Bad Gifting

Personal Bits

I’m a horrible gift giver. I’ve mentioned before that I buy things I want to get, which is subconsciously greedy, I know. But if I manage to get things the receiver actually wants (usually through HEAVY hinting and suggestion), I always manage to destroy the act of surprise.

I drop too many cautionary suggestions (“You know those underwear you liked? I think you should just forget about buying them.”); or I ask too many questions (“That camera you looked at last week. Did it have a serial number you can remember off the top of your head?”); or in the case of home-made, hear felt gifts, I execute their creation waaay too early (“You may want to wear this now – it’s a scarf I made you!”); or I just leave the damn things lying around without trying to hide them (“What’s this Charlie’s Angels Season One doing here?”), all resulting in the most anti-climactic surprise for the recipient.

So when I finished wrapping the gifts last night for someone’s impending birthday, this someone systematically picked them up and one by one and identified nearly each gift:

(Fondle) “That book I wanted.”
(Shake) “Socks. Probably green.”
(Lift, bend) “That t-shirt I said I liked.”
(Hold, weigh) “Not sure.”
(Hold, poke) “Not sure.”
(Passing to side) “Charlie’s Angels.”
(Passing to side) “Charlie’s Angels.”
(Lift, bend) “Padded CD case?”

Damn it!

My own fault, really. I can’t go up against the master. He had my iPhone sitting beside my bed (hardly hidden) for at least 3 weeks before my birthday with not one mention or hint to me about it. Subsequently I was blindsided, twice (he got me a decoy gift which he also didn’t let on, but gave to me early – the Wii). Cool as a cucumber, he sat on these gifts for a long time without hint of their impending coolness.

Me? I think in terms of the happiness. I’m bursting to see the payoff, but I get disappointed when the recipient makes the all too easy connection: “Want to see what I got you? No? Darn! It’s really cool! It makes toast and is toaster-like! What? No. It’s not a toaster! Fttt!”

6 thoughts on “Bad Gifting

  1. Pingback: Dead Robot » Holiday DMZ

  2. Phronk

    I always just make a list of specific things I want, with specific model numbers and a nice range of prices (always including “nothing” as an option too). It makes it easy for everyone to shop for me, and they don’t have to worry about ruining surprises. The whole surprise aspect of gift giving just makes it way to stressful for everyone.

  3. Dead Robot

    I tried! I really tried! Right down to the burnt cupcake!

    I do what I do to make you happy, kiddo! Your happiness is the utmost in my mind (even if my mind subconsciously buys you a video game I want to play! It’s still time we spend together).

    But remember, this is my blog and I rule here, even on your birthday. We’re talking about how *I* suck at gifts. Now shoo.

  4. SharkBoy

    See??? That’s why I don’t like my birthday, it makes people do things they wouldn’t normally do and turning my day into theirs… So I’d rather not really acknowledge it and by myself something fun… like this year… I’m buying myself a new tattoo… YEH, happy birthday Me… hehe
    But, when it IS my official birthday, I will be very happy to open the gifts, and I know I’ll be surprises by at least one… but not the Season 1&2 of Charlie’s Angels, nor the Child 44 book, nor the Olympic 2008 no sleeve hoodie white shirt, nor the super funky black t-shirt with amazing lights in the front that I’ve wanted for so long… have I missed any?
    I sound ungrateful now and I’m so not, I just don’t like feeling people HAVE to do something for me, that’s all

  5. Romach

    I am exactly the same buddy. And Eiain is terrible for buying others what he wants lol. Hes bought me all kinds from printers, flat screen monitors, cameras etc that he can use too. Its a good job I love him *giggle*

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