Gifts

Do You Owe a Present to a Bride Who Owes You Money?

In today’s Carolyn Hax advice column at the Washington Post, someone wants to know whether they need to get a wedding gift for a deadbeat bride who happens to also be a relative. As in all good advice-column questions, you can feel the heat of the writer’s anger rising in waves off the screen:

Dear Carolyn:

Do I buy the bride-to-be a wedding gift, even though she owes me money she borrowed and never paid back? I’m not the only person to whom she owes money, by the way. It’s like we’re paying for her wedding because she’s kept the money and it rankles to have to fork out more cash to buy a gift. It complicates matters that she’s a family member. Is there a polite way to say your wedding gift is that you don’t have to pay me back?

J.

I love this question because the letter writer “J.” clearly believes the answer should be “No, Of Course You Shouldn’t Have To Get This Dumbquat A Present; How Dare She Get Married When She Owes You Money? She Should Be Glad You’re Even Going To Her Farce of a Ceremony.” J. is writing because J.–who I will assign the gender ze/zir for clarity’s sake–wants zir righteous indignation confirmed. I love righteous indignation. I love how enraged entitled people get when faced with other people’s entitlement. 

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CEO Wins Chance to get Killed By George RR Martin

In a perfect confluence of events, a wolf-loving Michigan CEO has won the right to be killed off by renowned wolf-aggrandizing author George R.R. Martin. Responding to a competitive fundraising call, Dr. Dave Cotton’s family made a $20,000 donation to a wolf-related charity in his honor — for father’s day. (Aww!)

Mike Cotton, chief operating officer of Meridian Health Plan and one of Dr. Cotton’s three sons, said his father had an affinity for wolves before he started reading Martin’s fantasy series, “A Song of Fire and Ice,” which was first published in 1996.

“We saw this crowdfunding come up online and we thought it would be perfect for his love of wolves,” Mike Cotton told ABC News. Mike’s brother, Sean, who is an administrative officer at the family-operated company, said their father loves the books and watches the HBO series “avidly.”

“He’s always referred to himself as a lone wolf,” he said of his father.

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This Woman Does Not Want to Pay For You To Swim With Dolphins

On Swimmingly, Rachel Sugar has a hilarious rant about “honeyfunds”, wherein wedding guests donate to the couples’ honeymoon fund as a wedding gift:

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Inventor of Mother’s Day Absolves You of Buying Stuff

Because I am the best daughter in the world, this is about the time every year where I look at my calendar, curse myself for procrastinating, and then wonder who invented Mother’s Day, anyway. Well, according to Mental Floss, Mother’s Day was invented by Anna Jarvis in 1908, as a way to memorialize her own mother, who had herself invented a thing called Mother’s Friendship Day during the Civil War, as a way to bring together moms from both the Union and the Confederacy. OK FINE.

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Last Minute Gift Ideas: Manicures for Mother’s Day!

Scrambling for something nice to do for your mom who happens to live in the DC area? How about sending a manicure to her door courtesy of Uber?

THE DETAILS

  • Cost = $35
  • Each UberMANI includes one 30 min. water-less manicure complete with polish color removal, nail file and buff, cuticle treatment, hand massage, and nail polish application
  • Choose from one of 8 Julep nail polish colors.
  • Keep a brand-new bottle of Julep nail polish color – perfect for touch ups!
  • No cash required (and no need to tip)! Your UberMANI will be charged to the credit card, PayPal or Google Wallet tied to your Uber account

Hey, it’s cheaper than flowers. And every time she sees her hands she’ll think of you!

(Thanks for the tip, Bec!)

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What DON’T We Want Sent to Us Monthly in a Box?

Once you have a baby, you have a lot more dinner parties, or at least more nights spent in mismatched chairs around your kitchen table drinking leftover white wine and sake and eating take out with your friends. On one of these recent nights at my place, a friend brought up the now inescapable trend of Monthly Boxes o’ Stuff, like Birchbox and Ipsy (cosmetics), NatureBox (snacks), BarkBox (cosmetics AND snacks — for dogs!), and so on.

Wouldn’t it be great, I wondered, tipsy on half a glass of Riesling, to have a Period Box? Once a month, it would show up, much like your period itself, only helpfully, with rom coms, tearjerker books, dark chocolate, and the occasional pad / tampon / Diva cup / whatever? My friends cheered the idea, told me I should go ahead and make my fortune. But when I took the zillion dollar plan to social media, other friends dealt my dream a boot to the face. Apparently HelloFlo and Le Parcel have already cornered the menstrual market. (Though both services are awfully pastel; would anyone pay for a more punk rock version? Just asking.)

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Item #1 in Our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: The Vagisoft Blanket

Okay we do not have a gift guide for Valentine’s Day but if we did, this curiously-named fleece blanket would be at the top.

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Jelly Beans For Men Who Like Complex Flavors

Thank you Businessweek for the hot tip that Jelly Belly is now making jelly beans for the patriarchy. The new flavors are BEER and chocolate-covered Tabasco. How masculine.

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In Defense of the Gift Certificate

For the longest time, I felt bad about offering gift certificates to friends and family when the holiday season rolled around. They had a reputation as the lazy person’s gift of choice: They were impersonal, they were anything but unique, and there was something crass—given our long tradition of removing price tags from gifts and pretending that their exact value is unknown to the recipient – about their dollar amount being displayed so flagrantly.

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The Best Gift I Ever Gave Cost $2

The best gift I ever gave was a ladle that cost $2 and came from the hardware store.

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Is Cash The Best Christmas Present? Economists Weigh In

An economic research forum in Chicago asked their panel of expert economists to weigh in on the following theory:

“Giving specific presents as holiday gifts is inefficient, because recipients could satisfy their preferences much better with cash.”

Ha! Most of them disagreed (55%, 22% “uncertain”), but I do love some of their responses:

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Gift for Teacher

“Because you don’t know what everyone else is giving,” says Kim Egan, a mother of two in Santa Monica, Calif. “You don’t want to under-give. You don’t want to over-give.”

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