How to Gift a Guy

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Making a Statement

Guy Gift Category #4: Your Live-In Lovaaah Once you've signed a lease together, it's easy to start taking each other for granted. Swoony evenings give way to knockaround nights, camisoles give way to comfortable jammies, and by now, he's bound to have seen you in those big granny panties from laundry day. Your gift is allowed to be a bit domestic, but not overly so -- you do want some romance involved.

At this point, slight alterations to his style are allowed: groovy sunglasses, a watch upgrade, a sweater in a solid Merino wool. Stay away from pants, even if his pleats drive you up a wall -- that's getting a bit too Mommy about it all. You can also get more lavish, as this may well end up being a gift for the two of you -- a camera, a TV, a Palm Pilot, fancy steak knives.

The idea is to look around and see what'll complete your picture together, still keeping in mind that this must be something he craves, not something that you think he should want. That can be tempting, but save it for a let's-buy-it-together anniversary gift.

Guy Gift Category #5: The Man You Married The ring's on your finger, but that doesn't mean the romance has to go out of gift-giving. Au contraire. Now's the time to drive home the fact that regardless of holy matrimony, you still want to feel like you're living in sin. You want to make him feel that landing a life with you is the best thing that ever happened to him.

Sexy gifts are great -- you can buy yourself those crazy Victoria's Secret panties with the keyhole that shows off butt-cleavage. "If there's something that he always hints about, but that's not your style, do it now so he knows you're doing it for him," Wachs says. It might just be a shorter skirt that you only wear for just-you dates, or wearing your hair down when you usually choose a practical ponytail. "You no longer have to worry about your status as girlfriend, so you can be as naughty as you dare," she says.

For his main present, you should shoot for something he's been dying for, that any "normal" wife (the kind you see on sitcoms) would put the kibosh on. Yes, you need to be practical -- you're saving for a house, the kids' college, whatever -- but you're also still fun. And you know that even though he never gets a chance to work on car engines anymore, that upscale pair of mechanic's gloves would remind him that he really revs your engine. Celebrate his love of sports with a personalized jersey (to make up for the times he misses the game these days).

Let him know how much you appreciate who he is and what he does for your life together. And let him feel like the guy he was before he became the man of the house. Because that's who you fell in love with -- and you want to keep him around, too.

Guy Gift Category #6: The Guy You Wish Would Dump You Sometimes a relationship's been limping along, but just won't give up the ghost. In that case, a gift-giving event can provide the perfect season-ender. No need to be a b-word about it, but a slightly crappy gift can be a good final out.

Potpourri for his bathroom says "you stink." Anything teddy bear related tells him "you need to work out, fatty." A baseball cap shrieks, "Hey, baldy! I can't stand the way you look, and I don't think you're worth more than twelve bucks!"

The sad song you want this gift to sing is, "It was fun while it lasted, but I'm moving on -- and won't be investing in you further." Na na na na... na na na na... hey hey hey... good-bye.



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