Friday, April 17, 2009

Twisted Thoughts Re: Gifts from the Big Bang Theory

I love the show, The Big Bang Theory. (I have to admit, I heart nerds.) I wish I could say I resemble and relate most to Penny, the "pretty-girl, next-door" character. Instead, the character I resemble most is Sheldon, the condescendingly verbose nerd who lacks basic social graces and common-sense. That should give you an idea why I'm still single.

Anyhoo, here's a classic quip from Sheldon re: the custom of gift-giving.

"You bought me a present? Why would you do such a thing? I know you think you're being generous, but the foundation of gift giving is reciprocity. You haven't given me a gift -- You've given me an obligation. The essence of the custom is that I now have to go out and purchase for you a gift of commensurate value and representing the same perceived level of friendship as that represented by the gift you've given me. ... Oh, I brought this on myself by being such an endearing and important part of your life."
I have to admit, I kind'a agree with Sheldon on this issue, except the last sentence. (I wonder if this is why I can never seem to accept gifts graciously? Hmmm...) Coincidentally, I'll be purchasing a "reciprocating gift" for a friend this weekend. Oh, and probably something for the admin staff next week. (Admin Assistant's day is 4/22!)

Hope you all have a great weekend. :-D


444 said...

I have to tell you something funny that happened just yesterday. I called my best friend and she mentioned she was getting ready to attend a bible study. She had never been to this weekly meeting before, and she let the hostess know that she just found out she won't be able to attend any subsequent sessions because she is about to start a job. I wondered, "Why bother?" but that's not my business.

The hostess let her know that they are reserving the last 15 minutes for a baby shower for someone my friend has never met. Sounds like a lame baby shower (the 15 minutes part), but as my friend said, maybe they were going to unofficially extend the meeting.

My friend decided to buy a gift card for this person she has never met, who is having her third baby.

She is generous, no doubt, but I would draw the line at effectively paying $20 (or whatever) to attend one meeting I'll never go back to. I think that giving a gift to someone I've never met and will probably never see again is kind of weird and frankly, I'm too cheap to do that kind of thing.

Shtinkykat said...

Egads. I wouldn't have brought a gift either in that situation! I would've feigned ignorance. :-D

Miss M said...

I think we need to lose the reciprocity bit. Shouldn't gifts be given without obligation? I would still give gifts even if I don't expect to receive something in return. I have no idea where certain social customs come from!

Shtinkykat said...

I guess I should point out that I often feel obligated to reciprocate when I receive a gift. I've learned early in life that if I expect a gift in return for what I've given, I'll be sorely disappointed. :-P

paranoidasteroid said...

Hahaha, that's awesome.

I have a hard time accepting gifts too... but I loooove giving them.