More like eroded self-confidence, says a former executive for a high-end accessories designer. One holiday season, a magazine sales rep looking to land her business sent her a jar of wrinkle-repair cream. “It was such a thoughtless gift to give a woman, especially from another woman,” she says, still fuming at the memory years later. “I thought, Do I really look that tired?”
There are, however, those few unflappable women who are all too happy to accept free beauty booty, no matter how potentially offensive. One Manhattan businesswoman reveals that her boyfriend recently gifted her with bikini waxing services at a local salon. He said he wanted her to get them more frequently—every five weeks, to be exact. “I was fine with it,” she says with a shrug. “I thought it was funny, and besides, I prefer to look that way too.”
But such indifference is rare. Those looking to pamper their loved ones with spa services this holiday season are probably safer sticking to the old standby: a luxurious massage. Then again, you don’t want to imply that your sweetheart needs to relax, do you?