Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


This isn't our gift-giving model around here, but this has to be one of the best examples of viral marketing I've seen.

Okay, here's a pet peeve: what is it with women buying gifts for themselves "from" their husbands? If you buy it yourself, it isn't a present. Also: what is it with couples buying themselves a joint present? That's not a present, it's a joint purchase. A present is something given.

We're not all that big on presents. I got it into my head at a young age that it was greedy to show too much interest in presents, and so I'm pretty low-key about them (both receiving and giving). In fact, it's only over these past few years that I've realized that it's not in poor taste to open a gift in front of the person who gave it to you. (I don't know where this particular hang-up came from.) It's only since I had children to watch opening presents that I've come to understand that presents aren't just about materialism.


Anonymous said...

I buy my own presents for hubby to's just easier! :)

Mark Adams said...

Funny story: My mother-in-law sent out a link to that video to a number of members of the family.

While the video is funny, what especially tickled me was that in the past two years I have gotten my wife both a vacuum and RAM for her laptop and she was genuinely thrilled (or at least a good actress who has stayed in character for a long time).

Her laptop was a hand-me-down and every night I could hear her shouting at it due to its sluggish performance. So she was absolutly delighted the first she fired it up with 1 GB of RAM and could run multiple applications without it stalling

The vacuum was actually a Roomba and she was very excited at the prospect that she could turn it on, go run errands, and return to a fully vacuumed apartment.

In any event, men know that not all women demand shiny trinkets for each and every event requiring a gift (I don't deny that every woman needs to be made to feel like a queen sometimes). Some of them, at least, are perfectly happy with a practical gift that makes a positive difference in their day to day lives.

Anonymous said...

I do see your point about buying for yourself. I happen to have a fab-o gift-buying husband so I don't tend to do that anyway. But I can envision a situation where a woman buying her own gift that will make her happy and telling her husband he's off the hook would be a very nice gift. From her, to him.

The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

Well, Eudoxus/A Philosopher and I do the joint Gift From Us To Us thing, but we've been doing joint birthdays since high school. (Our nerdy group of friends thew parties for each other, and since we were born a few days apart, they just threw one for the two of us each year. Yes, we pretty much have an arranged marriage.)

I think it's not so much whether one's wife would actually appreciate (say) a vacuum or RAM, but the point that gift-giving is freighted with symbolism, and so can be the occasion for offense, whether intended on some level or not. I have family members, for instance, who every year give cheap, hard-used, and often too-small hand-me-downs to my children, stuffed in a recycled gift bag. One year one girl received a torn, stained, and too-small coat that hadn't even been washed. This year there was inedibly stale candy, put in an old cookie tin, and a 10-cent tube of bubble liquid that had already been opened. These gifts have contributed to an already-present family rift, not because I want them to give pricey presents to my children, but because they're the equivalent of giving an abdominal exerciser to your wife: you might as well just send a card that says "I don't like your children."

(P.S. Speaking of gifts, Offspring #2 wrote a nice thank you note, but I haven't gotten it in the mail yet. She really really liked her gift.)

lissla lissar said...

We watched that clip yesterday, and my husband is grateful that I don't want diamonds all the time. His comment: "Diamonds aren't a thoughtful gift. They're an expensive gift with a supposedly guaranteed outcome."

The real (and non-diamond-marketing end) should be: don't get your wife something because you think it's REALLY COOL. Or funny. Those are known as gifts for yourself.

mrsdarwin said...


True story: one year I got diamond earrings for Christmas, and nine months later I got a baby too.

CMinor said...

I wouldn't object to a really cool high-tech vacuum cleaner. In fact, I've mad a point of dropping the name "Kirby" around my hubby just in case he has the idea.

Kyle Cupp said...

Wow. That video really captured the Dog House as I remember it. Only complaint: the guards didn't let us talk as much as is portayed in the film, but I guess the writer and director needed more speaking to advance the plot.

lissla lissar said...

I wonder what would happen if I dropped the name, "Roomba", around here.

Probably nothing, since we got a Dyson in the summer. I think I've used up my expensive vacuum cleaner quota for the next five years.

Anonymous said...

The one gentlman was correct, "we" are all guilty of something.
I was leaving a Dominican Convent Chapel one day ( after making a Holy Hour )
and I was walking down the sidewalk minding my own business. I heard this voice yelling to
me to stop ( I naturally looked up in the sky at first, after all I was on Church Property, and it could of been the One yelling at me from above ), and I did eventually turned around and their was this Dominican Friar running down the sidewalk ( He was in His 70's, and man, he could
could run ) and He caught up with me. He asked if I would join the Dominican Lay Fraternity, which I said yes to the Good Father. I found out a while later about dogs being the somewhat mascot of the Dominican Order, as I sit in the corner of the Dog House at the Dominican Lay Fraternity Chapter wondering where I went wrong in life and how I could get out????
Many years later, and resigining myself to life imprisonment, in the dog kennel fenced in section of the Lay Fraternity. I am pondering what pennance I can do to lessen my time there???