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Gift-Giving OCD

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

It’s the thought that counts.

Here is the gift-giving credo that has given a pass to all manner of disappointing gifts, from “what were they thinking?” garments to “oh good, something to dust” tsotskes.

Our smiles might freeze on our faces as we rip the wrapping from a package, but whatever is within, we think, “It’s the thought that counts,” because that’s the nice thing to do when someone is nice enough to give us a gift, no matter how ill-conceived—or, frankly, how little thought appears to have actually been put into a gift.

For me, “it’s the thought that counts” has another meaning as well, which traps me in gift-giving OCD. “It’s the thought that counts,” so you have to put a lot of thought into every gift, strive for some sort of gifting nirvana. You have to peer into the souls of friends and loved ones and find the gift that will, if not complete them, at least set them on a path to happiness.


You’re An Earworm Away From Happiness

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Don’t get trouble in your mind.

“Don’t get trouble in your mind” is the cheery refrain of a bluegrass chestnut, performed in the video below by the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

I’d never heard the song until a friend posted this video on Facebook the other day, and it just hit me in a sweet spot. Since then, it’s been an earworm.

But unlike most earworms, this one could prove useful.


The Stress Of Possessions

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. – Epictetus

I bought a new car yesterday.

This is a BFD because I drive my cars until they crumble around me.

I’ve been driving a 1994 Accord since 1997.
(Those babies go forever.) By the end of our relationship, the bumper was held on with tape and it was in the throes of a two-year death rattle. Most of my friends had experienced some sort of breakdown adventure with me.

But I drove my jalopy with pride. It was my badge of anti-consumerism. (Plus, no car payment. I loved that.)

OK, I was a little embarrassed valet parking it at the Ritz-Carlton the other day, where I went for a business lunch, but at least when they brought it to me, the side with the taped-on bumper was facing away from the crowd.

But otherwise, I don’t need no fancypants car.

I’m not a particularly high-wants person when it comes to possessions. I’m greedy about experiences, but ho-hum about stuff.


 

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Recent Comments
  • Barb: Just read a great book,’The Antidote’ by Oliver Burkeman that is about this subject. Kind of Seneca...
  • Barb: I simplified gift giving a while ago. I only give books or music. Lucky for me, everyone in my life is either a...
  • Jason Mangrum: I think just let your emotions flow,it will be more hurtful if you keep on fighting it.It is a therapy.
  • Sophia Dembling: I have a friend who talks of her “tribe,” which is actually not family but a group of...
  • Barb: Really thought provoking article! I think that the one big benefit to having small to no family is that it...
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