Worst gift ever?

What was your worst gift ever?  The gift of no gift at all, says a friend, who related to me a rather sad story from a few years ago.  Here’s what she told me: 

My husband, just back from a rare overseas trip, proudly showed me the gifts he’d bought while abroad – for friends, relations and himself.  After the last present was unwrapped, I heard myself asking in a small voice:

“And for me…?”

Panic flickered across on his face.  Then he snatched up a sweatshirt he’d bought for himself (and already shown me) and said it was actually for me.  No it’s not, I replied, pointing out that it was a male sweatshirt, in his size and favourite colour.  He persisted for a while with the story that the sweatshirt really was for me, but it was clear: he’d forgotten to buy me anything, even a token gift from an airport duty-free store.

In hindsight, she says, the inadvertant gift omission was an early sign that their marriage was failing.  “He had fallen out of love with me and clearly he wasn’t thinking about me much, especially when apart.”

She’s no longer married to him, but there is a happy ending: her adoring now-husband showers her with gifts, big and little.

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