to be upset at boring birthday presents

(99 Posts)
waybuloony Wed 11-Sep-13 13:40:53

Ok, it's not my birthday for a few days but I've just seen a despatch order in my dh's email inbox (I have access to this with his permission) for some Ladies welly boot socks and a black umbrella which I'm guessing are meant for my birthday and I'm more than a little bit mortified. Arent these the sort of pressies you give an old aunt for xmas and not your dearly beloved?

We've been together 11 years, have had a few up's and down's lately and are feeling the pinch a bit right now but I feel really upset. AIBU?

Should I say anything?

pigletmania Wed 11-Sep-13 13:42:40

Blimy I don't blame you. Those sound very dull and bring ad I would not be pleased if I recieved those

Scholes34 Wed 11-Sep-13 13:43:40

Do you wear wellies often?

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Wed 11-Sep-13 13:44:31

I give DP a list.

Otherwise he buys me weird shit.


waybuloony Wed 11-Sep-13 13:48:26

No I rarely wear wellies. Plus I already have a pair...

liquidstate Wed 11-Sep-13 13:48:53

Its my birthday today! From DH I got a tree for the garden grin. I did once receive a frying pan from him though hmm so now he gets told a specific item and life is much easier.

Lets hope he jazzes the pressie up for you with some flowers.

Morgause Wed 11-Sep-13 13:49:08

I buy weird shit and tell him to wrap it.

daftdame Wed 11-Sep-13 13:50:38

He's expecting rain then? Do think he'll be taking you away to Scotland or Ireland to a posh hotel?

livinginwonderland Wed 11-Sep-13 13:51:33

I give DP a list. Saves the hassle!

onlysettleforbutterflies Wed 11-Sep-13 13:53:12

I go shopping with DP, then no one is upset. Is he usually quite good and thoughtful with gifts?

waybuloony Wed 11-Sep-13 13:56:39

Happy Birthday liquidstate! Now a tree is a lovely present, beautifully symbolic and very romantic in a non-schmaltzy way. Must drop hints for next year!

My dh works in a v creative job which is why I'm bemused by the mundanity of these (suspected) gifts :-(

TwoTearsInABucket Wed 11-Sep-13 14:02:11

I got a pillow, a lemon squeezer and a spatula one year. That never happened again

IfYouLoveSomebodyLetThemSleep Wed 11-Sep-13 14:02:44

I'd be hoping he jazzes them up with diamonds, never mind flowers.

I think this year you just have to be appreciative and say thank you, and next year give him a list.

this is why i tell dh what i would like. this year im getting bookcases (i know, very boring! )and i cant wait grin

waybuloony Wed 11-Sep-13 14:08:57

Weirdly daftdame I think that's partly what has upset me. They're rainy day items (literally) that will hardly be used. A frying pan (which there's no denying is also a crapola present) is at least something that will get daily if not weekly use!!

PomBearArmy Wed 11-Sep-13 19:05:16

Well, at least you're forewarned, you won't be caught by surprise.

You can burst into tears when you open them while asking 'Don't you love me anymore?' or burst out laughing 'Very funny, where's my real present?' Do something to shock him out of his crap present buying habit.

And then buy him a stapler for Christmas!

AaDB Wed 11-Sep-13 19:54:08

I hope he had been to the shops or travel agent for a nice surprise.

WoolySocks Wed 11-Sep-13 20:54:57

Does he usually get you more creative/thoughtful presents OP?

Fleta Wed 11-Sep-13 20:59:06

Actually I think you'd be unreasonable to make him feel bd about it. I don't get why you would - maybe he genuinely thinks he's getting you something good.

I dont' get the "make him feel really bad"

How mean

Fleta Wed 11-Sep-13 20:59:06

Actually I think you'd be unreasonable to make him feel bd about it. I don't get why you would - maybe he genuinely thinks he's getting you something good.

I dont' get the "make him feel really bad"

How mean

ExitPursuedByADragon Wed 11-Sep-13 21:02:56

Tell him what to buy you. It is the only way.

