Thursday, November 24, 2011

Presents for Me and You

by Gigi

I finished my last chemotherapy treatment last week, so I bought myself these fantastic Emma Peel style silver boots as a present to myself to celebrate.

The rest of this blog post has nothing to do with boots or awesome 1960s TV characters, but one has to get the important things out of the way first.

Instead, I'm going to explain why I've never purchased a single present off of a registry list.

I'm sorry, but I can't do it. It's too impersonal. If you're my friend and you've gotten married or had a baby since I've known you, you already know this to be the case. I might have found a gift for you on Etsy or designed something for you myself—but whatever it was, I thought of you when I saw it. That's important to me.

I realize there's a point to gift registries when people get married and have babies. People need specific items at these life-changing junctures. But in the modern world and the reality I live in, nobody was living with their parents until they got married; everyone had already accumulated more than enough stuff by the time they got married and started having babies. I want to be a part of the lives of my friends, but I don't want it to be through buying them a random product for their kitchen that has no significance except that it looked nice while they were walking around Crate and Barrel with a registry scanner.

Don't get me wrong. If one of my friends needed something they couldn't afford, I would act differently. But living in such an affluent society, this hasn't been the case. I'm spoiled with far too many objects that I don't really need, as are the people around me. Did I need those silver boots? Of course not. But they're special to me because when I was diagnosed with cancer I told myself I'd survive it and come out stronger than ever—and feeling strong and sexy like a kick-ass heroine helps me get there.

If I'm buying a present either for myself or for a friend, I want it to be personal like that. Often it's even an experience rather than a physical object. For the holidays, I take the same approach. It takes a while to find what I'm looking for, but it's worth it.


Juliet Blackwell said...

I couldn't agree more. It actually *shocked* me to see that there are now registries for LITTLE KIDS at some big stores like Target. It seems so cynical, somehow...I know kids write lists for Santa, but the registry seems to take it waaaay too far.
I *love* those boots. They seem like the perfect kick-ass symbol of getting through this nasty cancer thing. Love them, and love you! Happy Thanksgiving!

Leslie said...

I agree. The registries are almost as bad as the question you get from CLOSE family members, "What do you want?" (eliciting negative responses from me!) I appreciate the gesture of a surprise, one chosen just for me.

Love the boots, but not as much as hearing your chemo is done. That is Thanksgiving-worthy!

Camille Minichino said...

There are even CASH registries now where you can simply contribute to the couple's honeymoon trip. No thanks.

but BIG thanks to you Gigi, for brightening our lives even when yours gets a little dim, and to all the Pens for week after week of excellent conversation!

Martha Flynn said...

I've used registries for you know...the weddings of second cousins that I can't attend...but I recently received a link for someone's kid's Christmas registry and my eye roll was pretty epic.

Unknown said...

Gigi--LOVE the boots :)

Okay, I confess I use registries. Usually for people I don't know well, such as work associates etc.

Kid's xmas registry? That's taking things to a new level. OTOH, I ask my kids what they want. mostly because my dollars are limited and I want to know what they *reallY* want. I save the special presents for little things. :)

Gigi Pandian said...

I'm glad to see you don't think I'm crazy. I was a little worried! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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