I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Worst Gift EVER

Since it's "the most wonderful time of the year," the conversation on the radio (and subsequently at work) has been all about gift giving. In specific, the worst gift you've ever been given.

I've actually got two of these.

The first one was from my DH - who in addition to being the most fabulous man on earth, is also the worst gift giver on earth. He always radiates good intention but pretty much fails miserably. I'm not going to repeat the whole birthday cake saga, but suffice to say he is a shit gift giver (sorry my love. But this is not new news for you.)  Anyway, the first year we were married, he gave me the strangest gift for my birthday - an enormous A3 sized Ahskenazi Haggadah. (Translation for anyone who wants one: broadsheet sized religious book.) To this day, I've got no idea why he bought it. Sure, it was nice..but a) I'm not terribly religious and in fact hate Passover most of all the Jewish holidays, b) I don't find sitting at a dinner table reading a broadsheet sized book all that comfortable, and c) are you for real, DH? What the hell were you thinking?


Second worst (actually the WORST but chronologically after the Jewish Book That Ate Manhattan) was from DH's Uncle and Aunt. For my 27th birthday (I think? In my 20's in any case) they made a big song and dance about my gift. How they put a lot of thought into it, thought I'd enjoy it, how they really thought it was appropriate for me, how much use I'd get out of it, and so on and so forth. They presented me with said gift at the dinner table and encouraged me to open it in front of everyone, so with some excitement (new car? mortgage paid off? clothes voucher? vacation?!) I opened the gift.

It was a personal blood pressure device.

I totally thought they were kidding and so I started to laugh. It took a minute or two before DH leaned over to me and said, "Seriously, it's not a joke gift," when he realised before I did that nobody else was laughing. The Uncle and Aunt in question then went on to say that they really thought someone of my size (eg FAT!) needed to be aware of these things, should look after themselves, and how important they felt it was that I use this thing. I basically got a "You are fat and will die early," lecture at my birthday dinner in front of my family.

I've never been so humiliated in my life, not even the time I fell down during the big "Beauty School Dropout" number in high school and popped all my balloons on my costume as the curtain rose on Act Two. I literally wanted the world to swallow me up right then and there.

I did try to see if there was some OTHER gift hiding somewhere - maybe in the card - but there wasn't. That was it. A blood pressure monitor and a lecture. I know they were coming from a place of love and good intention...but it was just plain horrible. My brothers in law saved me, though, because they immediately wanted to grab it and give it a go and play with it. We soon discovered the damn thing was crap, because the same person could do a reading 3 times in a row and never get the same answer - one minute it would be wildly high, the next very low. Not enough they gave me a horrible gift but the damn thing was crappy quality as well.

I'd love to tell you all that I'm over this gift, but I'm not. I totally appreciate their concern for my health, but are they so socially inept that they had NO idea just how horrible that might make me feel? Needless to say, I generally refuse to open gifts in front of other people now.

In case you are wondering, I came home and chucked it in the back of the cupboard for a while...and eventually threw it out. Not because it's not useful, not because it's not a nice thought - but because no medical device needs to make me feel so horrible about myself.

...and for the record, should you ever be in the market for a gift for me, please may they not:

- be smelly. No soaps, no perfumes, no creams, nothing of the "stinky stuff" variety. I really hate that crap and on the effort scale it's a minus five.
- require either ironing or dusting. "Dustables" irritate me, and ironing is against my religion.
- imply in any way that I am fat or thin or anything in between, the size of my ass should not be reflected in my gift in any way
- have the word "medical device" anywhere on the packaging unless we are talking about a vibrator (oh yes, I went there...)
- ugly handbags are also out of the question and for the love of god:


Consider yourselves warned. Less than 6 shopping weeks to my birthday.


Anonymous said...

Woah, you should have seen the horror on my face when I read your post! But I have a question...what are some of the gifts you have given that have been recieved well? What do you think about when giving a gift?

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

Oh, Good Lord NO!

I simply can not believe that anyone gave anyone a gift like that.

I am not surprised that the experience has scarred you, and made you hesitant to open any gift in front of a giver.

Which is a shame really, because that for me is the best part about giving a gift - enjoying it being received.

When I give someone a gift, (which depending on the receivers closeness to me, is usually handmade) I feel that way I imagine you would feel when you share a special meal you have cooked for them.

Jewel said...

I am gobsmacked! Incredible, and it is sad that it still hurts you. **hugs**

And here I was thinking that my DH's first Christmas present of a vacuum cleaner was terrible.. :))