When I was a little girl my mother told me that the best way to pick a gift for someone was to get them something that you liked. I was 7 and I picked out these plastic, spiked high heels the color of coca cola in a glass over ice, held up to the sun. There were flecks of gold glitter in them and gold elastic straps that went across the toes and the the arch of your foot. They made a scraping tapping sound when you walked in them. They looked like something Barbie would wear and I loved them.
Which is why I sobbed all the way to my friend's birthday party - I loved them so much I did not want to give them to her and I couldn't believe that my mother was forcing me to part with them. And why didn't anyone ever pick those shoes out for me on my birthday?
Not so long ago one of my friends attended her sister's bridal shower and she made the comment, "I wish I could register somewhere for all the stuff I want."
I laughed at her then because she loves pressents like a 7 year old at their birthday party, but I also happened to agree with her.
I love presents that I pick out for myself, but how to let people know exactly what those things are?
Especially since I've had more than one Christmas where it appeared that my father's wife had cleaned out her junk drawer, wrapped up the detritus found there and called it Joyeaux Noel.
I know, I know, it's the thought that counts, but seriously button covers? It was 2002.
Call me an ungrateful bitch, but the reality is that I would rather have someone make a charitable donation in my name than give me stuff I don't want or need. I have enough stuff. Every time I dust I put more of that stuff in a box for the Goodwill because, well, I don't want to dust anymore than I have to...
This is why, even though I am not a huge fan of Amazon.com because of what it's doing to small local business, I AM a huge fan of the Amazon.com Wish List feature.
Whenever I think of something that I actually want like really awesome stainless steel measuring cups that cost almost $30, and that I am too cheap to buy for myself, I go on Amazon and add it to the wish list.
So when my birthday or Christmas rolls around and people ask me what I want I can point them there, to my personal gift registry. And when I get one of those things as a gift I am thrilled because, well, I don't always remember what I put on my wish list, but large and small, it's all stuff that I could use.
Or thought I could at some point - it's important to revisit the wish list every once in a while and remove some stuff like the book Cowboys Are My Weakness, that I added in 2003. I'm totally through that phase. That may be why I got button covers...
Anyway, if you don't have a wish list you should go make one and the next time someone asks you what you'd like - tell them where you're registered.
You'll be glad you did and so will your friends.