NextBurgh, PA          @VannevarB      About      Pittsburgh Murals
December 18, 2010

Bad Christmas Gift Idea: Don't Do This

As we approach Christmas we see a plethora of "great Christmas gift ideas". I'd like to share a cautionary note: it's not how you intend the gift, it's how the recipient perceives the gift.

Many many years ago when Dummies books were new, a friend and their spouse were discussing finances, and there was perhaps a bit of tension in the ongoing discussion. My Friend thought, what could I give Spouse to read that would help them to understand? Friend went out and bought Spouse a book.

Friend intended to give a gift that said, "I love you and I care about this issue and I think that your having this knowledge would help us both".

Spouse received a gift that seemed to say, "You're a dummy and I've been searching for a passive aggressive way to tell you that, because you never listen. And you're not a competent adult."

If I were the Spouse, I'd have given Friend another book to read, and then checked back in to see how it was working for them.

Which leads me to think, Where is the safety net? What's protecting me from this risk? Why aren't there DDT (don't do this) lists for gift-giving?

Here's my first submission for a DDT list for Christmas gifts: the bicycle bungee.

You might think it says, "Honey I want to spend time outdoors with you, I want to share my bicycle passion with you, I want to help you over the hills - in fact, this tether of support is just a metaphor for our relationship. I want to be there for you, honey."

What the recipient will hear is, "I need to do some weight training so I'm willing to connect a retractable dog leash to your bike and haul your big lard ass up some hills. p.s. The dog leash is a metaphor."

Don't do this.


Kris said...

May I suggest...

MH said...

When YouTube has the video of that thing leading to synchronized castration around a tree or telephone pole, be sure to post it.

MH said...

For no other reason than you being a bike person, I thought I'd note that I saw a car driving the Panther Hollow Trail. They were driving from Greenfield to Oakland. I suppose it could have been some kind of maintenance, except it was after dark and it was an ordinary car. Anyway, probably worth watching for.

Dualbag said...

Take it from me, you don't want to do this.

Post a Comment

Comments and Feedback? Love that stuff. Please leave your thoughts in the box below--