regifting as guerilla warfare

So, I get a package from my stepmonster the other day, ostensibly for Christmas.  Of course this set me off on a expletive filled rant and presented me with a moral dilemma: To open or not to open.

Exposition:  My family is that in name only, with notable exceptions- my sister Laura, my Aunt Teresa, my Uncle Bob.  Let me qualify that by writing my remaining, living family.  Having relationships with that family is seriously unhealthy, so I broke off all contact over a year and a half ago and it was the smartest move I’ve made in a long time.   Present day: I haven’t really heard from them, save occasional forwards from my stepmonster.  I tried telling hotmail that her missives are most definitely junk mail, but alas, they keep putting them in my inbox.  Damn you, Microsoft! 

So, now, I get this box.  Do I send it back, or do I open it?  If I resolve to open it, what do I do with the contents?  Do I need to feel guilty?  Send a thank you note?  Last night, while out with some friends, I took a straw poll and nearly unanimous consensus was that I should:

1) Not return the box

2) Open it and see what’s inside

3) Donate whatever was sent

4) Send no acknowledgment

Trusting my friends to be the smart and morally upstanding citizens that they are, I took their advice. When my roommate and I returned home, drunk and content, we opened the box.  She read the card (I refused based on the knowledge that it would just piss me off, whatever it read). 

The contents:

– One plush Cat in the Hat*

– One plush generic dog

– One bookmark branded Chronicles of Narnia

– One book A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote (with a CD!)

– One 2007 calendar of vintage posters

– And, the piece de resistance, a quilted, yellow, floral toiletries case. 

I know! Every one of them screams my name.  They’re just so me.  Now, Sylvia has a penchant for buying gifts for myself and Laura that bear absolutely no semblance to the world we live in or the people that we are.  Like once Laura got a papier mache tissuebox cover.  seriously.  and I got a giants tee shirt “[i] could wear to the games” that was a men’s triple extra large.  Now, I’m a bit chubby, but let’s not get hysterical.But these, these are clearly all regifts.  There’s no theme, no cohesion, not even a passive aggressive purpose.  Not in the gifts themselves, anyway.  I think the package was meant to manipulate me via guilt.  It’s her best weapon and it worked for a long time.

Now, I have no problem with re-gifting, in theory.  If you receive a well-intentioned gift that is perfect for someone you know, but not really your cup of tea, it is perfectly fine to rewrap it and give it someone who would get some joy or use out of it; it really is the thought that counts.  Anyway, since it’s obviously such a lame attempt to provoke me, I needn’t give it another thought and wouldn’t have had to had I just opened it in the first place.  It’s completely meaningless.  Another Christmas mystery solved.  I’ll give the gifts to charity and everyone wins.  But I’m keeping the calendar.  I mean, I need one, and it’s actually not hideous. 

That is all netizens.  Zombie films are clamoring for my attention.  ‘Tis the season and all that…. d

* OK, I do love Dr. Seuss.  But I don’t like plush.  Not since I was eight.  I still read the books, though.  Shut up.  They’re really good.


1 Response to “regifting as guerilla warfare”

  1. 1 santoki 4 June, 2007 at 21:47

    My sister got me flesh toned lipstick, and she loves me! I think people are morons when it comes to gifts. Some more than others…

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“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Upon common theatres, indeed, the applause of the audience is of more importance to the actors than their own approbation. But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value - john adams
December 2006
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from the man who taught me everything:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”



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