Gift Ideas for Just About Anyone You Know

It’s just a few days after Thanksgiving, and we’re already deep in the season of the holiday gift guide. Every year, I read just about all of them out of equal parts sick fascination and sheer desperation re: my own lack of ideas. I marvel at all the collections of grilling accessories and floral scarves and feel like an alien because, seriously, who wants that stuff? For him, we have electronic bacon gum. For her, how about bath salts made from real human tears? No?

The Kid on the Subway Train

On my home from the office last night, a kid, about 10 years old or so, got on my subway car and announced that he was selling packages of cookies for a dollar to raise money to buy school supplies. I've heard this song and dance before, of course: A kid gets on the subway car and announces that he or she is selling M&Ms for his or her basketball team, or so that he or she can stay off the street and go to college. It's an easy story to fall for if you haven't already heard it a million times, which I have, and why I've come to train myself to ignore the announcement, burying my head into my book, or whatever I'm reading on my phone.