Sunday, July 13, 2008

When your gift unfurls, when your talent becomes apparent...

Gift registries are stressful. For starters I admit to being a bit ambivalent toward buying people presents they have picked out themselves. Add to that the stress of trying to make sense of the printed registry as you navigate your way around what is typically a huge box store. I have a hard enough time just finding the basic things I buy on a regular basis at a big “we sell everything” store. Things like peanut butter and toothbrushes are never where I'd expect them to be. Now in accordance with the wishes of somebody I presumably want to make happy, I have to track down the exact make and model of things I have never given a second glance at such places – pizza pans, waffle makers, suede throw pillows.

My friend Karin is getting married to a great guy named Dave, and the shower is coming up. As in, the shower is tomorrow. Like a total a-hole I realized just yesterday evening that I hadn't RSVP'd yet, OR purchased a gift, though I have had ample time to do both. So when toxic adhesive fumes left me feeling faint and nauseous at work today and I was ordered to go home early, I took the opportunity to stop at Target where they are registered and get them a shower gift like a good friend.

I don't know if it was the fumes (I am thinking it was the fumes), but as I made my way around the store I'll be damned if I could find anything on their list. I came close several times – some huge knife that was the same brand and size, but the registry indicated red, and this was clearly black. I found the pizza pans and thought I was done, but no – they seemed to have every size larger and smaller than the ones on my blue printed page. What the hell is a "scent diffuser stick holder?" Fuck if I know, but the sheet said I would find it in aisle B8 and I was getting desperate and feeling sick to my stomach. I found the "diffuser section" but none of the odd scented sticks matched the dreaded registry code. I scanned the sheet again and saw "Buddha pillar holder" as something that could be found in aisle B9 and therefore should be directly behind me. I turn around slowly for fear that any sudden movements might scare it off. Luck is apparently on my side and I easily locate it. It is a fairly ample Buddha statue holding a saucer for a candle. There is only one in stock and it is bigger and heavier than I expected. I put it in my plastic basket and feel the handle bend under its weight and head for the check out. Whew! Present found!

When I take it up to the register, I ask the sales woman to double check and make sure it's the exact thing they registered for. "It seems like their taste," I say to her, "But I just want to make sure." She looks at the statue and while glancing at the registry says, "How old are they?" Which I think is an odd question. It's not like I'm purchasing his n' hers Dora the Explorer and Go! Diego Go! kick scooters. This is clearly a decorative piece that an engaged couple might display in their home. "They're both about thirty," I say. She responds, "Okay that's on the list... I mean if it's their style that's fine. I wouldn't want Buddha in my house, you know?" I am not sure if this is meant as a simple comment on taste differences or an anti-Buddhist affront, but I decide it's best to let it go. I don't realize until I get home that in my haste and confusion I have not purchased a wedding shower card. Nor have I abided by the shower’s “garden theme:” I was to bring some seeds or flowers as well as a gift. Luckily, my sister has a great collection of all occasion cards, and I find a cute tasteful one, blank inside, with a little girl holding a heart on the front. I fill it out:

Karin and Dave –
Best wishes and congratulations to you both.
Take care of each other.
I'm sorry I wrapped your gift like a retard.

Because I have wrapped their gift like a retard. And I feel my best defense is to come clean about it right here in the card. It would be worse if they thought I was under the impression that the gift looked really nice. I'm not a great present wrapper, but usually I do okay. But this odd shaped statue-thing just did not lend itself to an easy wrapping job. I found a giant gift bag among my sister's ample arsenal of wrapping supplies – one of only two that looked big enough. It pictures a white rabbit riding a carrot through a blue, partially cloudy sky. I am assuming it is Easter related. My only other choice was one with babies on it, and it seems far more inappropriate to bring that to a wedding shower than one with a carrot rocket riding Easter bunny. After all, with the baby bag I'm either saying, "Now that yer hitched, bring on the baby makin!" or "What kind of shower was this again?"

In my defense, I did find some floral printed wrapping paper – which I wrapped the Buddha in much like a fish stand merchant might wrap a striped bass down at the wharf. I then stuff pink and silver tissue paper in the bag to cushion the present. I feel that despite my lackluster presentation, I'm at least in line with the theme thanks to the flower paper, and the contents, no matter how oddly sized and badly wrapped, is something they very much wanted to have. And that's got to count as much as the thought, right? Let's hope so...

Congratulations Karin and Dave! Aren't you glad you're friends with the likes of me?

1 comment:

D'Anne Witkowski said...

This is insulting to retards and therefore not politically correct. For shame.

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