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Category Archives: Gifts

WHAT A LOVELY BASKET

A curious cat calls out for killing with: So the post earlier today made me wonder…what would be the best possible new neighbor welcome present?  Homemade cookies?  A pie?  Liquor?  And what’s with the salt?? LISTEN: I was thinking about the very same thing.  What a good idea they had, even if it was dreadfully received.  Let’s […]

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FEELGOOD M.D.

An inappropriate situation: My husband (a doctor) and I had a meeting earlier this week with two business partners, one of them a woman, and she leered at him all through the meeting.  What should I do? LISTEN: Ask her to join you in a ménage à trois?

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EQUINE OPPORTUNITY OFFENDER

An ungrateful ingrate whines: My brother in law – who has a LOT of money – always gives us the cheesiest and tackiest presents imaginable.  We have a lot of tasteful decorative things in our home, and it’s like he’s never even been there.  He could afford to buy much nicer presents, and I’ve half […]

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MOSQUITO MOSCATO

A diligent drinker explains: I have a friend who drinks through a straw.  I mean, drinks everything through a straw. Water, milk, cola, cocktails and beer.  The fact that it’s incredibly wasteful notwithstanding, it’s childish and sometimes embarrassing.  He carries straws with him and pouts if he can’t have one.  He left a fine dining […]

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THAT WAS NO LADY

A mistakenly identified reader: Today I took a rather expensive present, a watch, in for an adjustment.  The woman who helped me sold it to my husband the day before and was expecting me.  “You have a very nice brother!” she said, complimenting my gift.  I’m a man, and so is he…and he’s not my […]

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16 TONS

A festive question: Is is polite to write “no gifts, please” on a birthday party invitation? LISTEN: No it is not.  That presupposes someone’s intentions, and that’s always poor form. I recognize that you’re trying to be sort of reverse generous, telling people not to spend money when you just want their company, and that’s lovely. […]

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THANKS FOR NOTHING

A selfless soul suggests: Every year at Christmas, my husband and I trade pleasant, but ultimately useless, gifts with his family.  Things like scarves, gloves and throw blankets – things we each already have. Now, I genuinely like his parents (mine have passed away), but this last year they did something I think is really […]

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BLACK MARKET

A shrewd new parent states: I think sterling silver baby presents are stupid.  They’re useless and they tarnish and nobody ever really uses them.  People should buy toys or diapers or something we really need. LISTEN: What’s the resale value on plastic children’s toys?  Or recently used disposable diapers? That’s what I thought.

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CHAMPAGNE

When in doubt: What’s an appropriate wedding present when you don’t want to buy from a “registry”? What are some ideas for a hostess present – other than wine? What do you bring to a party of friends-of-friends when you don’t know them very well but find yourself invited? LISTEN: The answer to all these […]

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