And that’s a good thing.
They’re all out there now, you see. The magazines loaded with “holiday gift ideas”. I’ve been avoiding them, for the most part, because I rarely bother to read magazines of any kind anymore. (And even when I did, the only one I bothered with regularly was Maxim, and the British Maxim sucks. Seriously. Take out all the ironic humor and fun, add a bunch of naked women and some seriously shitty attitudes).
But yesterday I was thumbing through Skye magazine, which comes free every month with our cable and is usually tossed unread. They had a little article about the Dr. Who Christmas episode though so I took it out of its plastic wrapping and opened it.
And there it was. The “Buy for Her!” article. And what were half of those gifts?
Frigging lotion. Bath kits. Environmentally correct body salves made from guano and recycled tea leaves or whatever. Make-up kits. Excuse me, but anyone who buys me any of those (who buys someone else make-up? How do you know what colors to get? Maybe they’re like me and have sensitive skin?) will get a polite thank-you and my undying secret contempt.
Okay, maybe not that harsh. It is the thought that counts, after all, and people who know me will tell you, honestly, that I have more fun buying gifts for others than I do getting them. Foreals. But seriously, lotion? Why don’t you just hand me a card that says, “I don’t know you at all”?
I blame a lot of this on the idea that gift cards are somehow impersonal. I can tell you, though, a bookstore or Amazon gift card tells me you know me a lot better than a basket full of Jean Nate, because being able to get some free books=my idea of Best Holiday Ever. Gift cards may be impersonal, but let’s face it; so are those “What to buy for Her/Him/the Boss/your neighbor” articles. Just like a few years ago when Amazon promised overnight shipping for Father’s Day gifts so they’d be there in time–but only offered it on the items Amazon apparently thought were appropriate Father’s Day gifts, which included golf equipment but did not include Wolverine graphic novels. And nothing I could do would get those gifts in time, because they’d set the days before FD aside just to ship golfing equipment, plaster ducks, ties, coffee table books about sports, etc.
Lotion is a bad gift. Most women already have a ton of it, because every year somebody forks it over for some holiday. Women who use it have a brand they already like. Women who don’t aren’t going to change because somebody gave it to them for free. And honestly, although I am probably the least easily offended person I know when it comes to matters of gender, I think it is a little offensive, because the implication is there’s nothing I–or any other woman–enjoy more than spending hours in the bathroom. When in fact I enjoy quite a lot of things more.
I’m tired of being told pampering myself involves bubble baths and cloying fragrances. When for men pampering themselves means playing golf or doing cool stuff with their car or reading or whatever. You want to pamper me? Cook. Or, y’know, diamonds are always good too.