What Would Emily Post Do?

Submitted by Angie:

Carl told me that he was bringing me "something special" for our first date.  I felt a little weird, as I thought it was a bit early to be trading gifts back and forth, but other than that, he seemed on the level, and he assured me that he didn't expect or want anything in return.

He showed up and gave me the gaudiest necklace I've ever seen.  Seriously, the thing was made of plastic and had just about every color you could think of.  It looked like a baby's plaything, to put it into perspective.  I pretended to be truly grateful, and he seemed satisfied.  After all, I was grateful for the sentiment, but I had to wonder why he thought I'd like it.  I asked him if he made it.

"No!" he said, as if he would never be capable of accomplishing such a monumental feat.  Then he looked at me expectantly.

"Thank you," I said again, and he kept looking at me.  "What is it?" I asked him.

"Did you bring me anything?"

I said, "No.  You said that you didn't want or expect anything."

He looked down and said, "Yeah, but I thought... well, I was just saying that."

I honestly thought that I had misheard him.  "What?"

"Nevermind.  Forget it."

Dinner was SO awkward after that, and I tried to make conversation, but he'd only smile or laugh weakly and didn't seem at all interested in me anymore.  I couldn't wait to forget all about him, which I did, until visiting this site.


  1. I had a horrible nutter of a boss back when I was very young. This woman made a big show about getting me a present for Xmas and talked it up a good week beforehand. I got her a beautiful handmade scarf in anticipation of her hyped up gift. When the big day came, I opened up the box and found....the worst piece of jewelry I have ever seen. It was a chocker made of plastic that had been spray painted in chrome, with a plastic pretend ruby smack in the middle. Not a great return on the scarf investment. Aren't you glad you didn't make the mistake I made? He obviously expected you to spring for something nice for him with his part of the exchange being an item that came from a gumball machine.

  2. Emo. I bet he went home and cut himself, and mumble something about "the abyss of his darkened soul, tempted by the light of your love and shunned away from your thoughtful negligence, cryeth the raven. Per se."

  3. There's a nice book called The Five Love Languages. One of them is Giving Gifts.

    I'm certain the dude just doesn't understand that's how HE expresses affection but maybe not everyone else. I bet if he did, he'd have asked for a gift because that's what he thinks love is.

    Kinda sad, actually.


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