the superfluous gift

the giving of gifts is not exactly my strength. for certain people, i do just fine. for others (like my parents), i just wind up feeling a bit like sisyphus – the shopping rock keeps going up the mountain, but it always comes back down.
today was a case in point – a gift exchange with cherished friends, in fact with some of the only people with whom i do go through the gift ritual. a time of joy, a moment to reflect on our friendship and to bask in the glow of shared affection.

until the wrapping comes off, that is…

“oh no!”

i did it again. i bought them something they already have. i did this for my friend’s birthday just a few months ago, and now i’ve done it again with his wife for christmas (i punted on his gift for christmas, going the gift certificate route – i didn’t want to commit the same gaffe with him twice).

it’s not as bad as the patently unwanted gift (“ooh look, dear!!! one of those ninja chipmunks that sings! let’s put it somewhere prominent, like the bottom of the well you’re digging in our backyard this weekend!”). on the receiving end for these sorts of gifts, one can’t help but think, “what is it about me that made you think i would like this?”

it’s not quite that bad. i mean, i got them something they already had, which meant they wanted it at some point. there’s no way i could have or should have known they had already scratched that particular itch. and yet somehow, there’ that feeling that i should have been telepathic.

that’s it!! i need the “gift telepathy helmet” (i think the sharper image sells them – a hot item, from what i understand). put it on, and immediately divine the perfect gift for that special someone, for the dad who already has enough “creative” ties and monogrammed golf tees, or for the mom who says that all she wants is some nice new trivets for the kitchen.

if only it were that easy…

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