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Category Archives: Gifts

AN ALL PURPOSE SOLUTION

Asked again and again: I have been invited to a birthday party, and the invite says “No Gifts.”  I can’t just go empty handed!  What should I take? LISTEN: A bottle of wine. What kind of present do you get for a co-worker you don’t know very well?  I drew her name in the office […]

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YOU CAN’T ALWAYS WANT WHAT YOU GET

A thoughtful question: My husband is impossible to shop for!  We have an anniversary and his birthday coming up, and the only thing he says he wants is a gift certificate to Amazon.  I hate giving gift cards, especially to my friends and family…what would you do? LISTEN: Aaaaaaand what part of that is impossible? […]

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I ASK FOR NOTHING

A selfless soul searcher suggests: With the Christmas holidays right around the corner, I was wondering if you have any advice on how to tell people that you just don’t want any presents.  I have plenty of stuff, if I see anything I want I just buy it right away, but I don’t have all […]

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DIAMONDS IN THE STREET

From a vigilant citizen: I found a very expensive watch on the subway two days ago, and I’m not sure what I should do.  There’s an inscription – To CK Love SD, but that’s all I have to go on.  Should I put up posters?  Take out a lost and found ad? LISTEN: If you […]

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IT’S LOVELY

A question that does not need to be asked: What do you say when someone paints their house a color you can’t stand? LISTEN: Did they ask your opinion?  No?  Then you don’t say anything. They did?  Uh-oh. Then lie, and tell them it’s lovely.  Quickly add that it’s not a color you’d choose, but […]

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PARIS, TU AS PRIE MA VIE

A traveler’s travail: A very good friend of mine wants to make his 40th birthday party a destination event – he wants everyone to go to Paris to celebrate.  That’s great and all, but that’s expensive!  I want to go, and am going to try to save up for it – but if I can’t […]

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HOT HOUSE

A delightful question: What is the right thing to buy for a housewarming present when the people have everything they need already? LISTEN: Most people would default to a scented (stinking) candle, so I appreciate your asking.  The traditional gifts are bread and salt, though symbolic gifts could include coins, knives and wine. Think about […]

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DONA NOBIS PAINTINGS

An unsolicited solicitation: I am a working artist, and I sell fairly regularly.  I am getting more and more requests from non-profits for donations for their silent auctions and other fundraising schemes…it’s expensive to paint, and I can’t afford to give to all of them.  What can I say to politely decline? LISTEN: You shouldn’t. […]

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MY LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT ________________

An irritation with the process revealed: I was at a fundraiser last night and there was a silent auction.  I bid on a painting, was outbid, and bid again.  Then someone signed the guaranteed purchase line – at this point the auction is supposed to be over.  Well, someone else came up and wrote down […]

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SHE BANGS

A disturbed tenant writes: I live in the middle floor of a rather large apartment complex.  The new upstairs neighbor makes so much noise – I know when you first move in you have to move stuff around and hammer nails into the wall and everything else.  But it’s been months.  And now she has rather […]

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