Posts Tagged ‘Marian Keyes’

“Eat me”

January 15, 2010

There’s a great example of creative gift-giving in Marian Keyes’ latest novel, The Brightest Star in the Sky (Michael Joseph, 2009):

Laid out on…the counter was a series of gifts for her.  A bottle of champagne with a Post-it saying ‘Drink me’; a kilo box of Godiva chcolates saying ‘Eat me’; a huge bunch of roses saying ‘Smell me’; and a pink beribboned box of wispy underwear saying ‘Wear me’.

What a great way to give presents when you can’t be there in person!  (The giver of this lovely loot had unfortunately to be overseas on business on the day of his girlfriend’s birthday.

Definitely worth emulating, even if on a smaller scale – not all of us can afford kilo boxes of Godiva chocolates, etc.

And the clever, instruction-based labelling is itself probably inspired by the food and drink that Alice discovers in Alice in Wonderland (or is it Through The Looking Glass?  I’m never sure!)

Marian Keyes on Christmas shopping

November 16, 2009

Marian Keyes, queen of the UK chick-lit authors (and a great read – recommended!), has this to say on shopping for Christmas:

This is where I come into my own. At the best of times I’m an excellent spender of money; shopping, buying nice things, running up debt – I’m second to none. But I especially love buying presents. It’s an opportunity to buy lovely things without the consequent guilt and, instead of feeling like a spendthrift, I feel like a generous, giving person.

She adds:

Everyone hates me when I announce at the end of October that I’ve bought all my Christmas presents. Their faces go all cat’s-bum sour and someone usually says, “Well! Aren’t you little Miss Organised?” and you can tell they mean it as an insult.

Despite buying her Christmas gifts months in advance, she maintains this is actually not a good thing, citing some of the things that can befall the very early shopper, like:

  • Buying green cushions for your sister’s green-themed bedroom, only to have her redecorate it in pink in October.
  • Your mother buying for herself, in early November, the very moisturiser you had already purchased for her
  • Being unable to resist giving particularly lovely presents weeks early, only to have the recipient forget, by Christmas Day, that you had already given her her Christmas present. She now thinks you are stingy for not getting her anything.

Further Under The Duvet, Marian Keyes, 2005, Penguin Books

Old friends, new gifts

August 7, 2009

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?