Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gifting, my Achilles heel

The best gift you can give is a hug: one size fits all and no one ever minds if you return it.

I have a huge problem. No, not my ego. Despite my social skills, or rather the lack of it, I get invited to parties at times. That, though, is the not the problem. My problem is that in those few occasions that I get invited, I am expected to take gifts. And that is a big chink in my otherwise strong armour.

Gifting is an art. And like all art, there are artists and then there are wannabes. Unfortunately, I fall in the latter category in the art of gifting. It is a pity, considering that I do give it a lot of thought, and mostly rational.

I don’t like to buy a gift that is useless or is thrown away after couple of days. So before buying a gift for someone, I think about all the things the person needs and does not have. This works like a charm because you will invariably find that the person has all the things he needs (he would have already bought things he needed). And in those rare circumstances when he does not have it, you will find the thing either not affordable or not available. Either way, you can get away without buying a gift and not feeling guilty about it.

On our last wedding anniversary (I guess it was the seventh or eighth, I forget. Some things are better forgotten.), I gifted my wife a diamond ring. She actually wanted one of those sporty four-wheel-drive vehicles, but I could not find a fake one! When she had asked for something that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds, my initial thought was to buy her a weighing scale. I intend to get her something with diamond next year too (remember, they are a woman’s best friends). I plan to buy her a pack of playing cards, which if I remember right has 13 diamonds in it.

Scott Adams (of the Dilbert fame) said that anything that has enough mass to displace water is a ‘gift’. But from real-life experience, I have found that people like gifts that displace A LOT of water. If you don’t like the person who invited you, you could always buy a very large-sized gift, but still cheap and useless. If you don’t like the person and you are sure you will not meet him again, you may even try gifting an empty box with no name in it. But remember that it may backfire, if you are the only person who did it.

Gifts speak a lot about the personality of the person gifting. Gifting a condom on friend’s marriage shows that the person has a whacky sense of humour and is not a conformist. Gifting a live frog to your boss on the office party shows that the person has great courage and is a risk-taker. A plain gift card shows that the person is unimaginative and risk-averse.

People think that one of the safest gifting techniques is to buy something that can be hung on the wall or displayed in a room. But in reality this approach is full of risk because it assumes that the person has enough space in his wall/rooms for all the gifts that he will receive in the party and that the gift would go with the theme of the person’s wall/house. By the way, I was told that everyone is gifted - but I guess some people never open their package!

I hope you have heard about the gift-chain. People preserve all the useless gifts they receive and gift them to others at the first opportunity, and this goes in circles. I think there is only one gift clock in Kerala, and people keep gifting it to each other

Women have an advantage over men in gifting – they get to buy the gift and also enjoy the process of shopping for it (if you recollect, I suffer from Shopophobia Mallfeorosis). On that note, it is said that women are god’s gifts to men – god must really love gag gifts! And if the invitee is a woman, I was told that the best option is to gift flowers. However I learned that if you want to say it with flowers, a single rose says: "I'm cheap!"

Notwithstanding all my troubles of trying to buy (and end up not buying) the ‘perfect’ gift for others, I try to keep things very simple when it comes to receiving gifts. People who do not bring gifts don’t get invited to my next party. And my best friends are those who give me the most expensive gifts. Somehow, I have always felt that a gift watch shines so much better than the one I bought for myself.

And guess what has been the greatest gift I have ever received? - Readers like you!

44 comments:

Devika said...

HAHAHAHA

That was perfect, Salil! :)

With that picture I thought you were suggesting cats were the best gifts! :))

wishes,
devika

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Lol! ROFL! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

I can't stop laughing!

Superb! Awesome write!

"On our last wedding anniversary (I guess it was the seventh or eighth, I forget. Some things are better forgotten.), I gifted my wife a diamond ring. She actually wanted one of those sporty four-wheel-drive vehicles, but I could not find a fake one! When she had asked for something that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds, my initial thought was to buy her a weighing scale. I intend to get her something with diamond next year too (remember, they are a woman’s best friends). I plan to buy her a pack of playing cards, which if I remember right has 13 diamonds in it."

Salil, this is gonna cause you some very serious trouble for you have made some very serious pointers in those lines! Don't worry, I'll pray for you!

