There comes a time in every relationship when the true test of ‘how well do you know your partner?’ is proven. Most girls would say that it would be the time when your boyfriend gives you a gift for the first time. Here’s the thing, there is no woman… and I mean NO WOMAN who doesn’t like receiving gifts from her beloved. We will say the cliché ‘Aww you didn’t have to!’,’Really? For me?’
‘I don’t need gifts to know how much you love me’ and all sorts of heart warming, overly grateful and modest statements but the truth is we have just started doing this dance in our head and are trying extremely hard not to rip open that wrapper like a savage beast. Of course, in reality it doesn’t pan out quite like that reaction in our head. We will do the whole,’I’m surprised’ look, even after we have been dropping those passive aggressive hints three months before our birthday. Like our mothers taught us, we will be peeling the wrapper slowly so that we can fold it neatly to recycle it for another gift. The moral of the story is that however bad the gift maybe, we always end it with ‘I love it’ and the gradually manipulate the exchanging of the gift or work on our hints strongly for the next time.
Neal, an investment banker who I met through my mother’s set up was working out rather well so far. We’d been together for over four months now and I was beginning to love being in a relationship. So when I got a call of a received parcel from the reception of my office, I was of course elated and my mind suddenly started racing to remember all the hints that I’d given him and now betting myself on what could he have got me first.
When I reached the front desk, there was a huge box wrapped in a red plain wrapper with a nice cream bow on it. That didn’t seem right. According to my hints, it should have been in a medium sized carrier bag with a black border and ‘CHANEL’ written right in the middle. But this was seriously quite huge. I got the ‘Aww you’ve got such a sweet boyfriend’ look from the receptionist who had probably alerted everyone that I had received a parcel with a potential dead body inside it. I couldn’t think of anything I wanted that size, well, maybe a shoe cabinet for all my fabulous shoes but he couldn’t have possibly got me that. That would be the worst first gift to give!So I thought.
I had to get one of the guys help me do the box of shame, displaying it to the office. Ofcourse I got looks, hoots and got applauded because the box itself wasn’t alone enough to give me that unwanted attention. Now the whole office is going to witness this madness. I couldn’t open it. I didn’t know what to expect. My friends at work urged me to open it and I just wasn’t prepared for what could have been in it.
I ripped the wrapper like the beast and not the gentle handler I was taught to be by my mother and there it was! A life size teddy bear! A stuffed toy, bright pink with a brighter pink heart held in his stuffy hands. What on earth! This was just… wrong!! I saw the exchanged looks and the rolling of the eyes by my work frenemies. I had to stay composed but internally I was livid! What on earth could possibly give him the sign that I wanted a life sized stuff toy? I hated it! I was mortified! If anything I absolutely loathe stuff toys ever since I was a child. They are creepy and just too … weird.
Suddenly my phone rings, it was him! There was nothing I had to say to him. What could I have said anyways? I was fuming! Actually I did have a lot to say to him! I answered the phone all geared up with my angry response. “Hello?”, I answered. I could hear him laughing. I didn’t understand. He was laughing hard. “What’s so funny?”, I asked feeling even more rage. “Did you happen to receive my niece’s gift by any chance?” Niece? Gift? “What do you mean?”, I asked.
“I had bought you a gift and it happens to be my niece’s birthday today as well so I had bought her one too but seems like my secretary exchanged the address slips with the courier and my niece has received a bag. So I think you’ve received her favourite stuffed toy,” he said, “I’m sorry about that love, my driver will be coming over to collect her gift and you shall get yours when I meet you tonight.”
I was quiet. Suddenly I forgot about the stuffed toy. I felt bad. How could I think so badly of him? How could I get angry with a guy who takes the time out to shop for his niece? How could I …. wait. Did he say bag? Was it the one I wanted? I really wanted to know now.. instead I just smiled and said, “ Aww.. you didn’t have to.”