Tag Archives: bad ideas

Make your list. Check it twice. Then check it again.

3 Dec

I generally pride myself on being a pretty thoughtful gift-giver. I try to pay attention throughout the year when someone mentions a guilty pleasure or item they’re coveting. There is little more satisfying than seeing a person completely surprised by something they can’t even remember saying they wanted.

Clearly, a preface like that can only mean one thing, right? That I am an absolute, utter jackass. Let me explain.

My good friend Betsy came over for dinner on Wednesday. The last time I saw her was a few weeks ago, when we celebrated our birthdays. It’s become something of a tradition to make dinner together and exchange gifts.

The thing is, other than the year I had postage stamps printed featuring a photo of her dog, I always come up short when trying to think of creative gifts for her. She already HAS a lot of the things I would naturally think to give her, so I often find myself “giving an O’Connell* Gift,” as my family calls it.

[An O’Connell* Gift is when you give someone a present that you would like yourself. We call it this because as a high schooler, my friend Ryan O’Connell’s brother – drawing his pre-school cousin’s name in their annual gift exchange – gave her a subscription of Sports Illustrated. Yeah.]

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But Percy was so cute — until he started haunting me.

21 Jul

I’m a candyholic. Until about two years ago, I thought it was completely normal for adults to eat at least one package of candy per day. I still think that the pocket-life of a container of TicTacs is approximately 10 minutes, a sleeve of LifeSavers should last 20 minutes, and a bag of Skittles is lucky to see 30 minutes — and that’s only if I’m consciously TRYING to make them last.

I’ve always marveled at people who offer me an Altoid or pull a tube of Certs from their glove box. WHAT?! You walk around with candy reserves on your person? Or in your glove box? How is this even possible? Does not compute!

At least I seem to come by this trait honestly: my dad has a sweet tooth like no other. He finishes dinner (and often lunch) with a cookie or donut — or both. In a car, he will offer you a hard candy from his bulk-sized Ziploc baggie every time he fishes one himself — which is approximately every seven minutes. And at night, while reading, he mindlessly consumes Halls “Vitamin C” drops — which really have nothing to do with vitamins and everything to do with sugar — by the handful.

And the good news is that — with 30+ years on me, Dad has yet to show any signs of diabetes. SWEET. I’m keeping fingers crossed that this is one more lucky draw from the gene pool.

I tell you this merely to explain why, after visiting Alan in London this spring, a suitcase full of British candy came home with me. I could not stop myself in the checkout line at the Marks & Spencer. Fruit Pastilles, Wine Gums, Fruit Sherbets, Jelly Babies, Very Berry Smoothies, Milk Bottles, Midget Gems, Miracle Comfits…

SERIOUSLY?? Does Willy Wonka run this grocery store? And do the British not have the same sensitivity to the word “midget” that we Americans have?

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