I was having a random conversation with my roommate which led to a conversation about gift giving and dating. A piece of advice her father gave her was (and I’m altering the more colorful language here, lol):

“Don’t trust any [man] who doesn’t do right on your birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas.”

I found that really interesting. We then got into the semantics of gift giving and how much attention is necessary, and is a gift only a gift? Or is it some type of compatibility test. My roommate loves perfume. She’ll spend big money on it because it’s her thing. An ex of hers once got her a perfume set from Mary Kay. She decided that he didn’t really know her, nor did he pay attention, and might’ve been a sign that they weren’t going to last. A certain someone told me once that he’d advise anyone dating me not to ever buy me shoes. I know and love them too much, so there’s too much room to mess it up. I think that applies to her perfume addiction.

Now, I’m not really saying that a bad gift equals a bad relationship. But I wonder, how does gift-giving tie into compatibility? I can probably count on one hand the gifts that I’ve received from the testicled-ones that made me know that they were thoughtful and that they paid attention to me (And yes, it couldn’t be something that I specifically asked for…that’s cheating).

Wait, let me make the criteria for invalidation of said gifts:

1. I couldn’t have specifically asked for it. See previous statement about this. This does not, however, include gifts that come up in conversation, but weren’t explicitly requested.

2. It couldn’t have a self-serving purpose. My ex bought me an additional TV, but I think it was more so there could be one in the bedroom also. Doesn’t count.

3. It couldn’t be a gift that would work for just anyone. Flowers, candy, and the like…unless they were specifically tailored to said person. My favorite flower isn’t common…but either it was a) never inquired or b)  never given … got plenty of roses though. And carnations. And we know how the girls feel about that (Season 6).

4. It couldn’t have put them far outside of their means. If I know cash is tight, and you buy an extravagant gift for me, I’m going to worry about for what you probably could’ve used that money. It will take me awhile to appreciate the gift. I’d probably want to give it back, but would be concerned that the guy would be offended.

5. Wasn’t a continuation of a gift I gave them. Still cheating. I wrote my ex a story about a fictitious great day with him. He wrote me back the same story from his point of view. It was awesome…but not original.

Hmmm….. I’m tempted to include that it could not be for some outrageously significant occasion. I mean, obviously…the expectation comes with the day/event. But, I don’t want to count something out just because it happened to be someone’s birthday. So I’ll strike it from the record (but in the weird way that they do it in court, when the jury heard it, but are supposed to act like they didn’t). And it should go without saying that I had to have liked the gift… It doesn’t matter if other people thought it was awesome. If I didn’t like it, it doesn’t count.

Here are the top three gifts I’ve ever received:

1. A stuffed Cocker Spaniel. I told my friend the story of how my sister’s dog, Major, became my dog and I loved him like my own. When my sister and her college boyfriend broke up, he took the dog back. I was heartbroken. He gave us visitation, and then moved to St. Louis. He started complaining that he couldn’t take care of him like he needed, and my sister asked for him back. He said he’d think about it…and then sold my dog to some couple moving to Seattle. I mentioned that to him in some weird random conversation around the time we met. He also knew I wanted a dog, but was concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to truly care for it. And for Christmas, there was my stuffed Cocker Spaniel puppy. I still have it.

2. Plane ticket home for my first Christmas away from my family. My five year ex got that for me. I had just moved to Atlanta, and was trying to be adult and mature. I had gone home for Thanksgiving, and decided that I couldn’t fiscally go back for Christmas. His family, who I knew and loved, were going to be in Atlanta, so I figured it made sense. April Fools. I was miserable. I loved his family, but I wanted my mom. When I opened that, it was a one way home for the day after Christmas because he said he knew that the first Christmas would be hard. He then drove and picked me up and brought me back to Atlanta.

3. ……um…. I’ve literally been sitting here for about 7 minutes trying to come up with a number three. I got nothing that doesn’t break one of those rules up there. So yeah…2.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I haven’t gotten sweet gifts, or thoughtful ones, but I’m talking about that “WOW…I can’t believe you did that.” I mean, if I’ve been complaining about my back hurting, and you get a massage certificate… it’s still sweet, thoughtful, and I’m really happy about it. All I’m saying is that was a “Duh” gift. It wasn’t rocket science. This isn’t being unappreciative  – it’s just what I mean for this conversation.

Do you think gift-giving counts for something? Does it tell you something special? I also want to implore the Love Haze clause. If you’re in love, you probably like gifts a lot more than you would if you were looking at them sans emotion. Unless…it really really sucked.

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And, do you have a great gift you’d want to share? I’m interested. I’ll live vicariously, 😉

Love,

-V

P.S. Cards are always awesome. I always look for cards. Stealth cards are the best. I am the Queen of giving stealth cards 😉

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