Old friends, new gifts

Irish writer Marian Keyes has this insight on the nature of giving between long-term friends:

Birthday presents are another area where a Long-Term Friendship is different to an ordinary one.  With most friends, when your birthday is approaching, you can hint – heavily even – at what you’d like.  But if you don’t like what you’re given, you pretend you do, because it’s the thought that counts, right?  But with your LTF, there’s none of that altruism.  They corner you and say, “Now look, I have to talk to you about my birthday present.  We don’t want a repeat of what happened when I was twelve.”  And you bow your head and cringe at the memory of giving a twelve-year-old a jewellery kit that the box said was suitable for eight to eleven-year-olds.  And it wasn’t even your fault because your mother had picked it.

“Think Mac,” your LTF advises.  “Think lipstick.”

“What colour?”

This colour,” she announces, pulling a lipstick from her bag and giving it to you.  “You owe me fifteen quid.”

Marian Keyes, Postcards from the Bed (Penguin Books, 2001)

Which is a marvellously direct way of getting the present that you want, but a little…er…heartless, no?

 

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