No One Wants A Star, Or, A Guide to Mother’s Day Gifts

Most men are rather clueless when it comes to gift giving. Sure, there are exceptions, like the man that has a jeweler on speed dial, but these, are for the most part, the exception and not the rule.  And so, women have had to figure out how to work around to this particular problem. Many women I know have very specific items on a List for their men. (One Christmas I told my husband “I want a cream colored cashmere sweater from Ann Taylor. Crew (round) neck, size small.” I got a spa gift certificate.  He had every intention of getting me that sweater. He even went to the mall, and

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Mall Map (so easy!)

stood in front of Ann Taylor… and that is when the wild eyed panic set in- he didn’t want to get the Wrong Thing, and so he turned and RAN out.) (I should, however, take partial blame as I didn’t write it down. In my defense, I thought that a well-educated, intelligent man would take steps to ensure he remembered- i.e. he would write it down. We were newly married, and I was still learning about the Christmas Panic that strikes my husband down every year. It’s not pretty.) The List does take the surprise out of gift giving. However, ensuring you get what you want, in the correct size and color does more than make up for the surprise factor. Besides, it’s the thought that counts, right?

I do believe that men have wonderful intentions, and that they want to get their special ladies something meaningful.  This makes them vulnerable.  And a vulnerable, panicked man-who is also in a huge rush because, of course, he left it until the very last possible minute- is just RIPE for the picking- at least, that’s how some evil marketers see them.  Mother’s Day is fast approaching (May 12 guys- get it on the calendar if you haven’t already), and that means that men will have to flex their gift-giving muscles and come up with something for their Mothers and their wives.   Most men will flex that muscle on May 11. 

Everywhere I turn, there are ads for gifts for Mom.  There are ads on television, on billboards, online, and on the radio.  I was listening to the radio and I heard it being advertised: The Worst Gift Ever. I know it is The Worst Gift Ever because I have received it… The International Star Registry.  Oh yes, I have a star. There actually is a place where Julia’s Math makes sense, and where I am the Ultimate Queen and whatever I say is LAW. Sadly though, neither myself nor anyone I want to boss around lives there.

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I received this ‘gift’ in high school from my high school boyfriend. He normally gave AMAZING gifts (He gave me a David Yurman ring! In high school!) (Important to note: I got the ring because I went with him to the store, picked out what I wanted, and made sure the sales lady knew exactly what I wanted as well.), but sadly, this one didn’t add up. The worst part was the buildup. He talked about this gift for WEEKS. He was so excited; I thought he might actually levitate off the ground. The big day arrived (I think it was Christmas), and we exchanged gifts. (I don’t remember what I got him, but I am sure it rocked. I am a gift giving master- except when it comes to my sister Jen. Every Christmas she wails ‘Are you seriously my family? Have any of you even met me?!) It sucked. He was so excited, and I really couldn’t understand why. I mean, honestly, what good did it do me? I couldn’t go there to visit. I couldn’t wear it. My girlfriends couldn’t be jealous of it. My sisters couldn’t try to steal it and claim it as their own. I couldn’t eat it, and I couldn’t place it on a bookshelf. Oh wait… I could hang it on my wall.  A proud display of what a complete dumbass my boyfriend was. Also, it was hideous (see picture). That hideous display of misjudgment hung on my wall for years, right outside my bedroom door. Every time I left the house, I was reminded of the sheer stupidity of it- a star named for someone? (I would think “come on, little boy, I have a wonderful pier to sell you…”)

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Yes, please!

For the next round of gift giving, I was ready (I got the Yurman ring).  These days, I start dropping subtle hints for my husband in early fall (I want ‘this’ for Christmas. Write it down, etc.) (This has cut down on the intensity of the Christmas Panic as well.

To my girlfriends: Unless your mate is the rare exception and is best friends with a jeweler, I urge you to embrace the List. It works out better for everyone involved.

To all my man friends, I beg you: don’t fall for the marketing ploy! A star named for you is STUPID. And I promise you, she doesn’t want it. The only thing worst is the Pajama Gram. Just NO! Start a List. Use the List. Love the List.


  1. The worst thing about the International Star Registry, aside from being a crummy gift, is that it’s a total scam. Only one organization has the authority to name stars, the International Astronomical Union, and they won’t sell you the right to name one. And when I say “authority” I mean authority that real astronomers will recognize. You, me, ANYONE can point to the sky, pick out a star and “name” it, and it would be just as official as the Star Registry. Plus its cheaper.

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