I got a kitchen knife one birthday from my husband, and a frying pan for xmas. apparently i had spent a lot of time saying 'argh, i wish i had a knife that could cut' and 'the nonstick is completely worn off this pan'... we had a laugh about what constitutes a good present. usually i don't get anything as my birthday is a week before Christmas during the month we don't get paid and I've spent every bean we had on the kids gifts. you get used to it smile

oh, and bad gift sense must be hereditary as his dad once gave his mum a huge package wrapped beautifully on her birthday. she opened it excitedly and then burst into tears... it was a Hoover. not a dyson either... this was many years before designer vacuums. he genuinely couldn't see why she was hurt.

LoveSewingBee Wed 11-Sep-13 21:05:21

Well, the positive side is:
he has not forgotten your birthday and is actually planning ahead.

So, maybe you can plan a nice dinner in or out for that day and try to both have a lovely time.

Next year, give him some very strong hints or more straightforward just a list.

BonaDea Wed 11-Sep-13 21:10:57

I've given up and just tell DH what I want. We are both much happier with this arrangement. The pressure is off him and I get something I actually want. I actually choose something more expensive than I would otherwise expect because I feel the non-choosing allows me that!

DH now gets me flowers on his way home that day and a card and I'm happy with that!!

specialsubject Wed 11-Sep-13 21:11:25

him and me have long stopped surprise birthday presents because....well, it all seems a bit daft really. We go for a meal out on or near the day. If we need something for the house or each other we talk about it and treat ourselves as budget allows.

saves an awful lot of angst.

however I am always grateful for a present, especially a useful one.

BluddyMoFo Wed 11-Sep-13 21:15:09

We dont buy each other birthday presents. We are never disappointed! grin

Fluffy1234 Wed 11-Sep-13 21:16:53

Plan a nice meal out/evening in and just wait and see what pressies you get.

ToysRLuv Wed 11-Sep-13 21:18:01

T'was my birthday today. Didn't ask for anything or expect anything (in fact I said not to get anything). Got a potted plant and DH took DS to preschool and collected him, so I got to sleep in an potter around at home.

ToysRLuv Wed 11-Sep-13 21:18:35

We both work from home.

invicta Wed 11-Sep-13 21:18:42

Let us know what you get from him.

defineme Wed 11-Sep-13 21:21:48

Perhaps he's treating you to a night away, but is worried it will be wet? <hopeful>

Topseyt Wed 11-Sep-13 21:22:45

My hubby prefers these days to buy me something like an Amazon voucher. He gave me a £30 one a few weeks ago for my birthday, and I ordered a load of books I had been itching to read. I am currently ploughing through them.

My parents used to have an ongoing family joke with each other over which "bad" present to get. I remember one year my dad got my mum a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket to keep in the kitchen. We were all in stitches about it, and it was done for fun. We still laugh about it sometimes now, though I know it wouldn't tickle everyone's sense of humour. That is just what we were like.

ToysRLuv Wed 11-Sep-13 21:24:09

One year I got DH a bottle of Tesco Value Vodka grin

Fluffy1234 Wed 11-Sep-13 21:26:06

This thread reminded of the Christmas when a relative brought his DW tummy fat reducing contraption thing.. She was not best pleased.

camtt Wed 11-Sep-13 21:27:49

ooh - fire extinguisher? Christmas present idea for my DH!

NoSquirrels Wed 11-Sep-13 21:29:12

If you have his permission for access to his inbox, and you have seen the despatch note, and you don't like the look of it, say something! Gently. . . perhaps send him a link to something you would like? Or say "DH, saw the order for the wellies and brolly. Didn't know your mum/auntie X/your sis had given us her Xmas list already! Hope she did ask for them, wouldn't want her to be disappointed by a dull gift on the day. . ."

freddiefrog Wed 11-Sep-13 21:29:35

DH bought me a top this year.

Shame it was a maternity top from Mothercare. He saw it and thought my non-pregnant self would like it - big clue in the shop name DH

Havea0 Wed 11-Sep-13 21:30:28

A. He remembered
B. He bought two items
C. Doesnt look like he is going to be late
D. He has at least tried to put some thought into it
E. That may not be all he has bought - though dont hold your breath too much on this one!!
F. They may be for someone else <clutches at straws>
G. He hasnt blown the budget! Joke, but that is important a bit.