And on a serious note, thanks very much for the last line...... Absolute pleasure!

ബോണ്‍സ് said...

By the way, I was told that everyone is gifted - but I guess some people never open their package!

I liked that one...another of your hilarious thoughts on life's little stupidities..enjoyed it a lot!!

Renu said...

wow Salil:) you sense of humour is great all the time:)...I just wonder how your wife takes it?

Govind said...

They say gifting is a great art
but that is only for people with money to part
for poor men like me who stand apart
the best is to ink your feelings of the heart
or better still shake hands before you depart.

Good one Salil!

Usha Pisharody said...

Salil, am roflol.... :)

Thank you for that :) and for the line at the end, and also for all that is there in the post!

Gifting truly is an art, and the what and how of it have been entertainingly articulated here!

Can't pick out fav. lines, because the whole post is really hilarious... but I guess, I liked the one about what goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds best :)

Thank you , again, Salil :)

aadi said...

you truly are a gift to the humor nerves in many of us.. good post..

Joseph said...

you are married to a forgiving lady; u r far away in a beautiful place enjoying other beautiful ladies; Salil man, u r gifted.

Sashu... said...

hehehe!! ROTFL indeed!! loved de post..n de scale..lolz...i'd love to see ur wifez expression readin that..n even better- yours maybe :P hehe!!

nice post! n yeah the content too, well laced wi all the humor..loved this!

MAN IN PAINTING said...

some gifts are precious
like this post.
like the gift of making people happy
wishes.

Gazal said...

the opening line was mine...can i have a chunk of the royalty please?

I have a terrible time chosing gifts for people.theres too much choice these days and people have everything that you can think of.

L.O.Loudest at the last line.

g said...

:))

You could gift someone this post. It's a gem in itself.

g

radha said...

Great post. And so true. I know a family that received 11 milk boilers at their wedding. I am so glad that item got obsolete!

And now with video recordings of events, it is impossible to gift without the name and hope they would not find out!

Salil said...

@Devika:
Appreciate the appreciation.
Actually cats are not a bad gift idea, as long as the receiver is not a mouse.

@Rakesh:
Thank you for passing by.
Well, she has already learned and reconciled to the fact that the diamond ring is fake (like me).
I meant what I said in the last line. Appreciate readers who return.

@Bones:
You thought it is one of life’s stupidities, eh? For me, it is a shameful confession.
But I still can’t believe you did not go and watch IPL, living in Pretoria.

@Renu:
Thank you.
She takes it with couple of kilograms of salt and gives me a few kilograms of pepper each time

@Govind:
Yeah, I agree. If only I could write poems like you, I would have started gifting those.

@Usha:
Thank you for your kind comments. Chirichu mannu kappiyo?
And while on blog readers, you may find this interesting http://www.raproject.com/articles/when-bloggers-talk-about-readers/

@Aadi:
Thank you.
So are you suggesting that I get on your nerves?

Salil said...

@Joseph:
Gifted, thank you, yes, I am, though may not be in the positive way. But was the rest of the comment warranted?
Btw, I am meeting Jenna on Saturday and Leah on Sunday. Maria has still not returned my call and Lori said she will reply to my mail tomorrow. I am confiding all this to you assuming you will not disclose this on a public forum, such as the comments section of my blog.

@Sashu:
Thank you for passing by.
My worry is not the consequences when my wife reads my blogs, but whether she is writing blogs where she writes such niceties about me (which “obviously” will be false).

@MIP:
Nice to hear from you, the man of few words.
Thanks for your kind words. Maybe I should get this added in gifting ideas.

@Gazal:
You cannot have a cut of the royalty. But what you have to do is contribute to the reward I have offered to the readers!
Forget the last line, I have given you a clue on how to become my best friend in the last paragraph. Why don’t you give that a try?

@Gauri:
Thanks for visiting.
I have used that before, when I gifted my wife a blog on our last wedding anniversary - http://www.salilravindran.com/2008/09/memory-is-what-tells-man-his-wedding.html.
I found that very cost effective.

@Radha:
Glad to see you here.
I also received milk boilers as gifts on my wedding, apart from all the flower vases, clocks, etc. They were all gifted away over so many years.

