Friday, October 16, 2009

Gifts for Dad

Here then is my infrequent contribution to Dad-Blogs.com Fatherhood Friday. 

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

I am not a fan of getting gifts.      I had a fairly lengthy post on the topic 4 years ago, and nothing has changed over the years.    I enjoy giving gifts, but dislike shopping for them; I always over-think what the recipient would enjoy receiving.   So far, as near as I can tell, I haven't given any gift that has been soundly disliked.  When receiving gifts, I am cordial and thankful, but on balance would prefer if I didn't get any.

My thoughts on receiving gifts are fairly simple:  if I need something, I generally go out and get it as soon as it is practical.   I no longer want things, at least not in the sense of wishing for them to be given as a gift to me.   In my mind, I don't need to get gifts from my much-better-half, kids or others because they - the givers - certainly have more important things to spend their monies on instead of me.   

There are things I want to have, of course.     Case in point, I saw something that I would love to have (but in no way expect ever to receive).  From the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog:
You will participate in the unique whisky-making process step by step, for an insider's look at how every detail makes every glass a special occasion. This gift experience includes a two-bottle memento of the rarest Maker's Mark bottles ever: Two golden bottles will be etched with your likeness and dipped in gold wax with 24-kt. gold flecks. You'll also get to hand dip six of your own 375ml Maker's Mark bottles in signature red wax and take them home.

All for the value price of $7,500 -- and I am certain worth every penny!!  (Oooh!  Free shipping on this item!)   Maker's Mark is my favorite bourbon and adult beverage of choice.    Still, the caliber of this item, as fabulous as it is, is something I would never expect to receive, nor ever actually purchase.   Indeed, I'd be angry if my family purchased this for me. 

Sure, were my kids sufficiently through college or should we hit it big in the lottery, I'd have a different position on the matter, but something like this is so far out of bounds it's worthy of a few aww, wouldn't it be greats and that's all.     A lot of my reasoning stems from being the only source of income in my home:  that's in no way a slight to my spouse, but the practical realities of our lives.  

The idea for this post came to mind last week while I was waiting at the pharmacist counter for a few scripts to be filled. I readily identify with the guy's position, as I've had this very same discussion with my mate in the past.   The couple looked as if they were in their late-20s, early-30s.  Dialogue at least 95% accurate, as I jotted it down shortly after the discussion took place:
SHE: So, your birthday is next month, what do you want for your present?
HE: Nothing.  You know I don't want anything.
She: Come on... we go through this every year.
HE: And every year I say the same thing.
She: How can I know what to get you if you don't tell me?
He: I got you, that's all I want!
She: Cute... come on, tell me what you want.
He: I don't want anything.
She: Well what do you need?
He: If I need something, I buy it.  Right now I don't need anything.
She: You almost never buy anything for yourself!
He: Because I don't need anything.
She: But it's hard for me to get you something you like.
He: You always get me great gifts.
She: I always tell you what I want.
He: You do, yes.
She: That way you know what to get me.
He: Either by your telling me or when I ask Lisa.
She: Lisa is three.  Come on now, what do you want?
He: Nothing.
She: There's absolutely nothing in the world you want?
He: Of course there's stuff I want,
She: Okay then.
He: But we can't afford what I want, so why bother?
She: Come on!
He: Fine: a big screen, high def TV.
She: (pause) What's wrong with our TV?
He: See?  Nothing's wrong with it, so we don't need a new one. 
She: Well the big ones are pretty expensive.
He: No kidding!
She: So that's all you want?   What if I get you a gift card for some place?
He: Right. Use my money to buy me a gift card for stuff I don't need.
She: Why are you being difficult?
He: Who knew saying 'I don't want anything' was being difficult?
She: You are so childish.
He: I'm not the one insisting on something I can't have.

Their prescription was ready, she signs for it and they both turn to leave.

She: You know what? You're getting nothing for your birthday this year.
He: Isn't that all I ever said I wanted??

You know, I felt bad for the guy.  Here he is, being open and honest, and he's getting no credit for it.    

So is it just me and this guy, or do other men think the same way about getting gifts?

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