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.
Etch-a-Sketch
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.

Boku for Christmas

Babs has her Christmas list, and Felipe has his Christmas wish list. Ben Stein has his perfect Christmas gift. Calypso has his unique gift idea. I got mine this morning.

Gallinaza-como-fertilizante

Barrels of shit.  Gallinaza. Mierda. Chicken crap.

A neighbor who raises fighting cocks and borrows (and returns) my ladders always delivers, just in time for Christmas, barrels of his poultry’s best. And we make it last the entire year, carefully doling it among the gardens.  It’s the best fertilizer.

In years gone by, I’ve received some great and memorable gifts. Some that were both, some that were memorable for not being great, and I’m sure some that were great but unremembered. A first class plane ticket, pukka and not the non-revenue kind from miles. Plane tickets that weren’t first class. A complete set of Cuisinart professional cookware.  A Burberry coat. French luggage. Gucci loafers. Books.  Amazon.com gift certificates. A juice extractor. Cashmere sweaters. Anything tied up with great packaging from Gump’s. A Perfex pepper mill. A Dooney & Burke purse. A Ralph Lauren flannel nightgown. Gelt. An oil painting.  A NordicTrack treadmill. Satin sheets. Etch A Sketch. A gold ring. Perfume. Two toy pistols in a double holster. A ballet tutu. A black doll I picked out at a fancy doll shop somewhere in Italy. License plates for my car. Ugly clothing I wouldn’t be caught dead in. A dreadful yellow nightgown. The traditional socks and soap. The iPad I bought myself last year.

But somehow nothing compares to the gift my neighbor gives me each year. It’s the right thing for the girl who has everything.

Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff? – George Carlin.

(Boku is Turkish for shit.)