Devika said...

hahahah....How do you think so twistedly straight, Salil??

write more often, please...someone said i need to 'improve' my humour sense!:))

devika

rajni said...

lolz amazingly written...u hv got a gift of gab...oops thoughts :P

Mampi said...

Sal, you go from strength to strength in every post that you send our way.
abso-mindblowing-lutely wonderful.

Nandalal said...

ROFL! Man, i loved the Kerala gift clock part! I was sharing the joke with my rommies and they bursted into laughter... Applause!!!

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Right now, that Kerala clock is with me, waiting to resume its travels.

Nice one.

And the last sentence! good to be considered better than expensive watches.

Swarna said...

Exactly!
Next time - try this - get the host a nice potted plant. If the host cares for you, that gift should keep growing!

Shail said...

Aha! Buttering up the readers with that finishing line eh Salil??!!
But actually I am rotflol @ I think there is only one gift clock in Kerala, and people keep gifting it to each other. Never heard a truer word!!

Whats in a Name said...

Really Funny!!!!!
How did you wife let you go off the hook after you presented her a fake diamond...!!!!!
:-P

I have just got your blog in my favorite blogs list after this post!!!!!
:-)
Keep posting more!!!

Salil said...

@Rajni:
Thank you for passing by.
In the internet world, it is called the ‘gift of the keyboard’

@Mampi:
With discerning readers like you, I have to raise my standards, which incidentally is easy considering my ‘low’ standards :-)
Thank you for your abso-mindblowing-lutely wonderful comment.

@Nandalal:
Takes a bow!
And I was serious about that Kerala clock part :-)

@Raji:
Thank you for visiting this space.
I agree that readers who return are better than an expensive watch, but the problem is I can’t wear them on my wrist and they don’t tell me the time when I need to know :-)

@Swarna:
That is not a bad idea. A potted plant would definitely ‘grow on them’ :-)
While we are on flora, do you know what tree I like when I am hungry? – Pan’tree’

@Shail:
Well, since I live on bread and butter, buttering up comes naturally.
Btw, do you know when do clocks die? When their time is up.

@Whatsinaname:
Thank you for leaving your footprints.
What gives you the impression that I have been let off the hook? Normally, when you buy something, you pay upfront and that’s it. But in this case, I am still ‘paying’ for than diamond ring.

Ganga Dhanesh said...

That was simply lovely, Salil!!!

Santosh PM said...

Very well written...

chebzorba said...

Good read.

Gauri said...

Badhiyaan !! :) Lol all the way ;) its almost like routine ..you just wont let us have it any other way ;)

the blogger formerly known as sansmerci said...

good one :)

Nandalal said...

lol Salil.. i read your comments and realized that you are a Keralite.. Of course man, in Kerala, everything happens! hehe...

Collegegirl said...

Excellent blog, nice post. I love the contents and thoughts. I am so proud to vote for this beautiful blog. I VOTED FOR YOU, I recommend your blog to many of my friends. I expect they will Vote for u soon. I hope you will grace me with your precious Vote.Just copy this link to your browser
http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/69551

Arun said...

Am happy that atleast you "gifted" a diamond ring to your wife on your what you dont know wedding anniversary.. Happy not that it was a diamond ring but that you remembered when your wedding anniversary is !

Jokes apart, you are right as far as gifting is concerned. As it was the same wall clock in Kerala, it used to be the casserole in Tamilnadu. For our housewarming ceremony in 1991 we would have received atleast 5 of them that it took almost two years for us to get rid off...

If my memory is right, you and Ambika lived for a day without each other after two years of your marriage. Then, your sense of humour was not that good.. Now, being alone, I think you are putting your brain to good use ! Keep it up !!!

mathew said...

writing a cheque is the best option!;-P

writerzblock said...

ROFL! And still ROFL! What a gift-ed blogger you are! Keep writing!

writerzblock said...

And talking of that singular gift-clock in Kerala, we do have a singular cake-tin-set in Chennai. It was my wedding gift in 2001, passed on to a friend in 2004 and dutifully returned to my sibling in 2007! And yes, its gone abroad now, to visit more Desi friends there :-)

rajni said...

@salil thanks for updating my knowledge :P

Whats in a Name said...

