Time for a little gadget PSA, fellas. Take a minute and consider the gadget you're thinking about giving that special lady in your life. Is it pink? Skip it. Would you enjoy it more than her? Then it's not a good gift, chief.
You know what? This is going to take longer than I thought. What we need here is a list. Well, it's your lucky day — I happen to have one all ready. Click Continue to find out what six absurd gadget gifts will get you dumped faster than vegetables out of a stocking.
Overly Girly Headphones
Bad idea: Upgrading your lady's headphones is a trickier proposition than going pink, yet lame color schemes and gaudy bling are often all electronics manufacturers do to market to women. Case in point: JBL's Roxy line of in-ear and DJ-style headphones, packaging audio in combinations of punk-pukey orange/pink and a neon green/blue mix that will match with your g/f's wardrobe zero-point-zero percent of the time. Worse still: an expensive bedazzled assortment of Swarovski-branded stuff, culminating in these mugger-enticing earhook headphones.
When it's okay: She's looking for the same thing you are when it comes to a set of 'phones: sound quality and comfort. Cute can fly as long as the set isn't trash.
Bad idea: The logic is sound: A Wii Fit is a fun way to burn calories; your girlfriend likes to have fun; ergo, your girlfriend will burn calories with a Wii Fit. Why, even sweatpanted moms' favorite retailer Wal-Mart encourages Wii Fit for weight loss! Unfortunately, as the modern-day equivalent of the stationary bike, the Wii Fit as a gift is relationship suicide. Better to buy a pair of Nike+ running shoes — all the better to track your progress as you hoof it out the door after you suggest she cut back on those gut-busting gingerbread lattes.
When it's okay: You don't have to cross the Wii Fit off your list entirely. You shouldn't just give it to her, either. It should be a gift to both of you. If you'll make the effort with her, you're in the clear.
Bad idea: It's common knowledge that buying clothes for your gal can be risky business. And yet, we think to ourselves, "What woman wouldn't love a BagTV? It's a handbag! With a DVD/digital video player and built-in screen! It's attractive and practical!" Answer: Every woman — every woman wouldn't love this. Avoid any and every item of apparel made to accommodate electronics, especially those with special pockets (or those with way too many pockets, à la the fugly ScottEVest) or integrated speakers (see the discontinued Lifepop Hobo Bag).
When it's okay: Are you getting her this? No? Then it's not okay.
Chunky Bluetooth Headsets
Bad idea: Jawbone and Plantronics, among other makers, continue to design sleeker, sexier Bluetooth earpieces *#8212; headsets befitting even the most discriminating hands-free aficianado. There's no excuse, then, for an ugly earpiece. You want something unobtrusive, not a headset that will make her look like Lobot from Star Wars
When it's okay: Just like those headphones you're not going to buy her, if the Bluetooth headset you're looking at is a piece of junk, don't get it. Does it make you cringe just looking at it? No? Well, that's a start — now see how functional it is.
A Non-iPhone Phone
Bad idea: Love 'em or hate 'em, Apple has the cell phone thing wrapped up. Just as "iPod" became synonymous with digital music players five years ago, so too has "iPhone" become the de facto "my next phone." Avoid the temptation to go cheaper or, more detrimentally to your wallet, more expensive — i.e., a glammed-up mobile from non-mobile makers like Tag Heuer or Christian Dior which may satisfy her corture cravings in the immediate, but will leave her feeling empty and App-less within weeks of receiving.
When it's okay: If you're buying her a phone, pay attention to what she says about the phone she has now. There's really no reason to go with anything other than a BlackBerry or an iPhone these days, unless she's a fan of ultra-slim clamshells.
Gaming PC, A/V Component, Blu-Ray Player or Any Other Gadget
Bad idea: Ostensibly for Her but Really for You. Just as buying her Giants tickets ("One for each of us!") is usually a non-gift gift, so, too, is that souped-up VooDoo laptop, slightly updated Onkyo receiver, Sony five-disc changer and digital-camera-binoculars you saw at Sharper Image. Of course, gals can be into tech and gaming (and sports) the same as us guys, but you'll know if she is — and you'll know who that new surround sound system is really for.
When it's okay: Stick to a slick netbook, an HTiB you can set up, or a point-and-shoot digital camera, and she'll love you for it.
Done saving your relationship? Then check out one of our other gift guides, part of 12 Days of Gadgets here on DVICE:
Day One: 7 gadget gifts that will never go out of style
Day Two: 6 tech gifts billionaires are giving each other this year
Day Three: Giving a Kindle? Check out these 8 other e-readers first
Day Four: 8 offensive gadget gifts for the frenemies in your life
Day Five: 6 absurd gadget gifts your girlfriend will dump you over
Day Six: 5 classic sci-fi gadgets guaranteed to please your geekiest beloved
Day Seven: The DVICE guide to buying an HDTV in the off season
Day Eight: 7 awesome tech toys you can't buy in America
Day Nine: 7 gifts steampunks are giving each other this year
Day Ten: 6 gifts for if we lived in the retro tomorrow of yesterday
Day Eleven: 7 tech gifts you'll have to wait until next year to buy
Day Twelve: 5 holiday tech gifts that just might save the planet