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Not all spouses or mates are "gifted" when it comes to remembering special occasions. Some are "gift-challenged." They have to be carefully nurtured. Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Hanukah and Christmas occur at the same time every year. So, why do they disappoint us so often? And, why does it drive us nuts?

There can be any number of reasons for this problem. He might actually LIKE receiving socks for his birthday. Or, it may be his ''impaired” upbringing – his family may not have attached much importance to gift-giving and he probably can't understand why you do. Or, he may think he's just no good at it, as in: "I can't pick out gifts. I just don't know how." Obviously, nobody likes to do what he's bad at; it makes someone feel inadequate.

Even those who remember those special occasions often miss the mark. Men are more into function; they think in terms of "need," not "want.'' So, it's those socks, or file cabinets (actually one of my 1997 gifts), not JEWELRY!

And, why does it drive us nuts? Well, maybe it was our upbringing, as in "My family always made a fuss over my birthday.'' Probably not a good idea to compare families. Or, are we equating the quality of the gift with the quality of love? Probably shouldn't do that, either. We cannot expect the poor souls to read our minds. So, what should we do?

Take matters into our own hands! Tell it like it is: "My birthday is next Friday, and I would like anything at all- as long as it's on my Glitters wish list."

Or, place a Glitters "Hint! Hint!" card on his shaving mirror with a note: ''For my birthday next Friday." This makes for a win/ win situation. You get a treasure you really want, and he gets to be a hero!


This article was written by Glitters' founder Diane, and reprinted from the archive.