HOW TO DEAL WITH TRULY HEINOUS GIFTS


The dawn of this year has hopefully healed you of ‘end of year ennui’, a condition of formidable boredom that attacks people during the last six days of the year. Victims become itchy of eye, bloated of belly, moist of lip, lazy of soul and get encased in a bubble of warm flatulence and/or heartburn. This is all cleared away by the New Year, usually, so if you’re still wallowing in it, seek either psychospiritual advice, or just chill and hope for it go away.

2011 is fresh faced, a-slosh with the sap of youth meaning that most people are still feeling the bubbly generosity of Christmas, which was like a week ago. Cupid and his associates are still jitterbugging among us, gladdening hearts and loosening wallets.

Unfortunately, some of the presents that were (and that continue to be) exchanged are so heinous, so desperately bad that one needs to buy newspapers and read articles that offer advice on how they can deal with and maybe eventually enjoy said presents.

Here is hastily assembled advice that may save your friendship, peace of mind and clean police record from being sullied with a murder charge.

Sell it: This one is a bit obvious. When you receive a hopelessly bad present, do not despair, for there is a quick (or maybe slow) buck to be made. While scowling at the hairy pair of boots that your sister-in-law has bought you, don’t dwell on how it might come to life at any moment. Never forget that one woman’s devil-hoof boot is another’s Haute couture. Find a person to whom the gift isn’t offensive and make some money.

Charity: Even more obvious. Give the awful thing to somebody who is needy enough to disregard its nastiness. Say you receive a dress that insults all the senses that you’ve got and even some of those that you haven’t; this no reason for you to start a blood feud. Just hand it to somebody who has the sense to appreciate serviceable fabric. People generally care too much about the shape and feel in which their clothing comes- beggars logic.

Give it back: If you don’t want to let the bearer of the wretched object off the hook, shove it back at them. This way, they can get their money back if they have a receipt, or express their lack of taste by happily keeping it. If however it’s a hangover and you’re simply bitter about the various and unaccountable for aches all over your body, stop being ungrateful and rethink your life principles. Who goes around trying to return hangovers? What sort of person is so ungrateful as to try to hurt the providers of liquor? A person who is not cool, that’s who.

Three R’s: Rework, reshape, redeem; very easy. Seeing as you find yourself in extreme disagreement with the workmanship of the creator of your gift, follow the 3R’s. An ugly bubble dress can be slashed at the bottom with amazing results, bad pen holders can be smashed against walls when a dramatic display of anger is called for and bad shirts can be made into cat blankets, especially if the cat looks fit to burst on account of the kittens that it’s carrying.

Regift: Send the bundle of ugliness on its way and help it to fulfill its purpose (which is to cause the rolling of eyes) by re-gifting. If you have this one acquaintance who is forever manipulating you into buying them tasteful presents by giving you mediocre ones, send them the bad gift. This might shock them into severing all ties with you (and then again it might not) but it’s surely worth a try.

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