Amazon seems to be a bane of etiquette lovers everywhere time and again. This time it’s a patent for system to avoid unwanted gifts. I’m all for it, because it makes festive occasions truly festive and more efficient.
The genius of it is not appreciated. Frankly, sometimes it seems that the etiquette’s only purpose is to force everything to be as roundabout, inefficient and slow as possible. Write letters by hand, instead of typing. Spend huge amount of time selecting, buying and wrapping gifts.
Do you remember how many screams there were when gift cards first appeared? Horrors of practically giving money to recipient were unspeakable. Then etiquette was assaulted by the brazenness of a wish list. Pleople actually direct enough to let the world (and, by extention, friends and relatives) know what they really want. Along with a way to avoid everyone buying exactly the same toaster.
No, no, no, people should get useless gifts. Because it’s not the gift, it’s the “thought that counts”. Especially when it’s along the lines of “I can’t believe someone would buy this” or “this is a fifth pair of socks she gave to the baby”
Sure, I mean it’s nice to get something horribly useless or worse, something you’re allergic to (or object for some other reason) as a gift. Because you obviously will be glad to know that your favorite, yet slightly loco, aunt Marie spent many hours driving around, trying to find the most horrifyingly colored vest to present to you.
Emotional scars of some poor animal rights advocate will certainly be good reminder of great intentions when one is to receive a pretty pair of leather shoes. Or how about a static goodness of polyester shirt?
Of course rules of etiquette don’t allow saying that to your aunt’s face. You just get that slight twitch in the eye lid and forced smile with Oscar-worthy “Thank you so much” performance.
I guess before our lifes got crazy-fast, people had enough time (and memory cells) to know more about friends and family, and that care and attention poured into giving gifts lead to somwhat more appropriate gifts. Now everything is a bit more difficult, but some people when faced with choice “money/gift card or some item” still think that gift card is tacky and randomly grab some item.
Trust me, the recepient will not fault you for not spending hours of your time getting some actual item. Gift card is fine.
And if someone still wants to be remembered by horrifyingly bad and inappropriate gift, wouldn’t it be better if that gift got “magically fixed” for you? Well that’s what Amazon patented. No matter how bad your sense of style is, the recipient will actually get something he/she likes instead. No more throwing away (or returning) of the gifts. Just avoid the bad gift in the first place.
Think about it. Isn’t happy birthday worth a bit of a wounded pride and realization you’re bad at picking gifts?