Monday, June 6, 2005

The mother of bad gifts


With gift registries, there is no excuse for a bad gift anymore. Yet the bad gifts keep on coming.

My friend got a 3-foot-tall wooden, painted bald eagle statue for her wedding – from the groom’s mother. The bird has some kind of glittery stone for its eyes, and its creepy gaze seems to follow you as you walk around. The poor newlyweds don’t know what to do with it. It’s too big to hide in some cupboard and too hideous to perch on the front porch. It’s from the parents, so my friend can’t use it as firewood.

I don’t get how things like this can happen. Why don’t people stick to gift registries? You couldn’t be any clearer: “This is exactly what I want. Here’s the price. Not only did I do the shopping for you, the employees will even wrap it and send it to me, so you literally have to do nothing but pay, and I will be overjoyed.”

Yet that’s not enough. And the bad gift turns into a problem the receiver has to deal with.
It’s like people think they know your needs and tastes better than you.

“What do you mean, you want a vacuum cleaner? Who cares about clean carpets when you have a massive carved bird to welcome you home?”

My friend has decided to set her eagle in the front lawn and hope, with all of her might, that some teenagers or drunk fraternity boys will steal and/or vandalize it. Then she can tell her mother-in-law, “Darn, it’s broken. Or missing its head.”

And if the fraternity boys never come, I do have a few cans of spray paint in my garage.
Hey, that’s what friends are for.

Photo by Flickr user Robo Android.

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