.

So a month later, my dishwasher isn't fixed and the tub isn't fixed and I told me tonight that he'd decided not to do that and to buy me something else. I hate this about myself, but I am furious and really hurt. I am so sure, I am going to get clothes that fit his style and not mine, or some electronic gadget I don't have any use for. I want to get up off the couch and walk out and find a hotel room and call a plumber and electrician myself and rub his face in it tomorrow and just be mad and ignore him till January.

I know this sounds petty. I don't have the heart to bring it up to any of my friends, but I am so hurt and feel that my wants are ignored and that he's being thoughtless and selfish and that the thoughtlessness is a continuation of the bad gift selection over the past 15 years.

I know plenty of folks are single and some of them are lonely and would love a man like mine, but I can't push the sadness and hurt away. I am trying to rein this in, but I am afraid its going to turn in to a huge blow out argument on Christmas Day. That's part of why I want to go to a hotel.

Please don't be too mean if you're gonna criticize me. I just need to vent and would like other people's points of view.

got to get the message through to him somehow...being honest and telling him up front hasn't worked, so do you honestly think anything else will work? Or do you think you are just going to have to grin and bear it and regift the gift next year?
I sympathize with you...completely. I have been in your shoes except not with the man I love (been with 25 years) was the one before him.

I ended up smashing everything he gave me and cutting up the silk scarves and robes (PUH-LEESE...I am SO NOT a silk scarf guy) and it was very satisfying....May I ask..does he make you show these thoughtless gifts to others? That is what the guy I was with did...he gave them to me to show them off to his friends...I hope that is not something you have to do as well because it is so humiliating.

...but the thing love this man and you are happy otherwise...yes? My advice...consciously tell yourself how much you hate this behavior and then let it doesn't seem worth it to let it take over your relationship and sometimes you just have to let some of the stuff go.

Getting past the anger can be a chore. One thing I start with...figure out if there is an underlying bigger issue at what exactly bothers you about the thoughtless gifts? Is it that he isn't seeing who you are? That can be a slap in the face for sure...and was there ever a time in your life that presented a similar situation?...where someone didn't see who you were and caused you great pain or anger? I don't know if that will work but it is the thing that works for me usually.

I wish you luck in coming to terms with this..I know how hard it can be, I flat out tell everyone these days not to buy me a gift and I insist on it...I tell them if they need to buy me something to make a donation to a few charities that are important to me.
Hi Ricky,

First welcome you to GS.
Oh boy , do I know where you are coming from ,be very careful what you mention or say.:biggrin:
My oldman used to buy me all sorts of things appliances included.

After receiving a new iron one year.
I decided to take the bull by the horns and tell him the truth.
That's when I found out that there were 2 of us playing the same politeness game.

So since then about 2 months before Christmas we ask each other what we would like.
Problem solved.

Good luck.:biggrin:
Let us know how it goes.
@dfiant: I guess I think it's hopeless and will have to grin and bear it.

@East: no he doesn't make me show them off. He thinks I am thrilled when I don't say anything immediately! But I think they come from a place of sincerity where he thinks it's something I will absolutely LOVE. But given what they are, I can never figure out what his logic was in the selection of the things he buys.. For example, I rarely listen to music ever. I don't buy it or seek it out other than background on TV or a music video or when we're in the car, but 2 years back he bought me an iPod. Great gift, right? Except I have an Andriod Smartphone and I don't do music.

My style of clothing is bright. Think a toddler in hip-hop style clothes. And I wear suits to work. But last year he bought me a bunch of preppy sweaters and boat shoes. I love the comic book hero Green Lantern. I have dozens of action figures, t-shirts, etc. I purposely haven't bought the most recent versions of the actions figures or the animated or live action movies from this year so he'd have a clear opening! But nothing.

I like you're advice about letting it go and I am trying. Thinking over this sentence "Is it that he isn't seeing who you are?" really resonates with me, but I can't think of a past experience. I think he can tell I am a little upset right now, so he's doing what he always does when he thinks I am mad: cleaning the house!!! (Which is usually my job...) And for some reason, that's making me angrier and sadder.

Sigh... Maybe I should just go to be really early tonight... :frown:
@Rainbowmum: I hear you! But I am already on board. He asked for a specific jacket in a specific color. So it's wrapped and hidden in the house with a matching hat and gloves along with a sweater he liked in a local store (they didn't have his size, so I tracked it down elsewhere.) I want that done for me for a change -hence the request to take bath! Then he can go back to sucky gifts.
dont pay attention to his bad gifting skills, you are risking 15 years of love.
My Partner and I settled the gift thing years and years and years ago.

I hate - no that is not strong enough of a word, I absolutely, positively loathe, disgust, detest, despise and HATEshopping. Shopping centres and malls and stores were invented just to piss me off, just to be the one place on earth that makes hell in all of its fury sound like a nice place to spend eternity compared to shopping which I can't stand to do for one minute. I would rather go deep diving and all day swimming in a pool of acid than shop. Do you get the idea how much I hate to shop?

Yes I am gay - I am atypically gay - I don't do the shopping thing. Ever.

