Posts Tagged ‘romance’

Gifts and mixed messages

May 26, 2009

“I told her I hated her and bought her a diamond ring.  She told me she loved me and sold it.”

Actions speak louder than words in this wonderfully succinct excerpt from Microphones up my nose (John Dybvig and Ray Lillis; Random House, 1993), in a chapter where sports commentator John Dybvig reminisces about a tempestuous love affair.

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Gifts as a declaration of love

May 21, 2009

There’s an interesting passage in Dodie Smith’s 1978 memoir, Look Back with Mixed Feelings, in which an aunt is asking Dodie about her love life.  (Dodie was having a troublesome relationship with a married man.)

She said: “Has he ever given you anything?”  Now I came to think of it, he hadn’t.  Surely there must have been something?  But there hadn’t been so much as a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers.  I told my aunt the circumstances hadn’t permitted it, there’d been no time and, anyway he hadn’t much money.  She said: “You can take it from me, if a man really loves a girl he gives her presents, whatever the circumstances.”

My dear Nan undoubtedly had something there.  For although I didn’t, later, do too badly out of men who were, more or less, in love with me, the only man who really loved me started giving me presents he could ill afford soon after we met.  (“Reader, I married him.”)

When I look back upon my own love life, I realise I had much the same experience.  The men who – in hindsight – never really loved me, were not gift-givers (not to me, anyway).  And the ones who did love me, gave gifts from the outset.  Sometimes it was just little things, like buying an ice cream for me while he was filling up the car at the gas station.  But those little tokens of affection were always there.

Dodie’s aunt had a point.

P.S.  For the readers in your life, I’d thoroughly recommend as gifts Dodie Smith’s two most famous works, 101 Dalmatians (for children) and I Capture The Castle (for adults).