Socks are not a gift. Socks should be rejected by all men as birthday gifts. I also believe that when Lailah Gifty Akita said, “A birthday is a glorious day filled with good laughter, gladness and great memories,” she absolutely did not include receiving socks as a part of creating great memories.
Well, I went on to post the pairs of socks I got as a ‘teaser gift’ on Whatsapp. This was after I had made a declaration a few days before that I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but I don’t think socks are a thoughtful gift gesture.
I opened a can of worms.
The men on my WhatsApp contact list started to voice their unhappiness and dissatisfaction. They spoke about how the women in their lives really put no effort into the kinds of gifts they get them.
Some even said it baffled them to see the stinginess and lack of creativity that was put into the gifts they got on their birthdays. They have mainly received wallets, ties and socks. Mind you, it is not as a once-off set, but on different birthday celebrations.
This is actually a problem. As men, we need to normalise speaking to our partners about things that don’t sit well with us. We have to talk about what makes us happy or unhappy.
As for me, my girlfriend pulled a fast one on me and wrapped three beautiful pairs of happy socks and presented them to me as a birthday gift. I failed dismally to pretend that I was happy to receive them.
However, she quickly declared that she bought these socks just to frustrate me and see my reaction as she presented them to me. I was really not happy, but I was going to wear them with pride. I was going to console myself by saying that it is the thought that counts.
Just when I thought we could all agree that socks are not a birthday gift, Khuliso Nemarimela said: “Receiving socks is better than receiving sex as a birthday gift.”
I honestly didn’t see that coming. However, he wasn’t alone. Nemarimela and many other men argue that they don’t understand how sex is a gift from someone you are already in a sexual relationship with.
Ladies, I think this column serves as a formal cry by men. Please put in some effort when you get us birthday gifts. Also, we get you a diversity of gifts. We take you on vacation, we design magazines and photo books with all our great memories. To some of you, we even propose marriages on your birthdays.
Perhaps my girlfriend can get a crash course on how to put in effort when getting a gift for a men.
Not only did I get socks as a teaser gift, I also got main gifts that were topped off with a treat for my nails at a nail bar. That is a way to a man’s soul.
This is the food for thought ladies: sex and socks are not birthday gifts that we men appreciate. We appreciate effort and thoughtfulness.
Kabelo Chabalala poses for a picture at the Pretoria News offices in the Pretoria CBD, 20 June 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles
Kabelo Chabalala is the founder and chairperson of the Young Men Movement (YMM), an organisation that focuses on the reconstruction of the socialisation of boys to create a new cohort of men. Email, firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter, @KabeloJay; Facebook, Kabelo Chabalala
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