I know flowers and cards are trite, but these fellows might have better off going for the safe option. These 27 ladies certainly weren't happy!
This Is Pretty Bad..
“For my birthday my ex gave me a card in an envelope. I opened the card and there was a post it with his email address and some random numbers and letters I took to be a password. He told me he had gotten me a Netflix subscription.
When I logged in it was a 30 day free trial he had signed up for and had been using for 17 days. He had been watching shows and set up his preferences, he obviously just hadn’t got me anything and panicked.
We were staying in my parents house at the time and my family kept asking me what he got me.”
A Picture Of My Love For You
“For Valentine’s Day, my ex told me he had a surprise for me waiting in the bathroom. Okaaay, kinda weird but I’ll play along…. he had drawn a ‘picture frame’ on my mirror with dry erase marker. That’s it. No love note or corny phrase to tie in. Nope, just some really unskilled, weak squiggly lines around the edge of my mirror. He expected me to be impressed and threw a fit when I didn’t shower him with compliments on his ‘cleverness.'”
“It Was Never Cleaned Up”
“This was a combo (two exes) so to speak. I had dated a guy briefly and then stopped dating him when I decided one day that I was not going to be the one to call him every time I wanted to go out with him. It was his turn to call me for once.
He never did. Long story short, I ended up with his best friend.
So, the first guy gets a brilliant idea to get the worst picture of me that he could find (my eyes were half closed), and have it put on a mug, to give to me, for Christmas. And his best friend, whom I was now with, also thought this would be a good idea. They were together at the shop where the mug was made. He could have put a stop to it at any time.
He actually told me this whole story before I opened it up. He knew I wouldn’t like it, but wanted me to see it anyway. ‘I know you’re going to hate it, but he wanted me to give it to you.’ He said I could destroy it after opening it.
Took one look at it, and without a word, I took it outside and thew it on the ground where it shattered. It remained there and was never ever cleaned up.”
So Broken Up
“It was after I had broken up with him. One of the major issues in our relationship was his selfishness and lack of thought about my wants and needs, which naturally extended to gift-giving. I would literally tell him, MY BIRTHDAY IS NEXT WEEKEND. ALL I WANT IS A CARD FROM YOU. OR A DRAWING BY YOU. And when my birthday rolled around, all I’d get was a dumb clueless grin and ‘Happy birthday babe!’ There were a ton of other issues, but he never put effort into fixing them, and somehow was completely stunned when I dumped him.
He was determined to win me back, so he brought me a birthday gift. I read the card (a card!) and was really touched. But then I opened the gift, which was HIS favorite CD, and HIS favorite movie, which I had already seen, and I’d told him when we watched it before that I thought it was super pretentious and boring. I tried to be gracious and said thank you. He started tearing up and said, ‘I was hoping these would always remind you of me.’ So even then, it was really all about him, and that gave me all the reassurance I needed to know that dumping him wasn’t a mistake.”
He Wouldn’t Give Her 35 Cents!
“I was dating a guy who was always weird about money. I should have known on our first date when he wouldn’t give me the 35 cents in his pocket so I could catch the bus to ‘the date’ (1. He talked about having a car before, 2. A friend dropped me to meet him, 3. I fished out some of the fare from my purse, but who the heck carries that many random coins?, 4. His mother was also there…). Instead he told me to just put whatever coins I had into the till, and look confused until the driver waved me through.
Anyhow, we had been seeing each other off and on for a few months, and our birthdays were within a few weeks of each others, his was first, so I took him out to the nicest restaurant in the city. Three courses, drinks and dessert. Picked up the tab (I saved up for it).
Great night right? So a few weeks later, he invites me, and my family, out to dinner and a movie for my birthday. My sister, aunt and cousin get dressed up, see the movie (which I found out later was a free screener he got extra passes for), only to find out that he didn’t actually have dinner plans.
So we decide to go to a place near the theater, like a family type generic Italian restaurant that has mediocre meat balls (This is all fine with me up to this point, I wasn’t expecting jewelry or flowers, and I like being with my family). Everyone orders, the waiter some how doesn’t get mine written down, I don’t want people to wait for me so I tell them to please just get started, and after half an hour I just tell the waiter to forget it.
