On my 26th birthday I received a good dose of karma. All my years of giving ‘bad’ gifts came back to bite me where it hurts the most. And so, as I sat down to unwrap a nicely wrapped package from my mother, I recall having the biggest grin on my face since I had not anticipated any prezzies. And now that it was wrapped up like that?! Whoa!!!
I could feel the water works threatening to erupt, exposing my ultra-sensitive side. Just as well that they didn’t flow before I discovered that my gift was a wall clock. What do they say about not judging a book by its cover? Yikes! Gee, how ironic! What a funny way to remind BigGirlthat she is four years shy of thirty! Tick tick. Tick tock. Mother of me!
With a tinge of disappointment expertly hidden from mom, I politely thanked her for the gift-silently grateful that I had not cried in vain; otherwise I would have embarrassed myself. I would have also been the unfortunate subject of my sixteen year old brother’s mockery forever. Phew!
Thanks to karma, I had flashbacks of all those times I had bought people gifts and all the feedback I got were puzzled looks on their faces. My mother, for one, gave me such when I gave her a book as a gift years ago. I guess it’s a bit of consolation that she eventually learnt to love that book. See? Some gifts are like red wine…yeah?
When I gave my father a pack of socks after a trip to the sea side, I never stuck around long enough to read his reaction. He said a polite, “dankie!” Another incident was when I had bought an ex-boyfriend a mini clay sculpture from a flea market. Not being the one to beat about the bush, he chuckled, stopping only short of asking, “What’s this, sweetness?” When the sculpture fell and broke into pieces the next day- which I still suspect was done on purpose- he looked and sounded relieved, with an awfully bemused twist of his lip; much to my dismay.
In all honesty, there is nothing that gets my palms more sweaty, my pulse racing and my head pounding like buying gifts. It completely frazzles me and makes me look like an anxious junkie every time. ALL.THE. DAMN. TIME. Those who (think they) have it all figured out often brush this whatever-phobia off with the assertion that it can’t be “that bad”. Well, bad gift giving happens to good people as well…and I’m a victim of circumstance.
Theoretically, it’s simple. When you are in tune with what people like then you are most likely to get them gifts they will love and cherish. However, with the many symbolic days on which marketers blackmail us to buy gifts for loved ones, it can simply be overwhelming for those of us who are novices. The less faint hearted aren’t too squeamish to stack cupboards with mugs with “Happy this and that”; mugs that change colour when hot and good grief, even mugs that sing. Then again, who am I to judge? LOL.
I have learnt that one can never go wrong with jewellery, music or even a date (those are, of course, some of the stuff that I personally like. Nudge nudge. Wink wink…hey!) Yet, I’m also of the opinion that perhaps it is better to not give a ‘bad’ gift at running the risk of it not being appreciated. It’s also a bit of an insult to receive a gift that wasn’t well thought out.
So, dear karma, I’m still learning the ropes. Easy does it.