i hate it. okay i know it's january 12th and the stress of buying christmas gifts should have passed about two weeks ago, but i postponed buying alicia's gift because she was out of the country and i was out of money. so now i'm the only person retroactively christmas shopping.
what a nightmare. i hate buying presents for people, especially around scheduled holidays such as christmas, valentine's days and birthdays.
there's a tiny window of time in your friendship or relationship with someone when buying them a gift isn't stressful. i think it's about a month or two in. it's been long enough that you know them at least well enough to be able to pick out something they might like. all your inside jokes are fresh, and so in a pinch you can just buy them a joke gift. but it's still soon enough that you have some room for error. if you buy them something they hate, they're usually still eager enough to bolster the relationship that it won't have any devastating effect on it. it's the same when you're dating someone. they could buy you something really terrible, but you'll say "this is WONDERFUL!" and you'll really mean it, because you're so enamored. if only this would last.
people that are forever exempt from this are grandmas. they can buy anything, for anyone, and you're required to like it. if you don't, you don't dare tell them. why would you want to make your cute little old grandma cry. so you suck it up and wear an ugly sweater just to make her smile. (luckily, in this respect, i never knew any of my grandparents.)
but once you get to know someone, buying gifts for them is nothing but a test. it's a test on how well you know them or how well you listen to them, or both. my mom has an uncanny talent for this. i can mention something once and 6 months later, there it'll be, wrapped up for christmas.
i don't have that talent. this afternoon i was trapsing around the palladium, looking for alicia's gift. i had no idea what to do. i thought, oh, alicia likes this certain lipgloss. i was really proud of remembering this. but you can only get it at bath and body works, which doesn't exist here. then i thought, i should get her a piece of jewelry. but we have different taste, and i couldn't find anything that i knew she'd like. and i should be able to! i've known her for three years. the fact that i can't do this yet, and that i can't remember even one thing she's mentioned wanting, is disappointing.
so its january 12th and i still haven't gotten anywhere on her present.
i think i'm going to enact a policy of no gifts with all my friends. its just easier. either that, or joke gifts. anthony and i had this understanding that we would never try to buy each other serious gifts. once i bought him a sweater (which was really sweet, by the way) and he got mad. instead, we buy each other stupid stuff, like chinese checkers. or a 90s rap compilation album. i got him a car-a-day calendar three years running. it was wonderful.