So already having a pretty bad time, now the check comes, and the ex doesn’t reach for it, doesn’t even look at it. A few awkward moments pass in silence. I grab it it, perfectly willing to pay for my birthday dinner ‘party’ that I didn’t eat at, but my aunt stepped in at that point and offered to split the check (I think she ended up paying for it).
I just wanted to be out of there, it was so embarrassing, but he insisted that he still wanted to give me my present, so I went over (in my car) to his house. He had a bag of gifts you see, each individually wrapped, that included a paper pad from a hotel, two postcards of a duck pasted back to back with tape, a rubber ball with lights in it, and some other stuff that one might acquire as trade show convention loot. I tried to be nice, and that I appreciated the gesture, but in my mind the relationship was pretty much over. I thanked him, reminded him I had class or work or something and drove myself home. To this day I wonder if it was me, if I was being shallow. I mean, even if you make personal sacrifices, it doesn’t give one the right to expect another person to… right?
Also, it’s not like he was broke, he easily made 3 times as much as I did, and lived in his parents house. I try not to expect too much, but even in this case, I was disappointed. When I look back on that time in my life, all I can think is ‘What ever happened to dating a dude with a bus pass?'”
She’s Marrying This Guy
“I introduced my now fiancé to sushi. He’d never tried it before and was skeptical about it, but after trying it he absolutely loved it. So for a while he always wanted to go out for sushi when we went out.
My birthday was on the horizon and I told him I wanted to go to an Italian place for my birthday supper. He kept trying to talk me into sushi but I told him that I really wanted some good lasagna. Plus we’d been eating a lot of sushi!
Wanna guess what he got me for my birthday present?
Take out sushi.”
A Thoughtful Gift, But…
“A coat that he sewed extra pockets into. More pockets than anyone on earth would ever use. He had explained how one was for my gameboy, one for my phone, one for my wallet, etc. I was like uhhh I mean, I have a purse, so…
I actually felt bad because it clearly took him a while, but I just don’t know why on earth he thought I would want such a thing.
Same guy also got me a metal tampon holder with a cowgirl on it.”
Can’t Believe This
“My ex hated buying gifts and was a cheapskate to boot. Now, I didn’t need presents, and in fact told him not to bother getting me anything, that just spending the day with him would be enough. But he always insisted on buying me something for Christmas or my birthday.
What he would buy me just made me feel awful. It’s one thing to not get me something, a whole other thing to buy me something but with no thought behind the gift, and then to complain about it afterwards. The first Christmas we were together, he didn’t buy me anything and I bought him something. I’m not going to lie, it hurt that he didn’t get me anything, but I didn’t say anything or make a big deal about it, and in fact told him it was fine.
But he insisted and went out to the store and….bought me a freaking dog toy. Then complained about spending $5. We weren’t broke at the time, and out of all the things he could have bought me, he thought a dog toy would be okay? It would be different if he had intended to make it a gag gift or if he wasn’t buying it because he felt obligated, but he clearly thought this was okay and then whined about it. I should have dumped him then, my mother told me you could tell a thing about a guy and his spending habits, but I was ‘in love!!11 and money didn’t matter, she just doesn’t understand tru luv!!1’.
Anyways, so for the next two years this kind of gift giving happened. Whenever I bought him gifts, I would spend weeks trying to think the perfect gift; autographed CDs and posters from his favorite bands, things for his instruments, autographed guitars, picks, etc., and when I couldn’t afford something really good, I went out of my way to be creative (breakfast in bed, homemade personalized items, etc.) and just show him he meant a lot to me. But he continued to either not buy me anything or make me feel crappy when he did. The last thing he bought me before I broke up with him (for different reasons) was items he found on a clearance isle – flower seeds, a picture frame, and card game.
Honestly, I just wished he hadn’t bought me anything. Receiving something that he put no thought into or complained about made me feel like a garbage person.”
The Gift Of Life
“One year for my birthday my ex gave me two pairs of socks that his grandmother had bought at TJ Maxx, but reassured me that my real present was back at our apartment for later. It was a carbon monoxide detector.”
How Long Did They Date?
“My ex was a terrible gift-giver in general, so I have a three-way tie, each frustrating in its own way.