To make it all simple we sat down and discussed it. I told him that I want to make this as painless as possible. For Christmas he has until Halloween to tell me what he wants for Christmas. The rest of the gifts he can wait until about 2 weeks before the event to decide what he wants. Christmas Shopping is verboten. I do not go near stores after Thanksgiving.

Not even the grocers this year. Last year I nearly ripped off a woman's head and handed it back to her after she ran her cart into my bad leg - twice. Hello - Man here on a cane - he's crippled enough he doesn't need your fat ass pushing your cart over him....

In turn I tell him exactly what I want for ______________ (fill in the holiday/event). There have been years when I have taken him to Lowe's, Sears, or Home Depot and picked up the tool that I wanted and said 'This is what I want for my birthday'.

He has done the same to me, taken me to J.C. Penny and showed me that clothing items he wanted, taken me to Jared to show me what items of Jewelry he wanted.

Well when it comes to Jewelry there are items he wants then they are items that does not require me robbing a few banks in order to get him a gift. Wink

No confusion, no fuss, no angst, no resentment - we both know exactly what we are getting as a gift.

Trust me, there is enough stress trying to figure out what to get the rest of the family members each year for holidays, anniversaries - many of them do not want to play fair, they want us to 'guess' or play charades or figure out their clues as if we are playing some sort of 'Guess the Mystery Gift' game.

A couple should be able to tell each other just about anything and should have enough communication between them to know what their partner wants for the next gift - because their partner said 'This is what I want'.
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[SIZE=4]I told you I had the body of a 25 year old....

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He sounds clueless. I'd only say he's selfish if he uses the gifts when you don't want them, or like what East described (which would be about ego). Otherwise, he probably thinks that because he likes something then you must like it, too. It's amazing how many people think everybody else, at least deep down, are just like them and are baffled when others prefer different genres, music, clothes, etc. He may also have an ill advised desire to make sure you're surprised because he figures if you guess then it's no fun for you. But this is more stupidity than either selfishness or malice and should be counted as a flaw, IMO, not intentional disrespect.

And in my experience, I'd say nearly half the men who give me gifts are bad at it, and I mean enough that I sometimes volunteer to help close guy friends in getting gifts for someone else because I doubt their ability to do it. I try to remember that they did spend their hard earned money and time to get and wrap it up and when it's bad to try to have a sense of humor about it.

I think the one that made me laugh the most was a guy who liked me knew I trained in martial arts for years and sparred with my girlfriend so he got me something I'd like because of that, or so he told me (well, I did, but only because I can laugh about these things). So imagine my surprise when I opened it to find a vid of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. I knew NOTHING of Mortal Kombat save that it was a video game of some kind (and recalled being vaguely disgusted at a pizza place where the demo of it had a guy rip out someone else's bloody spine which looked too much like the pizza sauce), and if you haven't seen this movie then I can't even tell you how ridiculous it was (though I liked the music). I didn't know it was possible for a movie to be that bad. He asked me what I thought so while I told him I laughed a few times (not specifying it was AT, not with, and also laughing that he thought this would appeal to me, have any interest for me, or that martial arts was anything like that) and enjoyed the soundtrack, but then I told him much more about the movies I DID like instead. So what was his next gift? Another Mortal Kombat movie. :eek: Rolleyes Roflmao

My cousin whom I'm extremely close to (even if I haven't told him I'm a lesbian, though I think he's figured it out on his own) always loves my gifts (and I don't say that because he says so once, but because he repeatedly brings it up and talks about it in detail, like when I got him the Firefly dvds), but he's consistently gotten me gifts that were "meh" at best and sometimes even offensive to me (though his getting me a singing Billy Bass was so bad it was good, though my girlfriend at the time sincerely threatened to destroy it after I made it sing a half dozen times Rofl). ETA: In case you never heard of a singing billy bass, here it is:

Anyway, I know it hurts your feelings, but if you can try to remember he means well and develop a sense of humor about it. I understand it's a flaw on his part, but nobody's perfect (we all have our flaws) and 15 years of love with a wonderful lover seems like a terrible thing to endanger by getting upset over his doing what you already know he's going to do (and btw, when I expect the worst I find it's easier to accept what happens, and also much easier to be pleasantly surprised).
I wanted to thank everyone for listening and for their responses. Here we are two days out and on my birthday. For Christmas, I got a video game that I saw in the store and remarked was "interesting" and a rice cooker. See I bought *US* a rice cooker in November and he broke it after a week, so he thought I'd want a replacement. As a Christmas gift. Instead of, you know, like when he broke it... Sigh...

As was mentioned above, all I can do is laugh. Especially when I woke up to a b-day gift of what must be the ugliest non-xmas sweater anyone ever gave anyone...

So I made a couple of calls and the plumber is coming to fix my bathtub in the morning, Along with the electrician to fix the dishwasher. And I am taking myself to the mall to buy the ID bracelet and necklace with a crucifix I've been pointing out to him for 4 years...

I mentioned the plumber and electrician and he said "Oh, I should have done that for Christmas"... I am wondering if I should get him a CAT scan for his birthday! ;^)

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