Before I start this post, let me preface it by saying that it's going to make sound like a douche. Because this post is not just about the proper way to give gifts. This post is about the proper way to give ME gifts. But, if you can excuse the egocentric concept of me complaining about gifts I receive, and really just see it for what it is: an introspective analysis and helpful guide to buying me presents, then I think you'll really enjoy this journey we're about to go on. And yes, that sentence further solidifies the douchiness of this post.
There are essentially 3 important criteria into giving a gift.
1. Is this something the person wants?
2. Does this gift serve any kind of useful purpose? If Yes, please revisit #1
3. Finally, is this gift tacky? If you're not sure, or even if you're sure it's not, ask somebody with better taste than yourself before you conclude on this criteria. And as before, once you've answered this one, please revisit #1.
Let us consider the last 3 gifts I recently received.
The Orange Blossom Scented Reed Diffuser
This amazing gift was given to me by my favorite not actually related aunt, Auntie Chris from Chicago! She read a blog post from a little while back where I talked about missing the smell of orange blossoms, the greatest smell known to mankind. (it's fact!) Did I want this? Of course I did! Did it serve a purpose? It makes things smell better. Doesn't get more useful than that! Tacky? HELL no! It was a sweet surprise that I really really loved. The hardest part now is figuring out which bathroom to put it in.
The 'Merican Dream Door Mat
Anybody who knows me, knows that I love America. I love it so much, that in my heartfelt love of this country, I can barely even get all the letters out, and I just give a Kenny Chesney style shout out to "Merrrrica" Well my good friends here in Denver gave me a wonderful door mat symbolizing all of that. Once again this meets all the criteria listed above. And if you think that door mat is tacky, then you're a communist.
The Meatball Maker
Let's let that one sink in a little bit. My friends came over on Sunday night, and gave me...a meatball maker... Let's run the numbers. Is this something the person wants? Uh...I don't know. I didn't even know it existed until I saw it. Does this gift service any kind of useful purpose? Useful? I mean you still have to mix the meat, and scoop it out onto the maker. All it does is cook it for you....and you still have to clean it afterwards. So, probably not? But even if it did, after revisiting #1, I'm inclined to say, no...the person does not want this. Is it tacky? It's an electric effing meatball maker. Does it get tackier? What concerns me the most about this gift is that I wonder if my friend went to the store and saw it and thought, Oh! This is something he needs! Even worse, what if my alter-ego Anthony, of Anthony's Meatball Palace and Meat Emporium ever saw this?! If he found out people were making their own meatballs with a machine, instead of the hate-filled love and care that he puts into each and every meatball, he might have a heart attack right then and there! So I would chalk this one up as a fail.
But even the meatball maker pales in comparison to the litany of things my brother has given me over the years. In no particular order, there was the sandwich maker that imprints the Bucs logo onto each grilled cheese, the picture frame with a picture of him, the portfolio with my name on it (added it to the pile...can't even give that one away!). The best one of all though, was the amethyst frog I got for Christmas one year. Huh?!
Now you all are reading this thinking, except for that weird frog, those sound like he was putting some real thought into the gifts. But that's because you are failing to follow the well laid out criteria up above. Come on people, let your selfish flags fly! It's ok for you to say it's not ok! Because what else comes with a bad gift?? The guilt you feel when you are dropping off that gift at goodwill never having been taken out of the box! So spread the word, and all your future gifts will be as good as a 'Merican Dream door mat and a Orange Blossom reed diffuser. Stay silent and stoic, and I'll probably re-gift you this meatball maker.
Please still buy me stuff....