Asked to use my Amazon wish list to get me a Christmas gift. On the wish list are all the books I don’t have by my favorite author, some movies, etc. Bought me one of the books I already had and thought he’d done a great job tracking down an obscure book I didn’t know about. This was mostly infuriating because of the general attitude that he’d know better than I did about an author I’ve been obsessing over for years.
The birthday gift he got me a video game I’d been looking at, but on a system I didn’t own so I’d have to play it at his house. I got to play it twice, then he finished his own save file and traded the game in to buy something for himself. it was a Harry Potter game, and he never even read Harry Potter. He could have gotten me the DS version of the game and I could have played it on my DS, but instead he got me the PS2 version I could only play on his PS2. And then he started playing it – despite having no interest in the series at all – and traded it in when he finished.
Literally gave me an IOU for Valentines one year. I’d spent $200 buying him starter manuals for a tabletop system he wanted to try out. He had a full-time job and his parents paid his bills, while I was working part-time finishing school and paying all my own bills. He never followed through on the IOU. For a bonus level, the IOU I got was for a pet. I’d recently gotten an apartment and had been thinking of getting a hamster or something, but wasn’t sure where to put it or if I was ready. The IOU was for the animal… contingent on my buying the cage, equipment, food, etc. myself first.”
“An ex bought me a fancy goldfish once. Probably because HE wanted one but he didn’t want to have to take care of it. Don’t ever buy someone a living thing that takes a ton of responsibility as a surprise gift.
He didn’t even buy the proper tank for it or anything, so I had to proceed to spend a whole ton of money to just get a living environment for the poor fish, then I resentfully took care of it.”
Jewelry Isn’t Always The Answer
“He got me this necklace that was a cross between a belated (like by several weeks) Valentines present and a ‘Sorry I’ve been such a terrible boyfriend’ present. It was one of the least me pieces of jewelry I’d ever seen (a chain with a pink heart shaped gemstone), and it was super obvious that he’d put zero thought into it whatsoever. Earlier in our relationship he’d get me the sweetest most thoughtful gifts, like this beautiful tea set, so it was kind of a sad reminder of how things used to be, and it was ultimately one of the last straws in our relationship.”
You Didn’t Want The Gift Of MY Happiness?
“On our third Valentine’s Day together (he was a crappy and abusive boyfriend and I have no idea why I was there for three years), I gave him a painting of him that I’d spent weeks on. He gave me two Slim Jim beef jerky sticks taped into the shape of a heart. Then he brought out a video of Terminator II, because he’d ‘been wanting to see it, and thought you’d would want me to be happy on Valentine’s Day.'”
Did Your Mom Buy That?
“It was my going to be my first Christmas with my SO at the time and I was super broke. But he kept talking it up like he was so excited to get me a ton of fancy presents, etc. Even though I was super broke, I was worried i should try to do something at least moderately comparable and decided to spring for something cool that we could do together, so I bought us some tickets to a video game event. They were not the BEST tickets, but it was already more than I could afford. Even then, with all his talk about spending hundreds of dollars on me, I felt it was inadequate and bought a nice NFL stocking of his favorite team and a few other little gamer treats to go with. It doesn’t hurt to mention that at the time, he had a nice job at a software company and I was barely making minimum wage at something like an internship.
Christmas rolls around and I’m excited to give him the present, but also feel kind of bad, I spent less than $100 on him. When I have it to him, he gets kind of quiet and I’m thinking he hates it, but then he apologizes and says my present is still in the mail.
Fast forward and we are at his parents house. His mother gave me a nice gift, then he finally gives me his gift, in front of his family. If was mittens and a matching scarf from Wal-Mart, where his dad worked. We had been together the whole time and I knew he didn’t go to Wal-Mart, so I’m pretty sure it was something his mom had gotten for me and let him put his name on it. I didn’t know what to do. It was in front of his family, so I couldn’t act ungrateful. I felt sabotaged. Cheated. My gift for him put me under and I’d felt bad that it wasn’t good enough. Then when he did give me a gift (sort of) I felt guilty for feeling angry. I’d thought maybe he would make it up to me.
The following two months proved it to be a common theme in our relationship. His birthday was in January, mine in February. For his birthday, not wanting to repeat past mistakes, I stuck to my budget and made him a fancy cake and a nice dinner.
