I saw this tweet go past that said, “When a girl says she DOESN’T want a Christmas gift, she really does.”
To which I responded, “If a woman says she doesn’t want an X-mas gift, she means it.”
Strangely, this seems to be a point of controversy and I got responses such as, “Fellas, this is a trap. Occasionally the ladies try this,” and “Even if she means it, that’s not going to keep me from getting her one.”
Look… do we really have to have the “No means no” conversation again?
I mean, you do realize that this betrays your opinion that women are liars, right? Because, otherwise what it means is that your need to feel
important generous trumps respecting someone’s wishes.
Here. Let’s use an example from my real life for the purposes of illustration. I enjoy throwing dinner parties and work on getting the menu just right. Sometimes people will ask me if they can bring something, which is always a very kind offer.
I say, “No. Just your charming selves” and usually we’re all good. But sometimes, they ignore my request show up with a dish, or desert, or bread. Now, I suddenly have to deal with this thing — which represents an act of good will — but which I have to stop everything to manage.
This is not a gift.
I am, in fact, in full sympathy for how hard it is at Christmas when you want to be generous and give something to someone who does not want gifts. My grandmother is 107. She doesn’t want anything. My desire to give her a gift is really just because I want to have a tangible way of saying, “I love you and I thought about you.” So, I call her instead. I write her letters instead. I do not crowd her tiny house with things she doesn’t need or want.
My husband is a minimalist, and he really, really doesn’t want anything. I present him with certificates that he can redeem for things like “You may remove one item from the living room,” or for chores that I hate doing. One year, I had his favorite bag mended. Even with these, I’m aware of the fact that I’m cheating and that really, I’m catering to my own desire to be perceived as a nice person.
Sure, I’ve known a couple of people who play the social game of pretending not to want something that they in fact do want, but you know what? If that’s the case and you take their statement at face value then it’s their own damn fault for lying.
If someone says no, it means no. Don’t decide that you know what they want better than they do. That is not a gift. That’s selfish.