Tuesday, March 25
The Pain of Gifting
Whoever called it the “JOY” of gifting skipped a step.
Prior to the joy (if at all), comes pain, immense discomfort and a lot of inconvenience, effort and thought. The next step could range from ecstasy and gratefulness to annoyance and indifference.
Which is why most people give the act of gifting a miss and either request no gifts on the receiving end or give cash rather than an object as a guest. Saves all the people concerned from a lot of heartache and embarrassment.
I understand, I entirely do. It is a much better option than running around from pillar to post and finally presenting or ending up with some trashy items being shifted around from hand to hand over the ages.
I am writing about this for a cause.
The cause of loving people who have done everything possible under the sun for their loved ones and who do not know what else to do for the sake of affection and originality.
So basically, people like me. Lovers of revelries for reasons small or major, and adorers of their moms and spouses and uncles and aunts.
Let me brief you first on some important aspects.
One, my mother and my husband are, fortunately or weirdly, pretty alike. I mean of course they’re both pretty but it does not end there. They care for me beyond themselves and I love them both to bits. Their mannerisms and habits are also similar in more than a few ways. Plus, both of them don’t like presents in general and are very balanced (read predictable) when it comes to celebrations and gifts.
Which means that I’ve been dealing with this agony for over two decades now, though I have been only married two years.
My husband celebrates two birthdays in a year (as if one was not enough) and one of them, the fake one, falls close to the day of love – Valentine’s. Now imagine my plight, I need to think thrice about the things that he has and does not have, should have or wants or needs. Not counting, obviously, the monthly and yearly anniversaries of our wedding and courtship.
A Herculean task, indeed!
A cake and flowers no longer count as something sensational; it’s too formal and extremely unimaginative. My husband has no patience or aptitude for cards, poetry and the like (contrary to my mom, she used to dig that stuff). This rules out one of my unique and greatest gifting ideas.
Clothes, electronics, wallets and travel – we have done all of that as well. I was so confused last year about what to give him on our wedding anniversary that I went around polling people and got some fairly random ideas like Bluetooth headset and biker helmet. I finally bought him the second, but it does not feel like a gift really, if you know what I mean. More like a security accessory, a must rather than a casual feel-good present. But since my husband is not the romantic, rose-tinted types, I guess it worked fine in his case. Had it been someone rosy-hearted and hare-brained, this would be a concern.
Worse still, if you ask these folks what they would like as a gift, they either say “anything” or “nothing”. Both these answers are annoying. Why wouldn’t you simply say what is it that you are lacking at the moment and ease matters for the poor enquiring soul? Not to mention, it should suit his/her budget. I know of certain leeches, who when asked about their choices, state incredibly ridiculous demands that make you want to slap them and ask them to get lost. Why, why, why do I have to deal with such horribly unreasonable people?!!
Seeking help from online sources is useless as well, coz there is absolutely no logic in the list of items displayed on the web, and their preposterous prices may as well convince you to forget the entire idea of a celebration.
And, before I conclude, let me also place on record the awe I feel about some of the gifts given to me, ranging from the utterly silly to the amazingly generous. Give me a decent book, a holiday voucher, good clothes or accessories and I would be pleased as punch. Give me ugly, used or non-usable stuff and I shall refuse pleasantly.
So, there stands my agony, confessed and out in the open. If you find a solution, do let me know.
If not, carry on with whatever it is that works for you! Some pains just never end, though you want the good times to carry on forever…