Tag Archives: birthday gift

Should I return my birthday present?

My husband got me a beautiful pair of diamond stud earrings for my birthday. He was especially proud of them and himself because he bought them at Tiffany. This is a big step for him because he’s usually reluctant to buy me anything other than inexpensive costume jewelry. I do know, however, that he could get the same quality for about half the price at a store I know in the city. Should I tell him this and return them, or should I keep my mouth shut?

Definitely return them. And the next time he takes you out to dinner, take three bites, throw your fork down in disgust, and drag him off to the grocery store where you can angrily point out that for a lot less money, he could have bought the ingredients and cooked himself.

I hate to perpetuate this whole ridiculous “men are simpletons” thing, where everyone just writes guys off as bumbling fools lumbering around town with their heads up their asses, thinking about nothing but football and boobies. But sometimes, I admit, they do need a gentle guiding hand and a little positive reinforcement. If he’s been shopping for your birthday gift at Family Dollar for the past few years, and he finally went to a real store and bought you some real jewelry, for the love of Christ, why on earth would you discourage him from doing that again? By pointing out that he spent too much, and went to the “wrong” store, you’re sending him a message that he made a mistake, and that he did it wrong, and you’ll probably scare the shit out of him to the point where he doesn’t try again. So if you want to spend the rest of your life wearing Made in China specials that he buys on the sidewalk, go ahead and take them back. Otherwise, say thank you, give him a great big hug and kiss, and enjoy them.

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We’d like people to make a donation instead of giving our kids gifts.

We’re having a birthday party for our twins next month, and I am about to send out the invitations. We are blessed to have more toys and clothes than the children could need, so I was thinking of asking guests to make a contribution to a charity in my children’s names instead of bringing a gift to the party. How can I word this on the invitation?

I’m not going to tell you, because then you’ll do it and I don’t think you should. Public, pious do-gooding makes my teeth hurt.

What if your party guests hate charities? What if someone has a real bone to pick with poor orphans, and you’ve decided that everyone has to give money to the poor-kid orphanage? What if they were planning on re-gifting whatever you gave them last year at their kid’s party, and now you’re forcing them to actually spend money?

Spectacular birthday parties for little kids are like a terrible rash, spreading across neighborhoods and schools. One day you were going to just serve pizza and let a couple kids run around the back yard, and all of a sudden you’re hiring a space shuttle to take the entire school to Mars…I feel like the whole “gift donation” thing just feeds into that competitive baloney.

If you really don’t want more toys and clothes, don’t open the presents at the party. Explain to your kids beforehand that once the party is over, you can open them, they can keep one thing, and that you’re going to give away all the rest to kids whose parents can’t afford to take them to Mars for their birthdays.

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