Then February… It was Valentine’s day and nothing to eventful. It had always been a holiday I enjoyed, in spite of always being single. I loved flowers and would always buy some for my friends. I’d bought him a little gift again, of course, in his favorite of video game themes. We both get home from work and I have a gift for him and very low expectations. He comes in super angry and starts complaining that he had these great flowers for me all set to be delivered, but [since he ordered late] they couldn’t deliver that day, asking if there was another day they could deliver. He was mad, said no and demanded a refund. My best friend was in the kitchen (flatmates) and mumbled something along the lines, ‘Yeah, not like it’s her birthday this week.’ He, naturally, forgot about my birthday, even though I’d been raving about the rainbow cupcakes I was going to make, all week. So, again, he could have made it up to me, but I bet you can guess by now, he did not.”
Are They Still Dating?
“Once, we were sitting together on his bed just hanging out. The he reached under his bed and handed me a dusty old neck massager that he had for a while and didn’t like. Told me it was my birthday gift… I’m not a materialistic person, but an afterthought of a gift of ‘Here, take my garbage,’ is worse than just not remembering my birthday at all. That just felt like an insult.
The other one is funnier. Recently, his mom and her new boyfriend visited him. While I was at work, he took them out to lunch but his mom picked the place. She picked a restaurant called ‘The Tilted Kilt’ mostly for the name. So they get there and it turned out to be some Hooters-like place with waitresses in exploitative uniforms. My BF and his mom’s boyfriend both find places like that distasteful, and you can imagine, my BF was really uncomfortable being in such a place with his mom. Funny enough, she was totally cool with it. Anyway, when I got my BF guiltily confessed where he had been, but offered me a gift of some fancy drink glass they’d given him for free there. I never get to use that glass though as he actually kept it for himself when he realized I wasn’t mad. It wasn’t really a bad gift, it just wasn’t actually a gift for me.”
Shake My Head
“Once he got me nothing. Literally, nothing. In fact, two weeks beforehand, I casually mentioned what I wanted to do for my birthday and a look of complete panic came over his face followed by a nonchalant, ‘Oh, are we still doing that? Celebrating birthdays, I mean?’
I looked at him and went, ‘Well, yeah…It’s my birthday. Would you please help me plan it or get me a cake or something? Even just a cupcake?’
Day came and went. I got flowers from my parents AND his parents, texts from all my friends and cards sent to me.
Nothing from him. He came home and was like, ‘Oh! Who got you flowers?’
‘My parents and your mom.’
‘That was nice of them’
‘Yeah…Are we doing anything special for dinner?’
And then you could see the lightbulb go off as he remembered, yet again, that I expected -something- for my birthday. ‘….No…I guess we could though. I’m too tired to cook and I don’t want to go back out again because I’m super tired, can we postpone?’
“When I was in college, my boyfriend came home with me one Christmas break. He didn’t have a car with him, so he tagged along with my mom to do some shopping. After they got back, he was telling me all about the jewelry he got for his sisters. When we actually exchanged gifts, I was surprised by the size of the present he handed me. I opened it up and it was a clearance throw blanket from our university bookstore, with a cheap necklace tucked inside because my mom had apparently told him it was a bad idea to get jewelry for your sisters and a blanket for your girlfriend of a year.
Hilariously, she bought me the book ‘You’re Not That Into Him, Either’ that year.”
It Tasted Bittersweet
“Here is good bad one!
One boyfriend spent hundreds of dollars signing me up for a really expense hoity-toity ‘fruit club’ that sent me a half-dozen way overpriced fruits every month in a fancy box that said ‘With love from [name]’.
He dumped me two weeks after signing me up. I couldn’t figure out how to cancel it so I got overpriced breakup fruit for a year.
It really was pretty awful the first few months because I was pretty heartbroken over the relationship, and the little reminder every month made me sad. But that sadness was coupled with the awkward feeling of bafflement, just a constant ‘Who the heck signs someone up for a fruit club’.”
This One Is Kind Of Sweet
“I kept complaining about the University cafeteria food, so my boyfriend at the time sent me a surprise care package. I open the package and its moldy microwave meals. For real, he thought hot pockets and bagel bites would keep frozen several days through the mail.”
The Themed Presents
“My ex had a whole ‘theme’ to the gifts he got me one year. Everything was zebra striped.
