Recent events have left me looking back on life and reviewing things somewhat. For instance, my birthday came and went this last November and not a single soul in my household noticed. Not one word was uttered to me aside from a flood of well wishes from friends and family online etc. for days. Now, to be fair and honest we had a lot going on - chiefly among them my son being taken by ambulance for seizures.
As a point of full disclosure, I did assure my Wife that the matter was not a big deal. There was a lot of things going on and I wasn't about to go full on diva to make them all about me. I am not that conceited or that important, even in my own estimation. But it still did hurt.
But all this did get me to thinking on a lot of other holidays. It brought to mind Christmas gatherings, Birthdays; you name it. One thing a lot of them had in common was disappointment. Now I am not bemoaning a lack of gifts or that anything I ever received wasn't appreciated. I have always been happy to receive anything but over the years have come to avoid opportunities for others to give them.
I realize this will sound bad no matter how I say it, so, let me just try to get this bit out of the way. People have never seemed to take the time to really get to know me. It is not a biased view or opinion - it is a fact. This includes family, friends, pretty much everyone (with a few precious exemptions who know who they are).
People would always expect me to be exploding with joy that their gift was some prized jewel. Yet it wouldn't have any real appeal or value to me. I could care less about the money involved. What mattered to me was the heart of the gift, the intent. I can recall some of the most cherished gifts ever given to me and they all held importance in my heart because of who gave them, their meaning or some other arbitrary aspect. The point being; I could be happy with a free give away token or the ball out of an old-fashioned computer mouse. I am far from what you could describe as high-maintenance.
What I am trying to get at is that so many people don't think before they gift. And if they do think it is only some generic assumption that really only serves as a 'what will be convenient for me.' Instead it should be about deciding what might be meaningful to the recipient.
You don't even have to give someone a gift. Honest. But, and I can only speak for myself, when you receive a gift it is possible to appreciate the gesture, be grateful, and yet still feel guilty that you can't give the giver the big reaction they are expecting.
I don't know if this is therapy or curiosity or what but I'd like to try a little experiment. Let's see how well you know me with a little hypothetical holiday gift giving (this might be the best gift you can give and it is free). The rules are simple; money is not an issue, nor is availability. All you need do is offer up what you think might be a welcome gift and I'll see if I can reciprocate. Then we can compare notes to see if we both would have enjoyed it or not.