An Illness

I have an illness. It’s some mysterious disease that has plagued me as long as I can remember. The symptoms include the following (in this order):

Intense thinking
Driven searching
Becoming overwhelmed
Aimless wandering
Freezing up
Utter despair

This whole process takes place in under two hours. Sounds pretty bad, huh? Well, it is. I don’t know what the scientific term for this is but the lay person may call it something as simple as “BUYING A GIFT.”

I have had a major case of this my entire life. A few examples:

I was six and for her birthday, everyone gave my best friend Barbies. I gave her Barbie lipstick…that is, lipstick for Barbie. Not only a weak gift, but it didn’t even work when we tried it in front of everyone.

I was nine and was invited to a birthday party for the daughter of one of my dad’s friends. I didn’t even know her but had $5.00 to spend on her gift. I searched the three toy aisles at Fred Meyer for an hour trying to find something great. I ended up buying plastic glow-in-the-dark bracelets. The party was a huge social event with dinner and clowns and all her other gifts included fancy clothes and a doll house.

While Rob and I were dating, I went to Sea World with my family. I wanted to bring him home a souvenir, but nothing significant because, at the time, we weren’t on the best of terms. In fact, I thought that me going away for a week would either make or break us. Anyway, I walked around the gift shop for 45 minutes trying to find something and ended up getting some play goo stuff with an orca whale embedded in it. I just thought boys like weird, gross stuff. When i gave it to him he said, “Slime? You got me slime? Is this supposed to tell me something? Do I deserve slime? Do you think I’M slime?”

I always have the best intentions. I really care about the people I buy gifts for and want the present to be personal and something they’d enjoy. After going through all of this, as I’m leaving the store after purchasing the gift, I regret what I chose 95% of the time.

I know gift cards seem like a cure to my illness, but those just aren’t fun to buy. I know, I know, what I go through isn’t fun, either. In fact, it’s miserable. But I always go into it thinking it will be.


2 thoughts on “An Illness

  1. Oh Julie, I’m so glad someone else goes through the same sort of “illness” I go through for every occassion! I HATE shopping for Dan. I always get excited to get him something, and then wish I hadn’t as soon as I get it home, and especially after he opens it. I related to this post so well…

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