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Cheating My Way to Awesome Gifts

For the last two of my eleven years of marriage, I have been getting absolutely perfect gifts from my husband. I’m talking birthday, mother’s day, anniversary, Christmas, and everything in between—he just gets me the most beautiful things.

How, you might wonder, did I get so lucky? Did I implant into his brain a telepathy microchip? Did I spike his coffee with estrogen so he could be more attuned to my secret desires?

Oh, the shame of it, but no, that’s not what happened. I’ll share my secret with you, but let it first be said that this stroke of genius was not my idea. I learned it from two close friends who had been doing it for years and suggested I do so, too. And let it also be said that when I first heard about their highly successful technique, I frowned in disapproval. Oh no, not me. This defeated the whole purpose of gift giving. It cheapened the process. Took the magic away. Tsk, tsk. 

… Until I tried it, that is. 

So yes, I admit it: I cheat my way into the gifts I want. The way it works is this: you see a picture of something you like in a magazine; you rip it out and stick it in a folder. You see something you like at a store; you write it down with all its specifications and stick it in the folder. You keep adding to your list (this can take a while, or not) until you have built a small arsenal of gift suggestions of various price ranges. Then you give the aforementioned folder to your husband and you say, in the sweetest voice possible, “Honey, if you are every looking for gift ideas for me, here are a few.” 

Admittedly, my polling sample is limited, but so far the three husbands I know (mine included) whose wives have handed them The Folder have LOVED it. It’s been (their words, not mine) “liberating.” Finally, no fear of making a mistake, of getting a subdued thank you from a disappointed wife. There is still an element of surprise involved and some degree of effort on their part, as they have to do the legwork of picking and purchasing the gift. But the beauty of The Folder is that it gives them the opportunity to know, with 100 percent certainty, that their loved one will squeal with delight when she opens her Valentine’s present, or her mother’s day gift, or her Christmas present.

This has been such a successful introduction to our lives that when The Folder’s contents start running low, it is my husband who approaches me to remind me it needs to be replenished. He is hooked. I am thrilled. 

So judge me, go ahead. It’s low. It cheapens the process. I ruined the whole concept of gift-giving. But next time you get a food processor for your birthday (and you hate to cook) or pearl earrings for Christmas (and you’re more of a precious stone kind of gal), think of The Folder and consider caving. You might end up being pleasantly surprised.

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