The Art Of Gift-Giving

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 23 2012 @ 2:22pm

From a delightfully macabre essay from David Sedaris:

For the first eighteen years we were together, I’d give [my husband] Hugh chocolates for Valentine’s Day, and he’d give me a carton of cigarettes. Both of us got exactly what we wanted, and it couldn’t have been easier. Then I quit smoking and decided that in place of cigarettes I needed, say, an eighteenth-century scientific model of the human throat. It was life-size, about four inches long, and, because it was old, handmade, and designed to be taken apart for study, it cost quite a bit of money. "When did Valentine’s Day turn into this?" Hugh asked when I told him that he had to buy it for me.

What could I say? Like everything else, holiday gifts escalate. The presents get better and better until one year you decide you don’t need anything else, and start making donations to animal shelters. Even if you hate dogs and cats, they’re somehow always the ones who benefit. "Eventually, we’ll celebrate by spaying a few dozen kittens," I said, "but until that day comes, I want that throat."