Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Gift

Some chatter overnight about my wish list on Amazon. Concern that it's not useful. I thought I'd turn my response into a full-fledged blog post since I haven't posted enough lately.

But it could be. Let me explain. But first, a few thoughts on the particular items...

No, I don't want a Model S, a DMC *and* an Avalon. Those are just the cars I wish I could drive. Any one of the three. I like my Intrepid, but it's getting old and its non-rolling windows mean never getting drive-through. And besides, I already know that the car in my future will be the Santa Fe handed down from Lori. I'd put a Lexus on the list, but when I'm realistically looking at what new sedans will be available when it's time for a new car for real, the market will have changed in ways we can't think of today.

No, I don't want an iPad. I mean, I do. The big one with 3G. And a nice case that contains a bluetooth keyboard. But I'm worried that as soon as I get one, they'll come out with out with camera(s) and I'll be disappointed by mine.

No, I don't want to own Worldmark by Wyndham or The Space Needle. I just wish we had a Worldmark membership and the Space Needle one is about as close as I'm going to get to ask for a gift certificate. I hate the idea of asking for gift certificates. It suggests that I don't have any faith in the buyer to get me something. And in that case, just give me cash. And people already know the places I'm most likely to use Gift Certificates - the places I already spend the most - Starbucks, Best Buy, JCPenney, Fred Meyer, Midas, Fred Meyer Fuel, King County Treasury/Property Tax Assessor's Office, iTunes, AT&T, Comcast, Puget Sound Energy, etc.

And that's just the thing.

I don't *need* anything that can be purchased - I need more time in my day. Well, I guess someone could buy us a gift certificate (back to the gift certificate) for a cleaning service, but really, is there any subtext to "I'm paying someone to help you keep your house clean."? :) Besides more time... hmmm... My family's cool, my energy levels are fine, my health is pretty good (I've dropped the weight... some more muscle/tone would be nice, but that's both time and initiative, again, things that can't be bought.)

I don't *want* for anything that is affordable. I have too much stuff. I have books and magazine subscriptions I can't keep up with, movies I haven't had time to watch, video games I don't have time to play with. I have a nice closet full of clothes. I have a fancy espresso machine I haven't used in years and a Mr. Coffee I use every weekend. I have a lot of stuff that I don't know what do to with and no time to seriously go through or the will to build up the courage to get rid of some of it. I have stacks of unopened mail in the bedroom and garage that I haven't even had time to go through.

No, all that leaves:

* expensive gifts. Why are they expensive? They have the potential to be a big part of my life, be they a car, a certain piece of iTechnology or a vacation club membership. While some of those are extreme, some of the less expensive things that appeal to me could be a group gift from people who insist that they must get me a gift.

* gift cards - and I've already said what I think of those. I won't turn them down, but I'm not going to go asking for them.

* clothes - be prepared to come up and pick something out of my closet for me to donate - I'm playing a zero-sum game here. Something comes in, something goes out.

* donate to a charity on my behalf... Union Gospel Mission of Seattle, World Vision, World Vision Micro, Humane Society of King County are a few ideas.

* be my friend and help me to be a better friend. By your good example and by calling me out when I'm doing stuff that doesn't make me a good friend (like neglect or being self-absorbed or all take and no give)

...and I think that's fine. Time really is the big thing I need more of. Beyond that, do what I did for Lori to help me in gift buying for her. I made a list. (I love lists! Yay, Evernote.)

It contains things like this:

Part 1: Things that define or represent her:
- God, family, beauty, cooking, Facebook, etc.

Part 2: Current hobbies:
- Baking, Scrapbooking, Postcrossing

Part 3: Things that are always winners:
- Cherry Jelly Bellys, Bath and Body Works Gift Certificates, iTunes Gift Cards, Lifesavers Storybooks

Part 4: Places she enjoys shopping or shops at regularly

Part 5: Past Gifts

Part 6: Past Gifts that haven't well received or went unused

Part 7: Thing's she's mentioned and/or things Amazon recommends similar to her wish list

Part 8: Things she's given me because it's tradition or they're things she likes receiving

And that has helped me to come up with a picture of her and the things that she would enjoy receiving. And there is a killer item on there. Sadly, it's too expensive but I know she'd love it.

So, there you have a little look into my overly-complicated look at gifts and gift buying. (I should trademark "My overly complicated look..." as a series.) So there you go... I could talk further about all this stuff, start looking into love languages, etc., but once again I'm out of time. And then some.
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