I am an admitted re-gifter. So much known for doing so that even when I give something thoughtfully purchased and brand-new, maybe not even on sale, the recipient will declare “So, who gave you that first?” instead of some expression of gratitude.
Years ago, someone, fortunately long since forgotten, gave my grandfather a knight in shining copper-plated armor, standing about 18” tall and bearing a sword which could be used a letter-opener, something else for a roll of stamps, a drawer for paper clips, and a base which was also an AM radio. The tacky knight promptly was sent to the closet, released only once a year to be re-presented to some lucky soul on Christmas, always bearing a note card from Elvis. As in that guy from Graceland.
So, the year we decided to fully induct my brother-in-law into the family, and we gave him the gift from Elvis. We thought he’d be on the joke by now, but he wasn’t. He placed the knight-in-not-so-shining armor on the night stand next to his bed, where it stood for years. I never have been able to figure out whether he really liked the damn knight or whether he kept it displayed only out of love and affection for my sister, who once gave me a bottle of Greek wine, insisting that it was some great vintage and cost a lot of money, the $.29 price tag forever exposing the fraud she’d perpetuated.
Even though my dearest and only brother-in-law is totally responsible for taking the knight out of circulation, I do have to credit him, just in case he reads this blog, for always prominently and proudly displaying the Franklin Mint heirloom porcelain plate of Dogs Playing Poker that I bought just for him, suffering an onslaught of mail from the Franklin Mint which would end only by moving out of the country. And I have never, and never will, re-gift the white plastic toilet that’s also a bank with a genuine flushing sound that he bought just for me and which is prominently displayed on the library bookshelf. We both know that the Dogs Playing Poker plate and the plastic toilet bank were originally and thoughtfully purchased for one another and that they’ll never suffer the indignity of re-gifting.
Maybe it’s a good idea that the knight finally found a home where he’s appreciated and revered. The family has now dwindled down to a number which could be counted on one hand, less a finger or two. We now swap Amazon.com gift certificates.