I feel weird about getting presents. It’s weird to get things for free from someone because you happen to have met them. Weird.
In case that is too subtle, I have some information for anyone thinking about buying me gifts this year:
- I hate it when you watch me open presents. The pressure of opening gifts is such that even if I love an item, I get performance anxiety and seem lukewarm about it when I have finished with the wrapping paper. I’d much rather open gifts alone in a dark room and send safe thank-yous in which I can phrase my gratitude convincingly.
- I don’t like stuff. I just don’t like it. Sure, like every other American I accumulate it even when I don’t need it. That doesn’t mean I enjoy it; it means I don’t need your help. Often, I find acquiring things oppressive. It feels like gaining weight. I think “when am I going to lose this?” There are a few exceptions, but chances are you won’t think of those special items. Chances are you will give me a decorative knick-knack I have to dust regularly that some poor child in China was paid five cents a week to make. And then it will end up in a landfill. And in the meantime I will resent the item anyway every time I have to move it to clean the table where it will end up.
- If I am not related to you, I don’t want to exchange presents. It’s weird that you want to. Weird.
- Your taste is terrible.
- When you give me something, I have to figure out where it will fit in my closet-limited apartment.
- The reason I don’t have that is probably because I don’t want it.
If after reading this, you still want to get me something, then you didn’t read it carefully enough. Go back and do it again.