Women aren’t easy to read the other 364 days of the year, so don’t expect her reaction to your present be any more transparent during the holidays. It’s not that we’re inauthentic, it’s just that sometimes we care about you so much we don’t have the heart to tell you that your gift, well…sucks.

There’s a difference between the thanks-this-is-nice-but-I’m-kinda-meh-about-it and damn-this-is-perfect-you-totally-nailed-it girl gift reaction, and only those who are paying careful attention can tell the difference. So if you’ll be exchanging presents any time soon, gentlemen, here are some telltale signs that you knocked it out of the park.

She uses/wears/talks about it more than just once after the initial gift exchange. Sure, it’s easy enough to wear the ugly earrings or rock the sweater that’s just not our style in the days immediately following the holiday, we’ve all done that. But the true sign that it’s actually her taste is if it crops up again and again, even when you’re not there to see it.

The eyes have it. Watch her facial expression closely when she opens your gift. If her eyes narrow at all, or if she’s nodding that yes, she likes it a little too enthusiastically, these could belie her true feelings. But if her eyes light up, tear up or just dart around your present excitedly, you’ve done well, sir.

She displays it at eye level. If we really hated that framed print/wine rack/set of glasses, we wouldn’t set them out where everyone could see. They’d be stowed up high or way in the back of the closet, with all the other misfit presents.

Her voice stays level when she tells someone else about your gift. The surest sign that she’s overcompensating is if her voice goes up a few octaves at the end. Like a female falsetto version of “Yes, John gave me the nicest umbrella holder/paper shredder/domestic appliance for my apartment, I just love it!” And yes, I’ve gotten a paper shredder as a Christmas gift from a boyfriend.

So what are some signs she really, really hated what you picked out? If she uses the words “unusual,” “different” or “useful” in her reaction. If you hear any of those adjectives, fellas, you might want to consider returning it

Truthfully, if she’s a keeper and really cares about you, she wouldn’t dream of exchanging your gift (unless it doesn’t fit.) It’s a cold chick who can trample an otherwise thoughtful gesture, even if it’s misguided. If you’re still scrambling, Miss Wingman has posted no less than a million gift guides in the past to guide you in your search and spark some inspiration. And if that still doesn’t work, there’s always next year, bro.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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