And while a man can give a woman lingerie, I can't bring myself to present my boyfriend with "manties."
I could splurge and get him some designer shirt, but that's not his thing. He's stylish, but not flashy. I actually like how he dresses. I don't want to change him.
Don't I know the true meaning of a relationship?
My girlfriends are easy to shop for because I can get them accessories - costume jewelry, a clutch purse, a hair straightener, the latest wonder mascara. We girls love accoutrements.
My boyfriend doesn't even wear a watch, and he wouldn't be caught dead wearing man-jewelry.
Sorry, Mother Mary, he's not Italian.
A friend suggested I get him nice shaving cream, but my boyfriend doesn't shave. His scruff ranges from grizzled to Gorton's Fisherman.
Overpriced bath and body products are a nice girlfriendy gift, but I think they'd be lost on my boyfriend. He's more of a Shampoo + Conditioner in One type. One time he was showering at my place and called out, "Is it OK if I use this Kiehl's shampoo? I don't want to use your nice stuff."
Except that the Kiehl's is dog shampoo. Pip comes before everyone. I buy my shampoo at CVS.
I tried looking online for inspiration, but that was a bust. I used to envy the "Gifts for Him" tab on websites when I had no Him. But now that I do, it turns out those gift lists don't suit Him at all - my boyfriend, I mean.
They probably don't suit Him either, but that's only because He is the true meaning of Christmas.
For example, Brookstone recommends wireless TV headphones with a picture of a woman asleep on her man's chest while he looks past her and watches television.
This holiday season, tell your loved one, "I know we're over each other, just keep the volume down."
The Sharper Image suggests an electric nose and ear hair trimmer.
I don't think we're "there" yet.
A site called ThinkGeek.com, which advertises gifts for "Smart Masses," features a hammer with a bottle opener on the back - because drinking while wielding heavy tools is a really "smart" idea.
The stakes are higher when choosing a gift for a significant other than for a friend. A gift for a friend needs only to say: I thought you might like this. A gift for a boyfriend needs to say: I get you.
And if I get you the wrong gift, I don't get you.
In my case, my boyfriend is so nice, if I got him something he didn't like, he'd probably pretend to like it, which is even worse.
We've been together long enough that we're comfortable, but not so long that we're done trying to impress each other. I still get dolled up to see him.
He has about another six months on that.
So I just want to give him a gift that is fun and cool, maybe a little sexy, but something useful, with a clever twist. I want to give him something that he wants now and that he'll cherish for a long time.
Wait, are we still talking about gifts?
Look for Francesca and Lisa's new collection of humor essays, "Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim," in stores now. You can write to Francesca at Francesca@francescaserritella.com.