For the rest. See the excellent posts above.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Wed 11-Sep-13 21:32:11

I know someone whose dh once gave her a car jack and wheel wrench. Think yourselves lucky. grin

holidaybug Wed 11-Sep-13 21:34:27

YABU - if you love each other, that's what is important. I always tell DH (after 13 years of marriage) that I don't want a birthday present and he is finally listening. I usually get a card from him and DC and maybe breakfast in bed or some other treat and I'm happy with that.

If your focus is on material things, then it's wrong IMO.

NuggetofPurestGreen Wed 11-Sep-13 21:35:27

We don't bother with birthday presents. Like specialsubject one of us takes the other for dinner around the birthday time. Don't really see the point of the 'tell him what to buy' thing - why not just buy it for yourself then and cut out the middle man.

Havea0 Wed 11-Sep-13 21:36:20

Having had a reread, I think you are upset not so much by the boringness, but because they are not romantic? Because you have had ups and downs this year?
But tbh, I personally wouldnt mind those presents because he put some thought into them and got it spectacularly wrong.
Either that, or he is having a joke.

YANBU, they sound pretty dull pressies.
However it's my birthday today and DH got me the following:
x6 cans of a soft drink I like
x4 packs beef Jerkey (His favourite - I'm pretty sure one of the packs was already in the cupboard at home!)
x3 bars of chocolate
small pack of Ferrero Rocher
a giant (18 servings) cupcake birthday cake.
He doesn't like cake, I'm not a massive fan and there's only us 2 and the dog so not sure who he is expecting to eat it! (dog keeps eyeing it up though)
I mentioned I would take it to work tomorrow and share it out (good plan, no?) and he is not happy about this - he said he bought it for us, not my work colleagues hmm

To be fair I do like all of the above treats but looked more like the weekly shop than my bday present!
My main present is on its way from America (a case for my new laptop) which he only ordered yesterday after me emailing him a link saying 'you should get me this for my birthday'

He did however do well on the card which is always my favourite part of birthdays. even if he did clearly get it with the treats from tesco on the way home from work tonight
He's rubbish at present giving occasions, thankfully not just with me or I'd be really offended!

ToysRLuv Wed 11-Sep-13 21:45:02

Hello keepthechange! It's mine too! It's an easy date for people do remember, isn't it..

DH got me a card, but I told him not to open it or write in it. We will just use it for someone else..

holidaybug Wed 11-Sep-13 21:51:20

hmm at an easy date for people to remember - an easy date for people to remember that nearly 3,000 people died ...

holidaybug Wed 11-Sep-13 21:52:20

But, in a good spirit, Happy Birthday

ToysRLuv Wed 11-Sep-13 21:55:48

Yes, that's what I meant. Absolutely. Fucking hell!hmm There is a sort of black humour about it in an "Osama really wrecked my 21st" kind of way, to me. But of course I'm not happy about what happened. DBIL was on a plane to US that day.

The fact remains, that people remember my B-day better post 9/11 than they did before, and that's an indisputable fact, I'm afraid. But, for the last time, I'm not happy about what happened.

ToysRLuv Wed 11-Sep-13 21:56:16

Thanks anyway.. wink

TiredyCustards Wed 11-Sep-13 21:58:33

Perhaps they are the wrapped part of a romantic walk in the rain or ...... something like that?

DH's family regularly get me things for the children for my birthday. Eg a baby blanket, or an Annabel Karmel cook book.

holidaybug Wed 11-Sep-13 21:59:22

I was there that day - I just thought your post was a tad insensitive particularly on the anniversary. Now a birthday of 05/05/05 - now that is easy to remember.

Gracie990 Wed 11-Sep-13 22:01:23

I love useful gifts, much better than crap that I don't like or need. I have hobbies so i'm really easy to buy for, yet still people buy me god awful shit I will never display in my home < looks at you mil> straight to charity shop.

I just buy what I want through the year though so the pressure of getting what I want at birthday/ Christmas isn't there iyswim.

Lioninthesun Wed 11-Sep-13 22:02:50

Maybe do an Amazon wishlist? I have one but sadly no one to buy me anything. I get something for myself from it once or twice a year instead. Handy to have a list of lovely things you really want when/if people ask!

Bowlersarm Wed 11-Sep-13 22:03:32

That may be just a selection of your presents OP.

Maybe he bought the diamonds in the shop......

josiejay Wed 11-Sep-13 22:03:42

I remember a thread on here where someone got an electric blanket from their DP - I think she LTB.

