The Thought Does Count

In A Designer’s Guide to Gift Giving, Steve Selzer exhorts readers to try and give their best gift ever. And I’m not taking about love, world peace, charity, good deeds, and that kind of touchy-feely crap. I’m talking about stuff that comes gift-wrapped. Read his article to spare me from setting forth the five requirements here.
I’ve already told you enough about horrible gifts.
Today I’m going to share the gifts that I’ve received as an adult that meet Selzer’s standards. Not all were given at Christmas; some were birthday and hostess gifts. And they all were gifts that I didn’t know that I wanted until I opened them up.

Perfex pepper mill
The completest-set ever of the top-of-the-line at the time Cuisinart professional cookware
French press
Top-of-the-line salad spinner
Pink elbow-length leather reinforced gardening gloves
Palette of eye shadow where the worst color was turquoise.
Injinji socks
Lady Gaga perfume. The donor admitted that she was intrigued by the bottle design, the gift box, and the idea of black perfume. Now that’s something I’d never buy myself, but I have to own up to using the entire bottle and enjoying it. And  praying that no one would ask the name of the fragrance, even if it did smell good.
Tweezerman gold glitter set in a gold leather case

Vegetable seeds

Gucci loafers

A plane ticket to Managua. I didn’t even know that I wanted to go to Nicaragua, and it turned out to be a great adventure
A vintage black mammy doll
A black Muñecas Minas doll from Mineral de Pozos

Coin purses, Fendi and Dooney and Bourke
A Mizraim Cárdenas lithograph
A Juan Torres painting
It’s hard to buy books for others, but here are three that came as gifts and remain remembered:
Very Special People

Cocaine Papers by Sigmund Freud

Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein

(I cringe when I pick up books at a book sale which have been engraved “Happy Father’s Day from your loving son.” And which appear to be otherwise perfectly good books. And it’s even sadder when you know the recipient and feel that the recipient should’ve held on to them.)

This week I’m getting my load of Christmas load of shit, literally, from the cock-raising neighbor. And I’m thankful. He knows exactly what I want.

Yes, it is the thought that counts. Giving money or a gift certificate is the easy way out, because it doesn’t require thought. And while money is always appreciated and always fits, it’s seldom remembered.

13 comments on “The Thought Does Count

  1. I was going to gift you a top-o-de-line salad spinner, but since you already have it, I’ll keep it for myself because I’ve been wanting one. This comment is simply to let you know my intentions were good. Perhaps even noble.


  2. John Calypso says:

    I was told (many times) to not gift anything practical (like cooking gear)? Seems like practical gifts are gladly receive by you? This is a good thing – no?


  3. Here’s the rule: if the practical gift relates to something that the recipient is passionate about or has specifically requested, then it’s OK. Provided it’s something very, very nice. OK, so it’s my rule. Cooking and gardening are activities I enjoy, so the gifts that related to those activities were very welcome. I thrive on collecting kitchen stuff. I would cry if someone gave me a vacuum cleaner, but I do know one person who would be in seventh heaven if the Dyson Animal were under her tree.

    There are probably a lot of people who wouldn’t be thrilled by a surprise gift of silicon baking mats, but I’m not one of them. The idea was just something I’d idly tossed off in a conversation, and the donor, who listened more carefully than I’d contemplated, surprised me with a set.


  4. loulou bateau says:

    After reading your last two posts, I’d be scared to give you anything.


  5. Loulou and Felipe are just risk averse, that’s all. And I would never out anyone who reads this blog for giving a bad gift.


  6. loulou beteau says:

    It’s funny how you (think you can) get to know someone by reading between the lines of their blog. I’m sending you this poem because I’m pretty sure you’ll like it.

    When I Am Old – by Moyra Donaldson

    I’ll have dewlaps and a hump and say ‘what’ all the time
    in a cross voice: on every one of my bony crony fingers
    a ring. My lips painted with a slash of bright fuchsia,
    I’ll drink margaritas by the tumbler full and if my dealer
    dies before I do, I’ll just have to look for younger suppliers.
    I can’t imagine not being interested in sex, but if it happens,
    so be it, really I could do with a rest, complete hormonelessness.
    I may forget who I am and how to find my way home, but be
    patient, remember I’ve always been more than little confused
    and never did have much of a sense of direction. If I’m completely
    demented, I’m depending on friends: you know who you are.


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