Friday, December 12, 2008


What is the appropriate response to a gift you instantly dislike? If you are like my mom, no matter how thoughtful or expensive, you will act graciously after opening the present and immediately return or exchange said gift the next day. What were we thinking buying that Donna Karan suit for her, when we knew she would just take it back to Nordstrom's and exchange it for sheets and Christmas ornaments that were on clearance?

I guess my mom rubbed off on me a little bit.

Speaking from experience, no matter how ugly or impractical the gift is, you should never tell your fiance after opening the present, "I'm sorry, but I can't wear it." Such was my mistake while spending Christmas in London with my former fiance.

I remember that she was excited all week and kept making phone calls to see if it was ready. I had an inkling of what she bought me, and I was hoping that I was wrong. . . I wasn't.

I'm lousy at hiding my emotions, and unfortunately for me I was staying with her family, so there was no escape. I remember her sisters crowding around me to take a closer look as I opened the present. I must have had the look of someone who had just received a turd sandwich instead of a gift from a loved one because everyone sat in stunned silence as they watched me open and try on the gift.

In my defense, other than in high school when I wore an earring (gold hoop like many of the other soccer players), I don't do man jewelry. So, the loose fitting silver bracelet engraved with a special message to me was wrong in so many ways. I tried it on, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't bring myself to lie to her and tell her that I'd wear it everyday while I was in Utah and she was back in London. I told her that I would proudly display it at my desk, but under no circumstances could I wear it. Needless to say, it was not the reaction she was hoping for. Unfortunately, there is no way to exchange a personalized engraved bracelet. Merry Christmas!

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