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What’s the oddest birthday gift you’ve ever received from a new boyfriend?

For my friend Kiara, it was a box filled with panties. She and her boyfriend had just started dating only a few weeks before her birthday. Situations like that are awkward as it is. It’s never clear whether or not you should get your new boyfriend/girlfriend a gift when you just started dating or if you should just go out for ice cream or something and celebrate. For Kiara, she wasn’t expecting a gift at all so when her new boyfriend handed her a meticulously wrapped box complete with a ribbon and bow, she wasn’t sure what to expect. What she wasn’t ready for were the frilly panties, thongs, and see through underwear packed inside.

“I didn’t know what to say!” She told me later. “We’re not having sex and we won’t be having sex so why would he buy me sexay panties?? It was so embarrassing.” Kiara is celibate, so I can definitely see why the panties gift threw her off. But I still tried to look at the bright side, “At least they’re Victoria’s Secret!” She mumbled something about returning the panties for store credit and I wasn’t surprised at all when their relationship ended shortly thereafter.

I wonder though, are panties an appropriate birthday gift even when you’re not celibate?

On one hand, I’d think “absolutely!” Undergarments can be expensive and considering that many women live for those “free panty” coupons to come in the mail from Victoria’s Secret, a free box of them would be like money in the bank.

But, then again, when I think of a boyfriend — especially a new one — buying his girl underwear, I think of the many opportunities to screw it up:

1. What if the panties are the wrong size and he underestimates or overestimates the size of your behind? You think you’ve got a Serena Williams, but he buys you panties that would fit Willow Smith? Or you know that you’re more of a Kelly Rowland but he buys you Nicki Minaj sized draws? Would you think he’s clueless or that he’s projecting?

2. What if he buys you the wrong type? You see thongs as an atomic wedgie fit for masochists yet he’s bought you nothing but g-strings. Or what if he can’t tell the difference between a brief and a bikini and now he’s got you looking like Kathy Ireland circa 1990 in a Kmart ad with white cotton panties up past your belly button? Or worse, he buys you those god awful “hip huggers”? If he’s seen your panties, would you think he was trying to give you some passive-aggressive advice or throwing shade at your underwear drawer?

3. What if the underwear is childish and or way too swexy? You only shop at Victoria’s Secret for your unmentionables, but what if he doesn’t see anything wrong with raiding the panty bin at Wet Seal?

With so much potential for disaster, I can’t imagine why a man intent on getting his girl some lingerie wouldn’t just get her a gift card and offer to shop with her instead of being the creepy guy in the store who ends up purchasing an epic fail.

I understand with gifts it’s supposed to be the thought that counts. But what if that thought is something you don’t share with him? For instance, receiving a a pair of vibrating panties complete with a remote when you haven’t even had sex would probably be an extremely presumptuous (and borderline alarming) birthday gift.

I’m just going to go ahead and say panties are a bizarre birthday gift choice no matter what. Lingerie, especially something like crotchless panties, is more for him (or your next beau/husband if you two don’t work out) than for you anyway. A present like that would seem to be more appropriate for Valentine’s Day or at least in addition to a more “all about you” gift for birthday or Christmas.

I asked one of my friends what she would think if a new boyfriend got her panties for a birthday as a gift. She said, “I’d think he’s trying to get the cake and it’s not even his birthday!”

I agree, but what do you think? Have you ever gotten panties as a birthday gift?

Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink or check out her blog This Cannot Be My Life

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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