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Gift giving, going off list.

(17 Posts)
HarmlessChap Thu 24-Nov-16 14:41:09

DW asked me for a birthday list which I compiled with quite a few possible items. However she went off list and gave me a picture (relating to an interest of mine) which she liked and had suggested I buy a few months previously. I did say that it was nice and she knows its not a question of affordability, but I didn't buy it as I'm not into decorative stuff, I'm more of a practical person.

Obviously I've acted delighted on the outside but inside I'm really quite disappointed that after nearly 2 decades of marriage she still doesn't know me well enough to know that I'm not into art and décor in the same way she is and I'm wondering why bother asking for a list only to ignore it. AIBU?

PlinkPlonkPlunk Thu 24-Nov-16 14:54:34

This drives me up the wall too, OP! Why ask for a list and then ignore it?! I have a SIL who's like this with presents for DS - she asks for the list, but then doesn't like any of the things on it (all within budget, all easy to find), so buys something else. It's annoying!

The other hand, another SIL refuses lists, so never asks for one - she just buys something random. Sometimes it's perfect, sometimes not - but at least she hasn't asked and then ignored the request!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 24-Nov-16 15:00:30

I go off list too. I get some bits off the list, but I also try and get something that I think DP will like. I think part of the importance of Christmas is actually putting some thought into a gift, not just buying off a list. He also gives the same list to everyone so it saves a bit of the headache of coordinating with others.

ShowMePotatoSalad Thu 24-Nov-16 15:01:59

Did she get you anything off your list? If not then YANBU. If she did then YABU.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 24-Nov-16 15:45:46

Yes YABU, not for disliking her going off list, or disliking anything else, it's for acting delighted about something that your partner did that didn't delight you. She's not some long distant relative you need to not offend, you need to be honest with her.

Buying a gift for herself, as it seems to be, is slightly rude, just like not showing delight in a gift is slightly rude. You should be slightly rude to the people you love in the interests of honesty

hellsbellsmelons Thu 24-Nov-16 15:53:18

Everybody knows NOT to go off list with me.
I give clear instructions and they are followed.
They only go off list if they are adding something, like a weekend away etc.... grin
But I give people very few choices.
I'm not really a huge gift person.
Only my OH and my DD got me anything for my birthday this year.
Mum and dad will get a bigger Christmas present when I decide what I want. As very adult siblings we don't bother with gifts for birthdays, only Christmas.
So my OH learnt quite a while ago to get what I want as it's probably the only thing I'll get that I actually want!

I think you need to stop Obviously I've acted delighted this bit.
I realise you need to be a bit grateful, but only a bit.
Maybe just say 'this wasn't on the list, have I got more pressies come?' with a big grin on your face, rubbing your hands together.
Being told what to get is so much easier than trying to guess.
Why do people have to complicate it??

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 24-Nov-16 16:01:24

It's sort of a gift for her if she likes it, which is always a no no.

Are you going to talk to her about it?

Katy07 Thu 24-Nov-16 16:02:47

I hate people going off list - I don't like surprises, I'm not good at working out the correct social response (even if it's a good gift!) quickly enough. And I don't like people wasting their money if it's something I don't really want / need. I'm specific on any ideas I give. I don't want 'I thought you'd like this more'!!!!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 24-Nov-16 16:06:09

But if people get you stuff off a list where is the excitement and joy of not knowing what you are getting, if having every present being a surprise, the fun of slowly peeling a corner of the paper to see if you can figure out what it is...

hellsbellsmelons Thu 24-Nov-16 16:12:49

Well they don't get an actual picture or anything.
So I want a 'nice leather laptop bag' and it's left up to OH to find one I will like. So when I open it the make, colour and everything else is a surprise.
The only thing I know is that my laptop will fit in it.
My other pressie, new slippers please. I have no idea what slippers I will get. Slip on, boot style, something hideous? But I'll get slippers and actually they were lovely.
Theatre tickets are a bit different but just opening them and knowing I have them and will be going to London soon is excitement enough for me at my age grin

WonderMike Thu 24-Nov-16 16:53:37

DH is forever going off-list. Which is sometimes OK, and shows thought. Repeatedly buying shite face products which I have repeatedly pointed out that I can't use, not so hmm He excelled himself on my birthday by buying me something else from a shop that sold something I specifically requested. I asked him if he were fucking stupid slightly confused when in the shop and he said "I saw which one you wanted, but I liked this one more" LIKE IT WAS FOR HIM angry I'm hoping he's still stinging from that one and Christmas will go smoothly grin

Katy07 Thu 24-Nov-16 18:50:18

Getting stuff on the list means you get the excitement of knowing that it's exactly what you want and you can do exactly what you need with it. If it's off-list you've got excited thinking you're getting one thing only to have your hopes dashed because it's something else.

maxfielder20 Thu 24-Nov-16 19:06:25

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

dun1urkin Thu 24-Nov-16 19:16:10

max you must've missed the bit where OP said a list was requested hmm

HarmlessChap Fri 25-Nov-16 19:13:42

Thanks for the replies, there was a small item off the list but this was the main present so I guess I may be being harsh. The tricky thing is I don't know if I should go ahead and buy some stuff that was on the list (cold weather outdoor gear) or wait until Xmas, see what I get then and hope it stays relatively mild for the next month.

FWIW I know that I'm not to go off list when buying her Xmas present(s) and have has several emails with links, just to assist me.

BarbaraofSeville Sat 26-Nov-16 07:20:28

You need to stop this charade of dressing up things you want or need as presents and just buy each other token presents like booze or chocolate. then you can just choose and buy the things you want or need as and when instead of waiting for Christmas.

What is the point of you waiting until Christmas to see if you get the cold weather gear you need? If you don't, you are screwed because it will be mostly sold out and spring stuff will be in the shops.

Her sending you a load of links is also pointless, she has already made all the effort and may as well just go ahead and buy the stuff.

Charley50 Sat 26-Nov-16 07:46:25

Yeah my DB asked what my DS wanted for his birthday. He said money. He said anything else? He said yes a nice-ish fountain pen. He said anything else? So I suggested a particular show (not too expensive or far to travel, but would involve effort on DB's part). He went all quiet after that and I think my DS will be getting the money he originally requested. We will see!

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