I think what you give someone as a gift, if you are setting out to do something thoughtful, sends a pretty strong message about how you feel about that person. It should show how well you know someone, their interests and what your relationship is like.
I have great gift giving friends. And somehow, I’ve tricked them all into giving me some pretty great stuff when I see them….Like today, when I went to lunch to see my girl LB off, as she’s moving home next week. 😦 But more about that in a second, as I have to end with that because the accompanying picture is one of those, save the best for last, type deals.
Anyway, recent gifts I’ve been given and how I gift give.
I like to write people stories as gifts. I know you didn’t ask for one, but if I have a story about you in the first place, or a lot of them, or a whole book’s worth, that probably means you’re pretty important or memorable. (Except if you’re my family, who is not interested in seeing these stories in print. HA.) But really, I can make a story out of anything and I have a memory like you would.not.believe. Really. So writing is typically my gift to people, which I don’t think makes me cheap, but I’m sure it comes off like that.
Things from Maine. I like to give people gifts that are representative of the not-so-city way of life in which I was raised. I like to give lilac soaps that remind me of the spring breezes in our front yard. I give all things lobster, for all those summers filled with cracking and steaming and butter dipping of the excess variety. I give candles of sun and sand that remind me of beach trips filled with crab hunting and castle building, wave jumping, of boardwalks filled with promises of skeeball and half and half ice cream on a plain cone, with sprinkles. I give sweet blueberry wines from local vineyards and LL Bean gear in yellow and orange and green, like hoodies that hug on a crisp and bright fall day. I want people to know where I started and how it made me the person I am today.
Books. Sometimes, I give out my favorite books to people I trust will return them to me. That’s the deal. You get a book I think is important, but I want it back. Book suggestions are also a gift, and I will warn you all. If I suggest a book and then you don’t read it, you are half dead to me. So, in the case of books, I get kinda crazy about it and I’m kind of an indian giver but don’t you think my well-read book is a better gift, even if temporary, than some copy off the shelf? Or no, am I being weird?
Pictures. Because when I run out of words to say, pictures do the trick.
And lastly, I do everything hand written and if your shiz comes wrapped in kraft paper, considering us friends for life because that’s how I do for the people who matter.
The very best gifts I’ve been given recently are:
1. Books. There is nothing better than receiving a book, second-hand, from someone else. Well, for me there isn’t. And, if it’s a book similar in writing style to mine, or funny, or something you really value and you want me to read it, I get really teary about that shit. I think words are the greatest gift you can ever give someone.
2. Stationary. I have received some brilliant stationary lately and I really, really love this. All writers do. Between that and pens, I just get all panties wet over that shit. I’m a real sucker for paper goods. (My friend Mel made me the most fabulous letterpress stationary, if anyone is interested in some original, custom-made merch. http://www.greymoggie.com/)
3. Lipstick. I write this and laugh but when I get all serious about a new hobby, I love it when people join in. My friend Amber the greatest. I hadn’t seen that girl for almost 8 months and when she shows up to brunch in DC to see me, she comes lipstick AND stationary in hand, because she knows and loves me. And she’s great at coloring, which I know nothing about. (Boys, just forget that I even wrote number three. You will never understand)
4. Dildos. Yep. I’m serious.
This brings me back to my girl LB. She is a ray of sunshine and is always a fantastic escape from reality when you need a good wine lunch. Also, the first time we ever drank together was at Volksfest last year and that little ball of sass got herself up on the picnic table and banged out a split, the HARD WAY, in front of at least twenty people who were sitting down drinking beer. Big bag of WIN. She’s also a delight to make laugh and a big supporter of the blog, so much so that she reads it to her 63-year-old mother (heeeeeeeeeeeeeeey Mom!), which I think is badass.
Well, the sad news is that LB is heading back State side with her Sexy Cuz Lethal hubs and her two boys next week for their next assignment and so Caroline and I went out to pizza with her today to say our see you soons.
Upon arriving at lunch, LB promptly whipped out a gift for each of us and said we had to open them before we went inside. Caroline and I looked at each other and then down at the gift.
It looked oddly shaped like something you’d either put in your mouth or your jage or maybe like spargel but let’s be honest, no one is buying me spargel on their way out. LB carried on, “So the day I read about you and Caroline talking about injuring yourselves while (insert knowing look), I just died laughing because I once told Sexy Cuz Lethal (her husband) that I once threw out my back but he just…” And instantly we knew that of course he wouldn’t understand. They never do. “And so when I saw these,” she continued, “I just knew I had to buy you both one.”
It was totally a penis and I was willing to bet she bought me a huge, foreign looking penis dildo, which was great news for my collection but was going to be interesting to explain to the Mr.
Caroline and I looked at each other and waited because it’s kind of awkward to open sex toys in a parking lot. But then we did anyway because it might be awkward but it’s also awesome.
AND GUESS WHAT? LB bought us our very own porcelain, Polish penises that are both decorative and helpful because they also measure real penises if you keep it by your bed. I initially inspected it, thinking it could also function as a salt and pepper shaker or a cream pourer but wow, that shit is kind of massive and so I’m just going to build a stand for it and put it at my desk.
While in the car on the way home, I showed the Mr. and he got a kick out of it. But then I almost killed him. I was mesmerized by my new gift and got a bit carried away when I tried to jam it down the hatch, partly to be funny, partly to see what number I could hit but then I almost knocked out my front tooth and when I made a gasping noise and shrieked, Mr. H looked over at me in the car and when he saw what I was trying to do, he almost hit an oncoming car.
You just never know what’s going to happen on a Tuesday in Germany.