Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Gifts We Don't Keep Giving

best gold collar necklace aurate

I'm panic-browsing an online collection of fine gold collar necklaces because last night My Love insisted we don't exchange gifts this Christmas. That's how I know I am screwed.

You know the drill. The spouse says they don't want you to get them anything for an anniversary or a birthday or Opening Day of Baseball Season, so you don't. Then the big day rolls around and you find some special, long-coveted desire of your heart neatly wrapped in a bow on the kitchen counter next to your morning bowl of bran pellets. 


I sigh because I wish that was the case for me.

When My Love pulls the "no gift" routine on me, it's never because she's secretly bought me a Rickenbacker bass or a fat-tire electric bike. It's because she's purchased a gift for "us." Worse, it's not even one she can wear during a very special and private happy hour.

(Oh, this golden beauty of a collar necklace. It's called The Muse. What is not My Love, but my muse, yes?)

HALSTON X AURATE: The Muse Gold Collar Necklace

Anyway, back to what My Love's bought me. I mean "us."

One year, it was two pairs of snowshoes. I'm still not exactly sure the inspiration behind this choice because she knows I loathe the cold and snow. I've even stopped putting ice in my cocktails.

"I thought it'd be fun," she said, giving me a look of optimism that warmly glowed with visions of healthy exercise and fond memories in conditions akin to a well-diggers' pinkie toe.

All I can say is thank you, Sen. Manchin and your fossil fuel lust, for global warming. Those snowshoes have been used once in six years when, following a thick and bitter frost, we communed with nature across a harrowing vast expanse of frozen tundra in our backyard. And to think, I lived to write about it.

Another year, it was a set of matching paddleball racquets. Platform tennis was fairly popular at our old social club, especially with our regular tennis teammates, many of who switched to the sport when the outdoor clay courts closed ... for the winter. 

"Oh, you'll get warm real fast running around on that tiny chicken-wire court," they all told me, adding that there were plenty of propane heaters, firepits and flasks going around right after a match. But even that last part didn't sway me more than maybe half a step. 

However, My Love's perpetually busy schedule and the fact we moved to where platform tennis is not as big thing means at least the snowshoes have some company. I'm sure some day they'll have some new neighbors named the Pickleballs.

Not every gift is outdoor sports related. There have tickets to see bands in need of instrument repossession, gift certificates to overpriced restaurants we shall never return to, bookings for couples massages from men with wiry forearm hair. The list is generally regrettable.

Don't get the impression that My Love is bad at gifts. Far from it. She's surprised me, happily, numerous times with items specifically for and about me -- seats from a beloved ballpark, music lessons with a legendary session musician, having a VIP keg of beer named after me a beerfest. But this "us" gift thing ... not her forte.

So why am I looking at these fancy gold collar necklaces? I want to dazzle her.

I'm subscribing here to a philosophy once proposed by Marx. 

That would be Groucho Marx.

In the movie, Animal Crackers, he explained how to improve business at a particular establishment this way: "We’ll set up a 75-cent meal that will knock their eyes out. Once we knock their eyes out, we can charge anything we want."

Just replace "charge" with "return." 

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Been in a similar predicament? Tell me about it in the comments because, damn, I'm nothing without you.

Disclaimer: This post comes courtesy of a paid marketing partnership with the lovely folks at Responsival. Hey -- even I need to eat. Jeez, I have two kids in college, folks. But because I'm neither greedy nor business savvy, none of the links included are affiliate links. However, the words and opinions are solely mine. For that, I do apologize. 


  1. Platform tennis, Groucho Marx, pickleball - you tick all the boxes!

  2. My husband got me monogrammed chef's knife for our 26th anniversary. Like giving your mom a basketball for Mother's Day, it's really for him.

    1. I hope you didn't filet him. Have a great holiday season, Swirly. I miss ya!


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