dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The Grift of the Magi:

As we saw yesterday, Elly really seems to hate being asked to buy gifts for other people; it, to her, is just another form of the seemingly endless sacrifices that she falsely believes are asked of her. To start with a generality, we should examine her refusal to give someone gift certificates so as to save herself having to think. The word she uses to describe them is "impersonal"; what this, of course, means is that she doesn't want the person she's giving the gift to to think that she slacked off on searching for the right gift. In her mind, braving the scrum is proof of her generosity; where she strays from the path of common sense is that she really doesn't know what to get the people in her life and thus can be made a fool of by an enterprising clerk on the make. As an example, let us look at Phil; she has no idea what fishing gear he has, she won't go to a record store because she's sore at him because he's "wasting his life" as a professional musician and won't ask for a hint; the end result is that he has to put on a plastic smile and say that he actually wanted the Foobiverse equivalent of a Jovan Musk gift set. Does he really want it? Not really. Does he think that she put any thought into her giving? If he's like me, he'd assume that she panicked and grabbed the first plausible thing because she knew nothing about him. The most important question of all is "Would a girt card have been a better idea?" The answer, of course, is "Why, yes, it would have been." With a voucher or card, he could get what he needed when he needed it instead of dealing with the disappointing results of Elly's lack of concern and poor sales resistance. The same sinister process took place when she went somewhere she had no real business being: Therese's baby shower. Just as she and John love to remind her children that they owe them something in return for room and board, she loves to harp on how people should accept whatever needless thing her empty brain can conceive of giving them. It also explains why a sister of the saleslady from Cathy was able to convince Mike to buy a Valentine's Day gift for about ten or fifteen people.
Tags: one big oblivious family, x-ing out xmas.

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