The Blah Blah Blog

June 7, 2010

In lieu of gifts, just disappointment please.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mischievousmint @ 1:14 am

I hate buying birthday gifts.  I always have.  It never bothered me to buy Christmas gifts.  People receive so many gifts at Christmas that the single potentially crappy gift can be easily overlooked.  But birthdays are a different story.   

Imagine the setup.  It’s a friend’s birthday.  Someone you have known for years.  You hand the birthday gift recipient a gift bag.  Tissue paper explodes from the top of the bag.  Already you are trying too hard to compensate for what might not be a perfect gift by overdoing the tissue paper (as if the recipient will open the gift and say, “Well, the gift sucked, thank god she used an abundance of tissue paper.”)  But I digress, about the gift…

So there is this moment where the recipient is opening the gift and that look (you’ve seen it, it happens quickly but you have seen it), that look on their face where the unfiltered initial feeling of how they feel about your gift is right there for you to see.  It’s an unpracticed, honest look.  Sure it can be easily followed up with an octave higher “thank-you” or an over-smile, showing too much teeth and gum.  Those are indicative of how the receiver feels as well.  Yet, a practiced person can mask those.   No one can hide that initial look when a person receives a gift that doesn’t quite make the grade.

I am guilty of giving and receiving “the look”.  I gave” the look” for years after I figured out mom and dad were Santa Claus.  I saw my sister give “the look” when she received New Kids on the Block bed sheets for her birthday, years after the group was popular.  My brother in-law gave the look to me today when he opened his gift. ..a brand new GPS.  One he liked just as much when he received it six months earlier from his girlfriend. 

I abhor that feeling like I didn’t hit the target head on.  When I miss the mark gift giving it really does make me feel bad.  As if I didn’t know the person, their desires and the gift that would make them give a knee jerk smile rather than pause.  I feel like I have failed the mission. 

So in a nutshell, it is the disappointment.  There is so much promise in what is wrapped, stuffed in a bag and adorned with an overpriced bow.  Take off the wrapping and aesthetically pleasing ribbons and you can be left with a big ole pile of disappointment…if only for a honest fleeting moment.

Blog at