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What a woman wants likely isn't the gift she'll get

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Men don't really know what women want.

Shocking, we know. Pick yourself up off the floor and read on.

Pollster Zogby International discovered a "measurable disconnect between the sexes" in a recent survey of 1,090 people that asked women what they wanted for Christmas and men what they planned to give.

It seems that as men spend this week in a last-minute scramble for holiday gifts --- because procrastinating is what they do, according to another survey --- they're not necessarily buying the things the women in their lives want most.

The Zogby poll doesn't get into the reasons for the disconnect. Maybe women aren't explicit enough. Maybe they say they want one thing but really want another. Or maybe men just don't listen.

Dave Howard knows what it means to strike out. He remembers Christmases past when a gift he gave inspired a "gee, you shouldn't have" that sounded as if she really meant it. So now the 30-year-old financial consultant from Canton gives his wife a list of four possibilities and asks which ones she would like the most.

"Women don't like to be disappointed," said Howard, a chronic last-minute shopper. "Christmas is supposed to be about surprises, but at least she won't be sitting in front of the Christmas tree, opening something and saying, 'uhhh ... ohhh ... thanks.' "

Notably, according to the Zogby poll, one of the things women really want is time away from their men. There's only a slim chance they'll get it, the survey said.

Other things women want but are unlikely to get: a pet, a trip alone, a household repair, a car. But if what they want is a car repair, an appliance, jewelry or clothing, they may be in luck.

Although there's no saying whether they'll actually like the jewelry and clothing.

But hey, that's why God made gift receipts.

Copyright 2005 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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