Has anyone ever given you a gift that was really something they wanted rather than something you wanted? It brings to mind the child who tells his dad he wants to buy Mom a puppy for Mother’s Day; really, it’s the child’s ploy to get a puppy. He gives no thought to the fact that Mom would prefer breakfast in bed or a poem and that the gift of a puppy is, in actuality, a gift of work. Who will be the one who ends up feeding and caring for the pup?
The worst gift I was ever given was a cell phone. I had gone all my life without a cell phone until several years ago when my then boyfriend (we’ll call him Dick) gave me one for Christmas. It was really a gift for him and this is the story behind it. We worked together and several weeks earlier we had agreed to meet after work to go for a hike. The time came for him to meet me, and he didn’t show up. I went to his classroom, I tried the main office, I tried a mutual friend’s classroom to no avail. I couldn’t find him. I checked the parking lot to see if his car was still there; it was. I made the rounds again. I waited in my room thinking he was stuck in a parent teacher conference. Two hours later, I decided to go to one of the other buildings on campus and see if any of our friends out there had seen him.
When I arrived, I was greeted by a fellow teacher who informed me he was in her classroom. I arrived to discover he had been in there chatting with her and another mutual friend. They had, Dick later informed me, staged an “intervention” because they felt he was abandoning them as friends. Why wasn’t he able to walk two hundred yards to my classroom to let me know he wouldn’t be able to keep the date? He felt if he left them even that long, it would solidify to them their fears about him not respecting them as friends. (We’ll skip the irony of what this implied his respect for me was.) Apparently he thought they were the most unreasonable people on the planet. Then he told me if I had a cell phone, he could have called me.
So what did I get for Christmas? Why, yes, a cell phone, because his complete and utter rudeness and thoughtlessness (and inability to stand up to his friends) was my fault. How romantic. Thanks for giving me something you can keep tabs on me with. Besides the obvious red flag your need to monitor my movements raises, I also have to pay to keep it in service. Excuse me while I swoon.
He also gave me a digital picture frame (which he had loaded not with pictures of us, but solely pictures of himself). My girl friend said, “those cost a lot.” Price tags do not impress me. Someone could buy me a diamond bracelet or a yacht; it doesn’t make them good presents. Good presents have the recipient in mind. I hate unnecessary techno stuff. If I have pictures I want to display, I’ll display them in a normal frame that doesn’t run up my electricity bill. He gave me a present he would want to get, with no thought of what I would want. I would have preferred to get just a card with a nice note in it.
I would rather get a musty, used copy of The Arabian Nights that cost you 25 cents at a yard sale than the latest Joel Osteen hardcover you shelled out $25 for, because one shows that you know me and the other is just disgusting. It truly is the thought that counts because some of the best gifts I’ve been given were not pricey at all, but demonstrated that the giver was thinking of me. Cheap but funky jewelry that fit my style, camels found at thrift stores, lilies. All cost under $10, but put the biggest smiles on my face.
So readers, what are some of the worst gifts you've been given? For some added fun, I've included a link to.http://whydidyoubuymethat.com/.