Present-giving: A Dying Art
Where before there would be so much thought and love going into each purchase, now it's obvious that the purchase was hurriedly made and usually picked to suit the buyer's budget and not the birthday person's taste.
Where before I used to receive books, watches, perfumes, jewellery and CDs, now I receive candles and other totally useless items, and once in a while, an unwanted gift someone received on their own birthday. And each time, I have to react in the same way.
Friend: Guess what it is before opening it!
Me: Err ... (shakes box) .... a vase?
Friend: No lah! Quickly guess again!
Me: I have no idea. (Tears wrapping paper apart and opens box with a beaming smile)
Inside lies one of those sand sculpture things, you know, the coloured sand in a bottle that you can find in shopping centres nationwide?
Me: (Maintaining big fake smile) Oh it's bee-yoo-ti-ful! Thanks so much!!
Friend: I knew you'd like it!
I already have two of those. But hey, at least it wasn't yet another candle.
And then there are presents from guys. Men who are not interested in you are likely to get you gift vouchers, if they get you anything at all. Men who are interested in you will get you something that THEY like. For instance, G-strings.
I'll let it be known right now that I hate G-strings. They make you feel like you're having a permanent wedgie. But they are a necessary evil, since visible panty lines are a social disgrace these days. Some G-strings are more comfortable than others. Put it this way, the sexier they are, the more uncomfortable they are.
There was this one guy who bought me a G-string that was literally a string and some lace. And it was TINY. He must have had delusions of me having a teeny tiny waist because that thing looked like it wouldn't even fit a toddler. And he had the cheek to say, "I'll take you out to dinner tonight if you promise to wear that," followed by a lecherous wink. "Oh, I wish I could, but I already have dinner plans ... for the next three months," I said sweetly.
The next category of presents are the boyfriend gifts. Now, boyfriends are under a lot of pressure to get good gifts or end up with a merajuk/sulky girlfriend. I know one guy who bought his girlfriend a bookmark for her birthday, and then spent half a month's salary on flowers, chocolates and gifts to win back her affection. I'm not going to go into a debate on why girls behave like this, they just do. Just like guys are into sports and cars. (Generalising is so much fun.)
Hint to guys: Girls just want to be pampered and appreciated - a spa/massage treatment will always be welcome, and if you're broke and can't afford the real thing, do it yourself! Even if it's just a 15 minute foot massage, it's a lot better than buying her a useless RM50 gift, ok?
I like shopping for people. I like taking the time to browse and wonder if they would actually appreciate the gift before I buy it. I take the trouble to find out beforehand if there's anything specific they want, simply because I care about the person. Besides, it's their birthday and they deserve to feel special and happy on that day. It's just once a year after all.
The worst present I've ever received was this really ugly fake pearl necklace that looked like it belonged to Mimi of Drew Carey fame. And it was obvious that it had been a free gift from some other purchase because the brand name was on the clasp! If you can't afford anything, my dear, I don't care. Just wish me sincerely, have a good chat with me, have a teh tarik with me, it doesn't matter. Just don't go fobbing off your unwanted gifts on me. That's all I ask. Remember, your present speaks volumes about you.
Kucing Gatal wants to hear from you - what's the worst present you've ever received? And what's the worst present you've ever given someone?
Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a presentable Meow.