NuggetofPurestGreen Wed 11-Sep-13 22:05:41

I'd love an electric blanket as a present!!

LAK11 Wed 11-Sep-13 22:11:12

It was my 50th earlier this year. All I wanted was a pair of real Raybans. Simple, I thought....I got a mini iPad, bought bought by the company, which I did not want and I never get to use as hubbie is always using the fucker......

BlackholesAndRevelations Wed 11-Sep-13 22:11:35

Are you sure they're for you? Has he got an elderly aunt/mother who likes walking in the rain? wink

ilikemysleep Wed 11-Sep-13 22:27:38

You know, at least he has had a think of what you would like / need. I was really hurt by my presents from DH this year - flowers, choclates and champagne. All very expensive, but all 'generic' presents that told me he had not put an ounce of thought into it at all. Then to make matters worse it was our wedding anniversary a week later (ok, at least he remembered it) and he got, chocolates and champagne. Albeit slightly different flowers, chocolates and champagne.

I would MUCH MUCH rather have a present that someone has considered carefully and not got quite right rather than one that has had no thought put into it at all...he got me a steering wheel lock and ice scraper once years ago, I was quite happy with that, I needed them and he had thought about what I needed.

I would not dream of bursting into tears or complaining, but I might give him more guideance for Christmas. I just feel a bit sad that I have to ask him to think about what I might like...

dh once gave me a heart rate monitor for my birthday

ToysRLuv Wed 11-Sep-13 22:48:05

I forgot my own wedding anniversary this year and the last. Realised it was DH's birthday on the morning of the day. Baked him a carrot cake and made a card with DS DS drew a quick half-hearted squiggle on it and ran off Nearly forgot my own birthday, but DH reminded me a few days ago. God. we are so boring and unromantic. grin

CSIJanner Thu 12-Sep-13 03:21:28

Could he have another surprise attached? Rain coat & wellies = holiday weekend away in a place where it always rains?

Rabbiting0n Thu 12-Sep-13 03:53:10


Birthdays are always a disappointment.

A few years back DH bought me a pregnancy diary and a weaning book for vegetarian babies. I wasn't pregnant and he said he didn't want to try for a baby either confused

I like a PP's suggestion that he is taking you somewhere traditionally wet, like Scotland. Or maybe he is buying you a dog?

lovesherdogstoomuch Thu 12-Sep-13 04:59:28

i got a six pack of Walkers crisps once.

GreetingsFrontBottom Thu 12-Sep-13 05:07:27

I get a box of Jewels chocolates every year without fail from my DH.

nokidshere Thu 12-Sep-13 07:23:19

Even though he quite good at present shopping I send DH links to stuff I like all year round so that if he can't think of anything himself I at least get something I want smile

AaDB Thu 12-Sep-13 09:23:27

Ilikemysleep, I hear you. Same here, champagne, flowers and the same chocs.

He does get the most thoughtful homemade present. Just that would be fine.

treas Thu 12-Sep-13 09:34:31

YABU - many a time on MN you see threads from posters who have received nothing for their Birthday or Christmas.

MattZelst Thu 12-Sep-13 10:02:46

You're getting a present aren't you? DOn't nose around his stuff, because you don't know if he's got you something else

PoisonedApple Thu 12-Sep-13 10:15:59

My husband sent his Mum out to buy me a bottle of (the wrong) perfume on the morning of my birthday and his sister out to buy a Colin the caterpillar cake.

elQuintoConyo Thu 12-Sep-13 10:50:24

I still haven't got anything for my DH's birthday. He was 40 - at the beginning of July!
He didn't/doesn't know what he wants. And now Christmas is the next present... I'm fucked.
We're financially up shit creak, so what present money we have goes on DS.

I am laughing at pp's suggestions of 'perhaps he's going to whisk you away to rainy Ireland... perhaps he's bought diamonds, too' etc! Like we've all got £500 to spend on a birthday hmm
Fwiw in 15 years, DH has never surprised me with/treated me to a Bridget Jones-style mini-break, and vice versa. I guess everyone's idea of romance is different.

