The better half is notoriously fussy when it comes to gifts — not enough roses in the bouquet, too many jewels on the pendant. How do I stop another gift blow-up this year?

Have you thought about dumping her the day before? Seriously, she sounds high maintenance. If you’re looking forward to every “happy occasion” in the calendar with a sense of foreboding and dread, something has gone horribly wrong.

What you have here is a Bridezilla-in-waiting. She’s confusing a romantic gesture with grasping materialism. Which do you reckon she loves more, you or your money?

I can’t even offer you a plan B here. Dump her. You deserve better.

Bison’s Law #5673 — Expensive Gifts

Think about them strategically — you should also get some enjoyment out of anything over $200.

My girlfriend says Valentines Day is a fake holiday designed to make card-writers and florists money. Do I need to get her anything?

My guess is you couldn’t spot a trap if Elvis Presley was standing in front of it singing Suspicious Minds while a gigantic neon sign that read “It’s a trap” flashed above his head. How did you manage to get to adulthood alive?

Yes, you need to get her something. What she’s really asking here is for you to think outside the box.

What she actually hates is the cliche. She wants you to do something different.

So don’t scribble her name in a shop-bought card — do something different. Write her a letter instead. Plant out “I heart you” in red petunias in the lawn.

Hell, spell it out in dead puppies on the living room floor — I don’t care. Just do something original.

Bison’s Law #5674 — It’s A Trap

As soon as you hear “don’t get me anything” or one of its many variants, treat it as if you’ve accidentally stepped into a minefield.

Your only way out is the clear strip of land that leads, coincidentally, to the shops.

Over the past few months she’s been dropping very obvious hints about jewellery that I can in no way afford. What’s a good substitute?

Cripes, where are you guys finding these girls? See the answer below left about the fussy gift receiver for my general views on this leeching succubus.

The best bet is to get her something you can actually afford and if she expresses disappointment you have two options. The first is as outlined before. The second is to hint that you’re saving up for a far more expensive piece of jewellery.

What I need you to understand, though, is that if you take option B, she will think that you mean you’re saving up for an engagement ring. Which is basically what it means.

However, you can probably buy yourself a couple of years with this tactic. Although is it worth opening up this Pandora’s Box, just so you can occasionally get Pandora?

Bison’s Law #5675 — Jewellery

Classy pendants and earrings can be obtained for surprisingly little coin — just don’t tell her the price.

How can you tell if “Oh, don’t get me anything/all I want is you”, is legitimate?

It’s all about the kind of girl she is. If she is a genuine beaut sort — the kind who doesn’t give you grief if you want to go fishing with the boys, or is OK with you bedding down to watch the Big Bash instead of going shopping with her and her mum — then she probably means it.

If she’s one of those carping hose-beasts who plays games such as “you’ve done something wrong and I’m not going to tell you what it was because you should know what you’ve done wrong”, then I’d say there’s almost no chance she means it.

In the latter case, call her bluff. Chances are she’s not going to be happy with whatever you get her anyway. May as well be in trouble and know what you’ve done wrong, rather than spend hours trying to guess at what was wrong with the gift you gave her.

In the former case, well, that’s exactly why you should go out of your way to get her something nice (or do something nice for her). She sounds like a keeper. Spoil her a bit. Remind her not only that you love her but that you feel lucky and grateful that she loves you, too.

Bison’s Law #5674 (see above) also applies to this case.

Alternatively, if she says: “I don’t care what you get me, ” get her an Xbox. She’ll quickly learn to be more specific.

Me and the girlfriend have been together for just over a year. I really, really like her and want to show my appreciation through a big pair of diamond earrings, but my mates reckon it’s too much for 12 months. Am I overreaching?

Diamonds are expensive. What will you do for her birthday if you’ve peaked with diamonds for a first anniversary? You’re not Beyonce and Jay Z.

Traditionally, a first wedding anniversary is celebrated with paper. You don’t get diamonds until you’ve been married for 60 years.

Now, I willingly concede that those rules were probably written at a time when men were trading goats to secure brides but it still serves as a useful tool for perspective.

Your mates are right: It’s too soon.

Besides, the first time she wants to see a diamond, she wants to see it on a ring.

Bison’s Law #5675 — Bar Setting

An Olympic pole vaulter doesn’t go for Sergey Bubka’s 6.14m on his first run — if they don’t approach it gradually, there’s nowhere for them to go.

Diamonds, in this case, are Bubka. Set the bar low, you’ll be thankful later.

We have a tradition of Valentine’s Day sex in public places. But after nearly being sprung in a hotel steam room last year I reckon we need to cool it off a little bit. Am I right?

Why? This sounds like a great way to keep your love life spicy. I mean as long as you don’t pick a creche, or a veteran’s funeral, or somewhere completely distasteful, I don’t see why you wouldn’t carry on with this. If you’re sensible about it and don’t pick, say, the steps of Curtin House, you should be OK.

But just in case she doesn’t feel the same way you do, maybe have a chat to her about it.

Bison’s Law #5676 — Public Nudity

Whether its sex or streaking, always wear your running shoes.

It’s my first Valentine’s Day with the new girlfriend but I’m coming off a long break between serious relationships. Can I still get away with flowers and chocolates?

Flowers and chocolates are the bog-standard response to Valentine’s Day expectations. Nothing says “I cannot be bothered putting any thought into this at all but I’d still like a leg-over before midnight” quite like flowers and chocolates. Look, I reckon as a first Valentine’s Day together goes, it’s probably a fail-safe option. Just don’t get the flowers from a service station (in fact, that’s a rule for life) and don’t buy the chocolates from the supermarket. Do it properly or not at all.

Bison’s Law #5677 — Service Station Flowers

Caltex, like Woolies, operates on the last in, first out rule. The freshest flowers will always be at the back.

She’s presented me with a gift that’s clearly meant to represent a significant moment in our relationship, but I can’t remember what that moment is. Is it safe to lie my way through it?

Yes. And when her friends conduct her exit interview for this relationship, she will be able to pinpoint exactly the moment she decided to look for work elsewhere.

No, you can’t lie. Just be foggy at first and let her provide a little prompting until you get it.

Bison’s Law #11 — Bluffing

Good bluffing involves whatever sliver of truth you can grab on to. Don’t lie, just be very nonspecific.

While cleaning out the spare room, I’ve found what’s clearly a Valentines Day gift with another man’s name on it. Is it now fair game for me to throw it in her face at what I thought was supposed to be our romantic night out?

Sounds like things are really going well for you two. By all means confront her but don’t ruin everyone else’s night in the restaurant by becoming the impromptu floor show.

Bison’s Law #1123 — Catching in the act

As s…ty as your current situation is, you’re in a rare position of power. Whether you take the high road or low road, you’ll be entertained as she digs a deeper and deeper hole for herself.


© The West Australian

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