Guest Post: 7 Reasons My Wife Buys The Best Presents
Just supposing, for instance, that this was the last Guest Post we ever published. Who would you like it to be written by? I suspect at least 26% of you would choose Richard O’Hagan. Like Dr Simon Percy Jennifer Best who posted last week and Liz Gregory who posted a few weeks ago, Richard is a 7 Reasons stalwart. He’s the author of The Memory Blog, the face behind @theskiver and he likes marmite. That, we think, is all you need to know.
It recently came to my attention that there are people out there who make a career of going shopping for other people. Now, personally, I cannot think of anything worse than going shopping for other people. I mean, going shopping for myself is stressful enough. Going shopping for presents doubly so. Why on earth would you want to make a career out of it*?
Fortunately**, I am married to a woman who also hates shopping. Which therefore makes it even more surprising that she is the best present buyer ever. I don’t just mean by comparison with me, either, because I am completely rubbish at it (one year I gave her a cheese grater as a gift). Just consider this: The People Who Buy Presents For Other People need you to give them some sort of a list, so that they know roughly what to get. I have a wish list on Amazon – two of them, in fact – and my wife almost never uses it. Instead, she uses her initiative to come up with wonderful gifts such as this:
1. A Box of Seabrook’s Tomato Ketchup Crisps. My life is an endless quest for ketchup flavoured crisps, and has been ever since I first tried them on our honeymoon. Since when I have rarely seen them in the shops, not even in the USA where, frankly, you’d expect the locals to be munching them down for breakfast lunch and dinner. It had never occurred to me to simply see if you could buy them off the internet, but my wife did.
2. A Cross Pen. No, not an angry writing implement. I once commented to my wife that my Tombo fountain pen seemed to be nearing the end of its life. I then thought no more of it until, approximately three months later, I received a beautiful Cross pen as a Christmas present. A pen of such high quality that I’ve had to learn how to write with it. And I didn’t even ask for it.
3. A Book About Scriptwriting. For almost two years now (or over two years, depending upon when this gets published) I have been labouring over a script for a television comedy. It is very hard to get a script commissioned if you are not either an established writer, or related to one, or both. It hadn’t even occurred to me that there are books that I could consult about the subject, but this one now nestles in my bedside cabinet where I can dip into it whenever I want. So far, it has been invaluable.
4. A Letter Opener. I don’t get much mail, and most of what I do get is either bills that I have already received online and magazines that I subscribe to. But every now and then I get a proper letter, in a proper envelope, and I need to open it. My fingers are not only large, but they are often in a state of mangledness after a close encounter with a cricket ball or a rugby boot. I have always wanted a letter opener and was therefore extremely pleased when my wife gave me one as a Christmas present, even though I still cannot recall mentioning to her that I wanted one.
5. Marmite Spoons. That’s right, spoons for scooping the yummy delight that it Marmite out of the jar and onto your bread, toast or whatever. Each has a different Marmite jar on the top. You can’t beat being able to offer your guests Marmite with a special spoon. Words cannot describe the envious looks that I get.
6. A CD Subscription. Did you know that Rough Trade Records have a subscription service? I didn’t. My wife did. It is a very simple plan. You give them money and each month they choose a new CD and send it to you. You discover music that you might not listen to otherwise. It is like the Olympics ticket lottery, only you actually get something at the end of it. A brilliant idea, and a brilliant gift
7. Cricket. Not a gift that you can easily giftwrap, I’ll admit. Cricket may be the best game on the planet, but even I have to admit that it can take a little while to play. Despite this, my wife has never once tried to stop me playing it, or going to watch it, and lumbering her with our exuberant child to look after. There are not many better gifts that selflessly letting someone do something they love.
All of which means that you can forget using any of these services, because they will never be as inventive at gift buying as my wife is. Now, where did I put that cheese grater?
*Unless you are my mother, who would regard this as a dream job.
**For me, not necessarily for her.