ThisIsYourSong Thu 12-Sep-13 11:15:23

DH got me a ten pack of those melty hot choc things this year for Mothers Day I think. I loved it a lot more than the iMac he got for my birthday. I'm not being ungrateful but it just felt more personal. Just like I'd love choc and champagne as we'd drink/eat them together. But personal rather than practical gifts are what I like, no matter cost. It's just a matter of letting your DH know that, and knowing he'll still get it wrong sometimes.

NMM Thu 12-Sep-13 17:46:49

DH bought me a Henry the Hoover mug last year. I subsequently found out he'd bought it on special offer from Amazon. There was vision and no sound that day I can tell you.

ZillionChocolate Thu 12-Sep-13 18:49:55

Is there something wrong buying presents on special offer from amazon?

Triathlonwannabe Thu 12-Sep-13 19:39:47

I just think most men lack the present buying gene and genuinely can't see the problem. The worse one ever from dh was a sample wooly hat with his company's logo on...I said thank you, lovely, on the day and 3 days later burst into tears. Since then, dd has taken charge, gets a list from me and organises him. It is the only way...

Yika Thu 12-Sep-13 19:52:39

I am in stitches laughing at this thread (sorry OP but at least it must make you feel less alone in the crap present department).

Nothing wrong with buying a present on special offer on amazon if it's something thoughtful that the recipient is going to like. Somehow I doubt a Henry the Hoover mug was on NMM's wish list (I may be wrong).

ithaka Thu 12-Sep-13 19:57:35

My DH has just bought we waterproof trousers for my birthday - I am delighted!

In my/his defence, we do hillwalk together & he did really well to find teeny waterproof trews, as I am titchy. Plus, yeah, I am a saddo..

Oblomov Thu 12-Sep-13 19:58:02

We don't buy presents. Most of the time, I can't even think of anything that I want or need.

motherinferior Thu 12-Sep-13 19:58:50

For my first birthday after taking up with DP I got zip, zilch, nada...

And then, then, I got an unplanned positive pregnancy test.

He did take me out for dinner smilesmile

PS DS1 is now 12

DaleyBump Thu 12-Sep-13 20:32:44

DP got me a tube of smarties and a card with a hole in it (he got it caught in the boot) one year. It's now tradition for him to put a hole in all the cards he gets me grin although on Valentines day he got me nothing and forgot to write the holey card. We just don't do gifts very well grin

nostalgiaaaah Thu 12-Sep-13 21:04:42

My husband took holiday to go on a trip of a lifetime to Australia to follow this year's Lions Tour. Everyone was telling him how lucky he was I 'let' him go etc, in fact I was very happy that he had this opportunity.
He did ask me what I would like him to bring back, ideally I wanted a watercolour print I could frame but, realising this was probably too much to expect, I said some Australian keyrings and Starbucks City mugs, what could be simpler,........I got.....some bars of soap and a fridge magnet (even worse we have a wooden door over our fridge.)
At least it gives us a laugh when I tell our friends, I have a feeling he will try a bit harder next time.

bikercrazee Thu 12-Sep-13 21:49:36

I got a bottle with a lump of charcoal in it ! a tree sounds positively thoughtful!

Marissam21 Thu 12-Sep-13 23:15:21

Maybe he thinks that u would see this delivery note and tried to throw you off the scent of what he really got you? Or maybe he's taking you away for a break try not to be too deflated as atleast the thought counts and he remembered your birthday xx

Underconstruction Thu 12-Sep-13 23:31:59

Water filters!

Noideaatall Fri 13-Sep-13 00:11:30

My nan got me a five pack of pants one year. With only three pairs in it.

ToysRLuv Fri 13-Sep-13 00:20:04

My nan gave me 1 pair of slightly risque satin pants when I turned 14. They were also about two sizes too small confused

Dp either gets a list to choose from or I stupidly say 'anything! Honestly lovey, I don't mind' .. the times he has no list I get card, flowers, chocolate. Woooooooow. They are always lovely and obes I'd buy myself but just so unimaginative.

I hate lazy gifts it's as though the person you're buying for isn't worth listening to/really knowing to know what they like/want.

tiggerpigger Fri 13-Sep-13 00:45:07

Unbelievable. So materialistic. At least he hasn't forgotten your birthday. Poor bloke.

