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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

The gift-giving game has rules

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm not a big fan of gift-giving holidays. There are too many problems associated with these days, many of which include me forgetting. But there are other problems, too. Like what does the person want and is my gift appropriate?

Typically, I think I do a decent job at gift giving, when I remember. Of course, I only have to buy gifts for my wife. Gifts for other loved ones are taken care of by my wife. It is that great part of the marriage where responsibilities are dealt out and, fortunately, I missed on the gift-giving card.

But when picking out gifts for my wife, I feel I do a pretty good job. An iPod here, a digital camera there, a necklace or flowers, I try to get my wife what she wants. Take last week, we had our wedding anniversary and, in typical fashion, I sent my wife a dozen roses. Not very original I know, but my wife likes getting flowers for some reason so I send flowers.

My wife on the other hand isn't the best gift giver, especially when it comes to purchasing gifts for her husband. Once again, take our wedding anniversary. I awake in the morning to find a funny card and a CLOTHES HAMPER. Yes, a mesh Atlanta Braves clothes hamper.

Granted, I like the Atlanta Braves, but a clothes hamper? For my anniversary? I've been married to this woman for nine years and she thinks I want a clothes hamper as an anniversary gift?

The funny thing is she didn't understand why I didn't care too much for the gift. But lets turn the tables. Say I gave my wife a "Grey's Anatomy" toilet brush or some Sesame Street dishwashing liquid. Something tells me there would be a scene. And she would be the star.

Of course, after she comes to the realization that I didn't care too much for my fantastic clothes hamper, she starts making excuses. Now she claims she offered me this and that and I turned them down. All of which would put us into debt, mind you. And if I said OK to, say a softball bat and then had to stop playing softball for one reason (work) or another (work), I would never hear the end of it. Just the other day my wife had to throw out some bread I didn't eat and she bugged me about wasting bread. Now imagine if I got a $300 bat that I didn't get to use very much.

Somebody once told me there is a silver lining to everything. And there is a silver lining to getting a clothes hamper. Several actually. The first being there is no excuse for her not to do my laundry, right? If I keep my clothes in my mesh Atlanta Braves clothes hamper I should have no problem getting her to do my laundry, right?

But second, and maybe most important, is I now am allowed to give her a bad gift. That certainly makes Christmas time a little less scary. Or maybe I'll just save it until next year at our anniversary. Maybe by then they'll be making that toilet brush.

After thinking about it though, why do we even buy each other presents for our anniversary? We live with each other every day of the year. So are we saying: "Here is this gift for putting up with me this year?" If so, I need something more than a clothes hamper and I'm sure my wife would say she needs something more than flowers.

As a matter of fact, the best anniversary gift would be to spend the day apart and give each other a break. Of course, that might not be a problem for me after my wife reads this column. You may find me out alone, wearing a ratty T-shirt and holey pair of jeans. I think that is all that isn't crammed into my new clothes hamper.

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