- It's really expensive.
- I won't like it.
Does this make any sense at all? What on Earth am I supposed to do when I get it? If I don't like it, should I be honest? Worse yet, if I do like it, will she believe me when I say so? Is it ungrateful not to like a present which the giver knows you won't like? Maybe I'll just have to appreciate its practicality.
Then, there's the question of exactly what I'll be getting. If you think about it, it's actually quite a difficult set of hints. Sure, there are plenty of cheap things I don't like (Norah Jones, vinegar), and plenty of expensive things I don't need (car, house, private yacht full of pianos), but a combination of the two? It boils down to things she thinks I need. Here's what I've come up with, besides a car full of vinegar:
1. Cell phone. Not only would my parents think I'd be somehow safer with it, but they'd also have a way to contact me at any time. A win-win situation, for them.
2. Golf clubs. Every summer for the last ten years, my mom asks me if I want to go golfing, and I always reply that I don't like golf. Clearly, my attitude would change if only I had my own set of equipment. At the very least, I'd be guilted into using them this summer.
3. A Caribbean cruise/resort. Once, I walked into a travel agency, and asked them what sort of wild adventures they could offer. My choices were: a resort, a resort, a cruise, a resort, and Las Vegas. Now, those choices are perfectly entertaining, but it galls me that we're asked to believe an all-inclusive hotel where we're not supposed to leave the grounds is an "adventure". Besides, I weary of people who can only measure the quality of their vacation by the average daytime temperature. There is life below thirty degrees, you know... and yet, I have an eerie suspicion that this is something my newly-retiring parents want to do "as a family."
If anyone else has ideas, I'd love to hear them. It'll help me brace for what might be the most awkward gift exchange I've ever known.
On the bright side, I don't think my parents even know that I hate monkeys.