Lesson in Gift Giving
had been dating Ben for a little over two months. She quite enjoyed
his company but was beginning
to realize he was not the man for her. She wasn't so much physically
attracted to him as she was entertained by his offbeat sense of humor
and his sense of the ridiculous. They'd had some great times together
but she was contemplating giving him the "let's just be friends" speech.
On the night of her twenty-eighth birthday, Ben told her he
had something special in store for her. Heather felt a twinge
of discomfort but told herself she was overreacting. Ben tended
to over-dramatize ordinary events, which was part of what made
him fun. They enjoyed a fabulous dinner at a beautiful restaurant,
then returned to Ben's place so he could present her with his
Heather was amused to discover that Ben had set up a treasure
hunt in his apartment. In each of the rooms he'd planted objects
containing small folded notes. On each note he's written an obscure
message which would lead her to the next clue. Ben pointed out
the location of the first clue, then left her to discover the
began to mount as she reached the sixth clue. She found it
in Ben's walk-in closet, just after she stumbled
across three long dart blowers hidden behind his clothes. She'd
already noticed the gun cases under the bed. At that moment Ben
called out from the living room, "As soon as you find it,
I'll shoot us!" Her imagination went into overdrive.
Two minutes later she found the box. It was large and beautifully
wrapped. Inside it was a smaller box, and inside that one a third.
When she opened the fourth box she saw the diamond ring. Heather
By now Ben was beside
her. He looked at her face and decided she was overcome with
gratitude. "You don't have to say
anything now," he murmured. "Just nod if you want to
Heather calculated her chances. Did he have any poison darts
handy? Could she reach the front door before he opened a gun
case? No, she decided. She'd have to tough it out.
"What on earth possessed you to buy this for me?" she
Ben hesitated but
quickly recovered. "It doesn't have to
be an engagement ring," he backpedaled. "Just accept
it as a birthday gift. You can always change your mind later."
"But I can't accept something like this," Heather
explained. "I can't stand wearing jewelry."
Ben was so caught up in his fantasy that he hadn't noticed the
blatantly obvious. On both counts.
Heather was relieved to discover that the only shooting Ben
intended that night was with his camera. But the celebratory
mood was over and she left shortly afterwards, minus the ring.
She didn't go out with Ben again.
Have you ever miscalculated with a gift? Perhaps not as blatantly
as Ben did but there may have been times when you gave the wrong
thing to the right person or the right thing to the wrong person.
And then wondered why they didn't seem particularly grateful.
Gift giving involves thought and a certain amount of premeditation.
If you don't know what to buy, ask. It doesn't have to be the
person himself (or herself); you can ask their father, mother,
sister or best friend. Just make sure it's someone who knows
them well and can tell you what they would like. And don't count
on someone's response on a previous occasion. Many people won't
tell you if they don't appreciate a gift in an effort to spare
Putting thought into your gift selection is usually worth the
effort. And perhaps the best thing about receiving a gift you
love is the feeling that the other person knows you so well that
they knew exactly what to choose.
Marguerite Bonneville is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
(NLP) whose passion is publishing information online. She is a contributing
writer at http://www.romantic-gift-ideas-online.com,
a resource site dedicated to helping visitors find the perfect romantic