Sure, it’s the thought that counts…

But I’d still like for my gifts to not be shitty, y’know? Maybe it’s the latent perfectionist coming out of me after a long semester of being less-than-perfect but if I’m going to take the time to make something, it’s gonna be spot on. It just has to be. Of course, this also means that the gift’s going to a very close friend of mine; it’s not like I’m going to expend so much effort (and surprisingly bruised fingers) on something that I’m just going to get a mere acquaintance. I mean, of course I want to get everyone a little something, but I go the extra mile on purpose. I’d like to think that my actions are the one with the bullhorn, not my words.

Maybe it’s just me, but I actually do feel pained when I have to parse out my gift-giving within a certain circle of friends. What do you give someone that you’d rather not be super close to so that there’s no room for ambiguity regarding your particular and slightly dubious friendship? Conversely, does giving someone I like gift upon gift upon gift render my feelings so transparent that they will only ever trespass on the other person’s will? And how about that friend that you’re honestly not totally over but you’ve made peace with the fact that whatever fantasies you can dream up in the middle of the night are nothing but pipe dreams? Just what do you get for them? I have no clue.

Is this gift too showy? Too cheap? Does it look like I stayed up the night before making it or is it peerless in design? Will they ever even use this? Do they happen to have a dozen of these in their possession already? When Christmas rolls around, I can’t help but fret.

But back to the recipients of said gifts. I’m not fond of leaving people out but you know what? I guess it can’t be helped. There are people that I’m more in tune with and there are people who should quit mentioning avocado ice cream because, seriously, a day trip with you, alone and in a city that you happen to know like the back of your hand, is not in the cards. Or a trip to the flea market on a Saturday; I work weekends so that I can have my late weeknights. Or Target. Or the dollar store. Or, basically, anywhere else. Seriously, your persistence is rather legendary, I’ll give you that. Now fuck off. Please.

Unfortunately for me, this person just so happens to run in the same crowd as all the rest of the people I know and like, so I can’t really gift anybody anything there. Maybe if I wasn’t so much of a cheapskate, I’d be a bit more disappointed. But do you know what this means? I can focus on the two gifts that are giving me a bit of a hassle: the gift that goes to The Current Crush and the gift that goes to The Former Crush. I can’t help it! They are both gorgeous in their own way and, dammit, I couldn’t call myself a gentleman of any sort if I didn’t wish them a Happy Holidays, shove my gift into their hands, and then proceed to smile like a doofus while they open it out of a sense of duty. They will be loved, if not by me then by the things I get to appeal to their sense of pleasure.

Sometimes I don’t know why I bother though. I mean, I can fret over whether it’s too much or too little until the cows come home, but that’s not going to change the fact that, to them, I’m just being friendly and nice. It’s a good thing, don’t get me wrong; regardless of how I felt or how I’m feeling, being friends is preferable to the alternative of not knowing of each other’s existence. Never that. But one’s just a little too dense and I can’t even tell what the other’s thinking half the time. There are times that we’re in sync and it’s funny how they happen to get a little freaked out (usually to the tune of “OMG how did you know I was singing that?!”), but neither of them seems to appreciate the depth of my emotions. Given that my emotions are basically a jellyfish, big, transparent, and just kind of floating there, this is a hell of an achievement.

So, where am I drawing this conclusion from anyway? How about Pokemon Day? I had come up with the idea to hand out Pokemon cards and I chanced upon a shiny Milotic while I was opening a bunch of booster packs. It was a pretty card so, naturally, I wanted to give it to someone that I think is pretty. But after going through all of the trouble of separating that card from the rest through devious and clever means, it hit me: she’s probably not going to appreciate it for the meticulously orchestrated event that it is, y’know? To her, it was going to be a product of random chance, not a deliberate attempt both celebrate her own beauty and stroke my implacable ego. So I did the sensible thing and give it to someone who definitely appreciated the effort, effectively scrapping my own designs.

Moral of the story: simply giving things isn’t going to make someone swoon. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give anything; if you feel compelled to do so by whatever happens to rule you, then by all means go for it. Just recognize that the recipient may take it as nothing more than a sweet gesture because they can. So, I’m going to give them both something for sure which leaves just one more question: who gets the biggest gift? The person I’ve known longer or the person that I’m in lesbians with in a big, big way?

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