People say that it’s the thought that counts when receiving gifts – but do you know who really says that? The people who don’t get the crappy gift! When you are the one who actually receives and opens the shitty gift, you never think “Oh it’s the thought”…you think – “What a douche”…
If you don’t agree with that last statement then you obviously have never been given a bath towel that has a white side marked with the word Face and a brown side marked with the word Butt by your father-in-law for Christmas. He said he saw it and thought of me instantly. Not sure what that means exactly, but I never took it too personally because this is the same man who carried one of his wife’s old purses through Europe so he had all of his things at the ready on the plane trips. It’s not even like it could pass for an attaché case or a messenger bag – it was a God damn Coach pocketbook!
I’ve never been really good at faking my disappointment at bad gifts. I’ve never been as bad as my sister Marlene who once opened a crayola crayon sweater from an uncle and said “Are you kidding – I’m not wearing this thing.” She was justified when my brother Anthony told her he was sick of giving her bad gifts every year, so he would give her cash for Christmas instead. Come December 25th, she saw a big box with her name on it and sensed trouble right away. She knew that there was no way the box could be filled with cash and she gave him that knowing glance. That glance usually precedes a violent outburst at our family gatherings and he said “I know, I was going to just give you money, but when I saw this I just knew that you would love it.” She proceeded to open a pre-Sue Sylvester red polyester track suit, strikingly similar to the ones worn by those weird kids in The Royal Tannenbaums and she looked at my brother to see if he was serious. He had such a proud smile as if he just gave her the keys to a Range Rover and then she noticed the $14.99 price tag that he had left on it. She first checked the pockets for the gift card that would normally accompany a gag gift like that and then said “Really? Are you kidding me?” she offered – “What happened to you being sorry about always giving bad gifts, so you were going to give me money instead. You spent $14.99 on this.” He didn’t get it and tried to ask where her holiday spirit was, but needless to say that Christmas gift ranks up top with her just above The Island of Misfit Toys plush dolls that he gave her just two years earlier.
There is a difference if you give a bad gift with a funny intention or if the gift is truly funny. Last year for my Christmas grab bag at work, I put in a bright orange Mr. T Soap on a Rope. It was brand new, but when our admin who picked it opened it, she totally didn’t get it. Granted, she is brain-dead and is the queen of the blank stare, but that is a classic gift that people fight over. You just can’t get that everywhere! I gave it to my friend Weezie for her birthday one year and she gave it the ultimate respect that it normally commands – she placed in right into the cleavage of her low-cut shirt and wore it for the rest of the night at the bar.
I usually put a ton of time into thinking what to get a person, but I too have fallen to the dark side and gotten a bad gift or two. Let me start out by saying that I am a whore for a compliment. I was in the mall at Christmastime and you know those kiosks in the aisles that always have the cute foreign girls coming up to you saying they just want to talk to you? They’re very dangerous. All it took was two Armenian girls sweet talking me and I left their kiosk with four of The Original Head Trip Tingler Copper Head Massagers.
Needles to say when my sister unwrapped it – my wife started burst into hysterics with that “glad it’s not me who got that” laughter. She certainly didn’t expect to find one under our tree at home for her. And apparently she didn’t expect to find one there for her mother and sister either. She also didn’t expect that I would spend 100 bucks on crap that no one wants.
I constantly fall victim to a compliment from a pretty girl and believe every word – that’s why I can’t be left to shop alone. They see me as easy prey and swarm like bees. I once bought a ruffled white shirt that cost $150.00 because the sales girl in Kenneth Cole told me I looked “cute like Usher” when I tried it on. I, of course, bought it hook, line, and sinker and then got the jeans too because she told me they completed the outfit. I got home thinking how hot I would look and my wife then reminded me that I look nothing like Usher. In fact, I look more like Oprah than Usher – especially since I’m white!!!
The timing of this post might seem suspicious, but I don’t throw this out there now because my birthday is next week and I am afraid of bad gifts. I put this out there now because if you give me bad gifts, I am gonna let you know. And don’t get me a towel that says Butt & Face on it – I didn’t need one, but I certainly don’t need two! And if you give me a bad gift – I will write it here!