Dec 1, 2009

continuing thoughts on gifts

gifts are personal, and/or gifts are ritual.
there used to be rules for when to give, what to give, how much to spend, based on the kind and degree of relationship.
i think that's gone, for most of us modern folks.

now gifts are personal. what does this say about me, what does this say about you.

the two get mixed up.
i know how to make soap.
so i make you some special soap to give you on a ritual occasion.
i am giving you my time and my talent.
you take it as a personal gift, not a ritual gift.
you think maybe i think you don't wash enough.
you think i didn't care enough to buy you something.
i think you will think i am cool because i can make soap.


  1. Some people use gifts as a manipulative way to try to make you be more the way they'd like you to be. Usually people give you things they think you'll like, though. Often they go by what they perceive as clues around your house, which may or may not be relevant. When I was making real and fake photobooth strips of still lifes I bought a garden gnome to use, and then it was just too heavy to move. It's been sitting here ever since, making people give me garden gnome-themed things even though I don't like garden gnomes at all (I just used it because it was horrible).

  2. hahahaha! i know what you mean...people used to give me cat things. garden gnomes always make me think of the scene in the full monty. i suppose giving a guy nice clothes falls into your manipulative category. but it doesn't work, they don't wear them.

  3. My husband and sons don't give me gifts. For years this hurt my feelings, and I thought it meant they didn't love me. But now I think: they're afraid of giving, afraid of the questions they might have to ask themselves: Does this mean I'm trying to get a gift in return? Does it mean I'm currying favor? Does it mean I'm giving only because I'm supposed to? Or maybe... hmmm... Does this mean I do love her?