Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gift giving at Christmas

My first name is Ian and my middle name is Kevin and I remember when one Christmas my father gave me a small Totes umbrella and a box of handkerchiefs from Pierre Cardin, a French designer who was old and out of style at the time. The handkerchiefs were embroidered with the single initial “K” and I was furious. That cheap bastard, I swore if I didn’t look like him I would have sworn that my mother must have cheated on him before I was born because we couldn’t possibly be related.

I told someone about it later on, a friend, family member or girl-friend I don’t remember, but they said that he probably couldn’t find something with the initial “I” on it. And I said or thought, couldn’t he have dug deeper in the bargain bin at Woolworth’s or whatever cheap hell hole he dragged it from. I was upset, I was disappointed.

If I were to tell this story to my mother now, she would say that I was ungrateful and perhaps that I was the bastard instead of my father, but she would also say that I was someone who is always difficult to buy gifts for. She would say that I was too fussy and that whatever I got, it would never be good enough, and that is why she always sends me a check to go out and have a meal somewhere or get something else that I want. But I think she would be wrong, at least partially.

There was another time when I was involved with someone and he asked me what I wanted, my first pair of leather pants, after he told me what he wanted, a leather messenger bag by some designer in SoHo that no one has ever heard of since. For one reason or another he was unable to come with me to find the pants so he gave me the cash and I went to the leather store on Christopher Street in the Village; the one where they make them so tight that they tell you to take off your underwear so that you can fit into them. So after I sported my semi as the salesman felt and rubbed my thigh up while he told me it was a good fit, after all of that was done and my thrill was over, I felt kind of jilted. There would be no unwrapping of Christmas packages, no hidden treasure trove, no junk and no need for me to say “this is nice” between clenched teeth and a fake smile. All of that was taken away from me and I didn’t like it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want to think about the things that I want. I want to be surprised by the thoughts and care that people have about me. I want to know that someone has taken the time and effort to think about what it is they can do for me and not what’s most convenient for them. I really don’t care if someone gives me a bag of shit or a Maserati, well that might be a little extreme, but as long as there is some thought behind it I’ll be a friend for life.

Oh and by the way, yes I still have the handkerchiefs. I've had them about 20 years now and it's been about 5 years that he's been dead and they are still in the damn box, but what are you going to do, it’s from my father.

Merry Christmas everyone.


  1. It feels lonely to me when no one in my life is thoughtful about the gifts that they decide to purchase for my birthday or the holidays.

    It feels like they don't know me.

    I want someone to KNOW me. I want someone to be able to walk by a store and see something and say "RunningMom would LOVE that"

    I'm glad that the hankercheifs had a "K" instead of an "I". If they had an "I" you might not have been as mad, you might have regifted them or thrown them in the trash or misplaced them. And you might not have had the memory or a story to tell.

    Merry Christmas Ian Kevin... Merry Christmas.

  2. I agree with RunningMom. I would rather get a gift that was thoght about that I did not like rather than a blanketed gift that was given without any thought.

  3. RunningMom - I guess you really never know about what will stick in your memory until it does. Who would have thought this would end up being my Christmas Story? Who would have thought that I would old on to it after all this time. Not even me.

    Merry Christmas to you and your little one, just don't give him initialed handkerchiefs or one day he may write about you.

    Nite - Yes a gift with no thought behind it, no matter how expensive it may be, is not a gift. It's just a bribe or something just to shut you up while they see what they are getting. I hope, with no hidden entendres, that you get what you want this year especially from those that you want it from.

  4. That was quite tender. Thanks for sharing. A part of me desires to say that you should toss the gift and the memory; you are now empowered to make your own things to hold on to. Build good things to remember. Then again, isn't it these types of memories that provide a foundation(or at least a brick or two) upon which we construct our own happiness?


  5. Todd(ATL) - I never meant to hold on to the gift it just happened that way. But good or bad it's these things, memories and other stuff that have made me what and who I am today and to whitewash or wipe my mind clean of them would mean that my life was based on a lie. So yes you are right, it's just another brick to stand on.

  6. hey happy new years in advance....and sorry I missed xmas.

    how are you?

  7. what a sweet blog entry...I am sure your father appreciates this and is smiling down on you...

  8. Oyin - I don't know why but this name is so much easier to type than Kin'shar. Anyway, I'm no big Christmas person. Once the gifts are opened I'm like "next". So as far as I'm concerned you didn't miss anything. But I hope that your Christmas was better than you posted about and that it was well spent with your family.

    thegate-keeper - Unfortunately I doubt that my father would appreciate that I wrote about him. In fact I'm not sure that he would actually care. And as far looking down on me, I think he may be looking from a different direction. Oooh this sounds like a chapter from Mommie Dearest.

  9. I know exactly how you feel. I still have a calendar that I received and a pair of socks that I would never in a million years wear. I can't even phathom how people purchase such gifts with little thought. Especially if they really know you.

  10. D- I think sometimes people are telling you what they think or don't think about you when they are giving gifts, and that's why it can be so hurtful.

    You said you still have a calendar, then I guess it wasn't a 2009 one. If it was i would have told you to send it over since I don't buy them and I don't go into banks any more so I never have one. I wonder if banks still give them out free with the economy as it is.

  11. Theres no way someone could purchase leather pants for another and have them fit right. Youd have to take them back to the store anyways, so quit yer bitchin!

    Hell, this year, all I got was a gift card to Borders. I put other, smaller, beauty items on my wish list, but they were overlooked. Hmpf. I always get books. But to be honest, Im still a little happy.


  12. Lola - I'm not really bitchin, but it might have been more fun if we had gone together or if he had thought for himself and had gone out and gotten something else for me. Take for example your book card, I would have preferred someone to go out and buy a book for me that they think that I would like rather than me having to trudge up to the store and wait in line with the card or pay for shipping online.


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