He got me these awesome, customer made Converse shoes that I loved. But… He also got me a coat that was fuzzy, zebra striped, and probably the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. I felt terrible not wearing it and I know he put a lot of effort into the ‘theme’ thing, so I tried to a couple times to make him happy, but it was just so hideous. It was made even worse when someone I went to school with and saw everyday bought the same coat and wore it all the time, which he also saw.”
He Really Tries
“I love my husband but he’s bad at gifts and I’m picky about them so at this point I just buy my own from our joint account and tell him what he got me.
For Valentine’s day one year he bought me an anime that he wanted to see. I ended up liking it (Azumanga Daioh) but I’d never even heard of it before the full set showed up at my house.
Another year, he got me a stuffed cow (he’s a Taurus born in the year of the Ox, so we joke that he’s a double cow and he collects them…There is a pattern here).
My first birthday when we were dating I received a Little Apple Doll to go with the three others he had already.
He is so lucky I find this funny. I think what happens is he thinks, ‘Oh I’d like to have that!’ and assumes that means I will, too. Which is usually a good choice because we do have similar tastes, but I get a lot of gifts that are basically gifts for him. So now I just buy my own and honestly I prefer that. Like I said, I’m very picky. I give very specific lists to people for holidays and my mother hates shopping for me.”
What A Jerk!
“On my 25th birthday, my boyfriend at the time gave me box of the cereal ‘Life’. I was confused, obviously, but then he told me to open it. inside the box is another, smaller box – I’m shaking because I think it’s a ring and i’m freaking out. Nope, not a ring. It’s a beautiful pair of earrings with a note that says ‘You’re the prize in my cereal box of life.’
You’re probably confused, dear reader, because this thread is about the worst gift received. Well, I proudly wore the earrings to my birthday party that same evening… which he didn’t show up to… and when I called him the next day to ask him why, he broke up with me. Yup.
I gave earrings back. They were the ugliest things I’d ever seen after that moment.”
The Thought Is What Counts
“I had an ex whose attraction to me was pretty much just because of how many hobbies and interests we had in common. One evening he started quoting from The Hitchhiker’s Guide, and I had to confess that I had tried to read the books many, many times, but could never finish them because I just didn’t like them at all.
A few weeks later, it was my birthday. He excitedly presented me with an expensive, leather bound anthology of the Hitchhiker books. I acted thrilled and made a show of trying to read the book when he was around, but inwardly I was annoyed that his gift was something that I had already told him that I didn’t like.”
It Was Still Dirty…
“For my birthday, he got me a pinecone. Went outside, picked one up, and handed it to me. It was apparently him taking a stand against materialism, and said the pinecone should mean just as much as a piece of jewelry. At the time, I was young and in love, and went with it like, ‘Oh, we’re so alternative!’.
After we broke up, I just kept saying to myself, ‘A pinecone. Not even a decorated one with a handmade card. Just a dirt one from the front yard. Forget that guy.'”
“Before my current SO and I started dating, we were coworkers and had been friends for a bit. I told him I was going to get him a Christmas present because I had something (a joke gift) in mind. He decided he needed to reciprocate, but had no idea what to get me.
The day before Christmas he showed up with an oddly wrapped package. I unwrapped it to reveal… a bright, emergency orange telescoping paddle. I do not canoe, or do anything that involves paddles, as I cannot properly swim. I was torn between being disappointed because it was such a terrible random gift, and being amused because of the same reason.
I now keep it in my car and tell everyone it’s my ’emergency paddle’ in case I accidentally drive off a bridge.”
I Would Have Cried
“I was dating a rather immature guy that I am no longer with. Well, on my birthday, I was hoping he had something special planned for me since I always did something nice for him on his. He called me that day and didn’t mention anything about it being my birthday, but asked me to pick him up at a friend’s house and would explain why later.
I got so excited – maybe it was a surprise party? I really thought it was something along those lines. So I excitedly drove 45 minutes to the house, only to find out that there was no surprise for me…he needed me to pick him up because he and his idiot friend decided to drive 90mph on a country back road and got in trouble. No present, no surprise, I don’t even think he remembered it was my birthday. I was so disappointed and will remember it as the worst birthday ever. “