Genetic Gift-Giving and My Abhorrent Lack of Humility

I take great pride in my gift giving ability. If you’re one of my best friends and it’s your birthday, Christmas, Hanukah, or President’s Day I will go out of my way to find a gift that is perfectly suited to your personality and interests. It might be several books I think you will like (what the hell do you mean you haven’t read everything by V.E. Schwab?), or perhaps some sort of memorabilia related to a television show I know you love (it is my mission in life to figure out how to procure an actual Tardis. Just you wait) or possibly a DVD that I think you’ll enjoy (one day you will thank me for this and that day will probably occur when the power goes out and all you have is 80% battery on your laptop and the DVD I gave you for your Hanukah. You’re welcome—my brother who claims DVD’s are obsolete will be sorry when this happens to him). No matter what I’ve decided to gift you with after hours of brainstorming and researching, I will likely also include a framed photograph that immortalizes our friendship. I will then throw it all in the fanciest and sparkliest gift bag I can find and attach a sappy card declaring that President’s Day makes me realize just how much your friendship means to me. Boom. Best. Gift. Ever.

I give the world’s best gifts. Though I suppose I can’t take all the credit. It’s genetic. I’ve inherited this wonderful quality from my Dad. 

            Highlights from the Dad’s Gifts Archive:

  • A typewriter- it’s common knowledge that every writer should have at least three typewriters. Though the world thrusts more efficient and modern devices upon us, the typewriter is a reliable classic. Typewriters don’t break as easily when you drop them and there’s no need to attach a printer. Your typewriter is the freaking printer! You have one copy of everything and you just have to make sure you don’t fuck up when you’re typing. It is both simple and instills a sense of precision into the writer. My only problem is I still haven’t been able to figure out how to get Wi-Fi on it. For some reason this is the one thing Google doesn’t have the answer to.
  • A Bonsai Tree- like many young girls, upon discovering that unicorns were mythical creatures and it was near impossible to acquire one, I decided that I wanted a pony instead. Now obviously a tiny tree is not even remotely related to a pony unless you count the fact that they are both smaller versions of their future selves (I don’t). At this point in my mid-twenties I realize the implausibility of me properly caring for a pony. Though, unreasonably I might still pine for a pony to call my own (I would name her Sally the Unicorn) I’ve decided that Dad buying me a tree is a more a more sensible gift. This makes us even and he no longer owes me a pony. (Unless this was a test to see if I could take care of a mini tree before you get me the pony. Dad, I will still accept a pony—provided I can resuscitate my tree.)
  • Life-Size Stuffed Pink Power Ranger- this is by far the most memorable gift (aside from going halfsies on the whole gift of life thing) that my Dad has ever given me. Once upon a time five-year-old Kylie was in a Toys R’ Us and fell down on her knees, begging for the acquisition of the enormous stuffed doll form of her hero. The answer was, of course, no. And she forgot about it. Even as a child, I had an unusually short attention span. On the eve of my fifth birthday Dad proclaimed I would have to find my gift. Naturally the next day I sprung out of bed before the sun was even up, ready to find this sucker. I searched all the places I could realistically search on my own and then it was time to bring in reinforcement. I dragged my younger sister out of bed, confused and bleary-eyed. Together we had the strength of a weak old man. Thus we managed to lift the footstool and move the television set (this was 1995 so you should be picturing this massive, thick, heavy black box that was the current technology). Nothing. Ultimately we gave in and declared our defeat to a half-asleep Dad. He made us get dressed and have breakfast before telling me I had to make my bed and then he would give me my gift. I distinctly remember telling him, “Are you freaking kidding me? I’m five. I don’t know how to make my bed.” Nevertheless, I stomped off to my room. And there, resting on top of my unmade Little Mermaid comforter and sheets was a giant, life-size, stuffed Pink Power Ranger doll. I dragged that thing around with me until I was nine. (Okay, fine. I was twelve when she finally ripped and I was forced to throw her out.)

It is my inheritance to be the world’s best gift giver. I wear this crown proudly—I bought it for myself. It has purple rhinestones and came with a heartfelt card. I was feeling sentimental on Lincoln’s birthday this year…



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