Monday, February 19, 2007

Gift Deceleration

We’ve come up with a technical term for all this crappy present phenomena: “gift deceleration.” We, and countless other women who have fallen for commitmentphobes, have been victims of this dynamic. Basically, the longer the relationship endures, the more thoughtless and impersonal the gifts she receives are.
Normal relationship conventions dictate that, with each passing anniversary, gifts become more personal, more thoughtful, and generally more extravagant (First anniversary paper, fifth anniversary linen and so on.) When the woman in question is with a commitmentphobe, however, gifts tend to get less personal, less thoughtful, and far less extravagant. For example, whereas the very first Christmas or Valentine's day you spend together might find you unwrapping tiny blue boxes with white ribbons from Tiffany's, your third or fourth might find you pulling unwrapped gifts out of plastic bags that bear the label Mart somewhere on them, as in Walmart, Sportmart, or Kwik Mart-you get the picture. For the woman this is particularly painful because, from her standpoint, the longer the relationship lasts, the deeper her emotional connection to the man grows. As for the man in question, it's anyone's guess. The length of time he spends in the relationship could be deepening his connection, lessening it, or not really affecting it at all. From the woman's standpoint, however, one thing is clear; the gifts she is receiving get lousier and lousier each year as her boyfriends morphs from a jovial and generous St. Nick to a bad tempered and parsimonious Bad Santa.
Following are some examples of gift deceleration:

V-Day, "Paul"
2000: Purebred Pekinese pooch w/Godiva chocolates
2001: Gundt stuffed dog w/Toblerone
2002: Dog Fancy desk calendar w/Whitman’s sampler

V-Day, "Joe"
2004: Tiffany earrings
2005: Fossil watch
2006: Necklace and earring set from Claire’s boutique

V-Day, "Aaron"
2004: Couples’ golf weekend in Palm Springs
2005: Obviously gratuitous photo album engraved with American Golf Classic
2006: Tin Cup DVD

V-Day, Brian
2004: La Perla lingerie w/Chanel perfume
2005: Victoria’s secret bra and panty w/Body Shop bubble bath
2006: $8.99 Cherokee T-shirt nightie w/Jean Nate body splash

V-Day, Steve
2004: Bang & Olufson state of the art car stereo
2005: Radio Shack Hands-Free Cell Phone Kit
2006: Typing program


Anonymous said...

Wow. How horribly materialistic, not to mention immature.

I came across your blog a while back and found it entertaining. This is just "wah wah, poor me" whining.

I don't think the fact that men spend less on consecutive Valentine's Day/Christmas/Birthday gifts means he's a commitment phobe at all. My boyfriend and I did the whole "big deal" Valentines/Christmas/Birthday gifts for the first year of our relationship. That was before we lived together, before we shared a budget together, and before we had shared goals of saving for a downpayment, paying down our student loan debts, and taking a cruise together. Give me a break.

If you think your relationship is defined by what color the "little box" that you unwrap is (blue for Tiffany's vs. white for Claire's), then maybe you're single for a reason.

Anonymous said...

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