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    GIFT

    A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.

    Thomas A Kempis.


    The only gift is a portion of thyself.

    R.W. Emerson.


    Commentary

    What not to Buy Your Wife: Although the only person a man usually shops for is his wife, the whole experience is a stressful one. Many a man has felt extreme frigid temperatures for a long period based on a poor present decision. As a veteran of these wars, I'm still not sure what to buy my wife, but I'll pass on what not to buy her:

    1. Don't buy anything that plugs in. Anything that requires electricity is seen as utilitarian.
    2. Don't buy clothing that involves sizes. The chances are one in seven thousand that you will get her size right, and your wife will be offended the other 6999 times. "Do I look like a size 16?" she'll say. Too small a size doesn't cut it either: "I haven't worn a size 8 in 20 years!"
    3. Avoid all things useful. The new silver polish advertised to save hundreds of hours is not going to win you any brownie points.
    4. Don't buy anything that involves weight loss or self-improvement. She'll perceive a six-month membership to a diet center as a suggestion that's she's overweight.
    5. Don't buy jewelry. The jewelry your wife wants, you can't afford. And the jewelry you can afford, she doesn't want.
    6. And, guys, do not fall into the traditional trap of buying her frilly underwear. Your idea of the kind your wife should wear and what she actually wears are light years apart.
    7. Finally, don't spend too much. "How do you think we're going to afford that?" she'll ask. But don't spend too little. She won't say anything, but she'll think, "Is that all I'm worth?"

    Herb Forst in Cross River, NY, Patent Trader, in Reader's Digest, p. 69.


    An American Express survey about Christmas gifts found that the fruitcake was chosen most often (31%) from a list of "worst" holiday gifts. It even finished ahead of "no gift at all." When asked how to dispose of a bad gift, 30% would hide it in the closet, 21% would return it, and 19% would give it away. This suggests that the Christmas fruitcake might get recycled as a gift for the host of New Year's party.

    Resource, Mar/Apr, 1990.