TheYamiOfYawn Fri 13-Sep-13 10:00:58

I spent years buying tasteful, thoughtful gifts for DP. A new book by his favourite author, a bottle of really good whiskey, a nice leather wallet, that kind of thing. His presents to me were along the lines of a shower curtain and a spatula. A couple of years ago, it came out in conversation that he hated the gifts from me as much as I hated the gifts from him. My present buying philosophy was always to give the recipient something they would love but would feel a bit guilty spending their own money on. His philosophy was that a perfect present is something that gets frequent practical use, so that every time you use it, you are reminded if the giver and the special occasion on which it was given.

Last Christmas we managed to get it right - I gave a set of merino thermals and a jar of gold-flecked marmite and he gave me the buckwheat pillow I'd been considering buying for ages.

waybuloony Fri 13-Sep-13 10:15:26

Well, today's the day and sure enough....some welly boot socks and an umbrella....along with some really lovely pyjamas, phew!

My two little boys sang me 'happy birthday dear mummy' at breakfast and that alone made me one v special birthday girl!

Pammie70 Fri 13-Sep-13 10:34:46

One year got a pot plant and a very posh cookery book that I have never used as I would have needed a second mortgage for the ingredients.
But the best was the Christmas he bought me a toilet brush holder and toilet roll holder, we had just had a new bathroom and he bought them to match the shower curtain!!!! After that I started taking him shopping.

daisychicken Fri 13-Sep-13 10:45:42

Happy Birthday Waybuloony! Tis my birthday today as well grin

Glad you got some lovely pj's! Have you asked 'why?' re the welly socks and umbrella?! I do wonder what goes on in some people's heads when it comes to gifts..... my DH can be v v good but equally I've had some hmm gifts as well!

papaver Fri 13-Sep-13 11:21:00

This year I wasn't really expecting much as we had just come back from holiday, advance planning isn't really his style and I generally find when it comes to presents low expectations are a good starting point! DH turned up with an (unwrapped) battery operated gadget for removing dry skin from feet. This wasn't a problem I felt I needed to resolve - particularly with an electric gadget - it has been returned! This is one in a long line of odd/thoughtless presents. I have tried really big hints and lists and still this hasn't worked. Now I just buy myself something but I do sometimes get a bit We have been together over 20 years and he still buys cheap milk chocolates when I have said numerous times I don't like them - but then as he generally eats most of them.......!

Pawprint Fri 13-Sep-13 11:41:42

I asked for a new bag and got a horrid plastic clutch bag. I could have cried!

wink1970 Fri 13-Sep-13 12:36:21

I got pans for my birthday next week, early, so I can cook Sunday lunch for the in-laws ..... tbf, I had asked for pans normally he ignores my requests and buys me jewellery. That will teach me to be so sincere in my requests

I bought him professional tooth whitening at the dentist.

Ah, romance is not dead smile

I dread birthdays and Christmas as I rarely know what to buy the man I'm dating at the time (I don't buy for anyone else these days), and usually have no idea what I'd like in return. But when I know what to get a BF I love giving presents. One BF got a falconry experience, another a Lumiere alarm clock. I prefer receiving practical gifts and the Tempur pillow I received one year is still much loved (even though I can't stand the guy any more!) I'm not a fan of flowers, chocolates and wine though as they don't last, are pretty generic and are quickly forgotten. TBH I'd prefer to just boycott the whole present-buying malarkey as I get so stressed about it. My default setting is "he'll think it's crap" sad

Phalenopsis Fri 13-Sep-13 17:15:45

Happy birthday to all virgos.

My OH bought be a corkscrew for my birthday once. hmm and at Christmas he bought me some tights that had a pattern on them that looked like I'd shat and pissed myself.

Oh and the packet of peanuts - well, that blew my socks clean off as you can imagine. confused

Now I tell him what I want explicitly.

AaDB Fri 13-Sep-13 17:54:29

happy birthday to Wayballoonywine thanks Daisychick wine thanks

invicta Fri 13-Sep-13 18:21:41

Happy birthday

AnneOfGreenGarbles Fri 13-Sep-13 22:14:44

I once found dh's xmas list and he'd put pizza cutter next to my name. I may have shed a tear at the time. Ok, so I like pizza but I absolutely do not want a pizza cutter as a gift. Luckily he must have thought better of it as, to this day, have never received said pizza cutter. Phew :-)

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