We’re taught at a young age to show appreciation (or at least feign interest) when given a gift.
This poses a challenge when you receive wall “art” that you wouldn’t even consider hanging above the rafters in your garage. It’s even more difficult to act enthused about an accessory that resembles something Lady GaGa would wear on her head. And without a doubt it can be difficult to muster up a “thank you” when you receive an econo-pack of coffee beans when you can’t even stand the smell of coffee.
And then there are times you rip through the wrapping paper and find something offensive.
Not offensive like an inappropriate (but funny) gag gift or a t-shirt with a crude quote, but a gift that makes you want to bolt to your bedroom, burry your head in your down comforter and cry like a little girl.
For example, a book revealing secrets of how to lose 50 pounds as quickly as possible, or a single airline ticket so you can “fly solo” to your dream vacation destination, or a present with packaging that mysteriously includes a second “To & From” tag, revealing the obvious fact that the re-gift is being pawned off.
I once received a book titled “Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone”.
Yeah. I cook, and once a meal is prepared, it’s not necessary to cook again for close to a month because of the heaps of leftovers due to the lack of a dinner guest… or a dog. But alone with an eggplant!?! I’d rather just be alone. No need for an eggplant to keep me company. Or have to keep an eggplant company… or whatever the case may be. Alright. I’ll be honest. I don’t even know what an eggplant is. The title of the book depressed me too much to investigate.
In another inopportune gift exchange, I was given a black shirt with glittery pink words plastered across the front which stated “I’m the single friend!”
Not only am I single, but I’m “the” (one and only) single gal in my entire circle of friends. Great!! Think the shirt will still look “hip” upon reaching my 40’s?
Giving gifts is supposed to be about putting thought into what would make a person feel special and surprising them with something you thought they’d love, right? Yeah. So this may sound ridiculous, but after receiving enough gifts that slapped me in the face (thankfully not literally yet), I’ve decided to do a year of gift revenge. Yes! Revenge by way of giving gifts.
I’ve already begun collecting country CD’s from secondhand stores for my rap-fanatic and
hip-hop-loving friends. After all, the only thing worse than getting a pre-owned gift is getting a pre-owned gift that makes you want to punch a cowboy in the throat.
One could imagine how elated I was to discover a book titled “How to Improve Your Personality” while out shopping. Receiving that book is sure to be a buzz-kill! I just need to figure out which of my friends would appreciate it least.
Perhaps instead of feigning interest, we should be learning how to squeak out a “thank you” while holding back tears.
Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.