Hey Long time no posts!!!!

Polite Paul said...

of course there is only one gift clock in kerala...

shri ramesh sadasivam said...

This Post about Gifts is a Gift among all Posts. :)

Vardhan said...

Wow....I have not seen any research topic that speak lots about "Art of Gifting". It was interesting to read through out. Keep Posting.

Aditya said...

"On our last wedding anniversary (I guess it was the seventh or eighth, I forget. Some things are better forgotten.), I gifted my wife a diamond ring. She actually wanted one of those sporty four-wheel-drive vehicles, but I could not find a fake one! "

This one made me laugh out loud. ROFL. You are a 'gifted' writer.

Fire Dragon said...

Muốn tìm dịch vụ ship hàng mỹ để có thể mua hộ cho những món hàng ở Mỹ mà họ không nhận ship về Việt Nam. Nếu bạn đang tìm kiếm dịch vụ đó. Hãy nhớ đến chúng tôi giao nhận 247 chuyên nhận vận chuyển hàng hóa từ các nước trên thế giới về Việt Nam và ngược lại. Hiện ngoài dịch vụ ship hàng mỹ bạn cần chúng tôi còn cung cấp nhiều dịch vụ khác như nhập hàng từ thái lan về việt nam, mua hàng mỹ online tại Việt Nam, nhập hàng mỹ, chuyển hàng đức về Việt Nam, gửi hàng đi anh , gửi hàng đi pháp, gửi hàng đi nhật, nhận ship hàng từ amazon, gửi hàng đi lào, gửi hàng đi campuchia, order hàng úc, gửi hàng đi miền tây,... Và có rất dịch vụ vận chuyển khác đảm bảo đáp ứng mọi yêu cầu khi bạn cần sử dụng.

Nhà Đất said...

Nếu muốn mua tủ quần áo hay giường tầng hãy đến với chúng tôi , chúng tôi sẽ cung cấp giuong tang , tu quan ao với chất lượng hàng đầu VN.

An Binh said...

Mỗi văn phòng của công ty hay doanh nghiệp đều có cách thiết kế và bài trí sản phẩm noi that van phong hcm khác nhau cho nên việc chọn lựa sản phẩm cũng như bài trí tùy thuộc khá nhiều về diện tích văn phòng cũng như là tính chất công việc của công ty. Những không thể nào thiếu các vật dụng sau: bàn,ghế,tủ. Vậy cách bố trí các sản phẩm nội thát văn phòng như thế nào phù hợp đúng với các tiêu chí trong văn phòng cùng chúng tôi tìm hiểu qua chia sẻ sau:
Đới với việc vài trí bàn làm việc
Vị trí bàn làm việc thường được đặt ở nơi có ánh sáng tốt nhất, ngày nay trong các thiết kế nội thất văn phòng đương đại thì hầu như các văn phòng làm việc đều được hỗ trợ đầy đủ ánh sáng. Kích thước mỗi loại ban lam viec van phong thì không nhất định ,luôn phụ thuộc vào diện tích văn phòng làm việc. Đối với các văn phòng có diện tích nhỏ thì luôn ưu tiên về không gian do đó bàn làm việc thường được kết hợp gắn liền với kệ sách và luôn được xếp lại hoặc giấu vào bên trong hoặc sau lưng của kệ sách sau khi sử dụng xong.
Đối với công ty có diện tích văn phòng lớn thì sử dụng cụm bàn modum hay các mẫu bàn văn phòng hòa phát có bán trên thị trường hoặc những mẫu sản phẩm của các thương hiệu nội thất khác đáp ứng đúng nhu cầu sủ dụng cho văn phòng của mình.Ghế văn phòng thường được bố trí theo chức năng của văn phòng làm việc. Tùy theo diện tích phòng làm việc để từ đó bố trí các loại ghế khác nhau .Các văn phòng lớn ngoài các loại ghế xoay cho người làm việc, thường được bố trí thêm sofa được trang trí từ đơn sắc đến đa sắc rất tiện dụng cho lúc nghỉ ngơi lẫn lúc cần tiếp khách. Hy vọng với các thông tin trên bạn có thê tự tràng trí cho mình không gian làm việc tốt nhất.