9 // Guilt and gifts

The year was coming to a close and Christmas was just around the corner. By now, the last real man and I had been together for three months and everything seemed to be rolling along like any healthy relationship should – good times with no drama.

Gift giving is always stressful in new relationships, at least it seemed to be in this relationship. The last real man was happy to spend his money on me, but there was suddenly an uneasy atmosphere as soon as I presented something or would try and do something nice for him. This was my nature, I like to help and be involved. To me, these are the little things that make a relationship special. Love, care, help, appreciation and admiration become apparent through our actions, not just our words.

It’s customary when you move into a new home, even more so when it’s your first home, to receive a housewarming gift. One evening I arrived with a swag of practical goodies: tea towels, dishwashing liquid, spray and wipe and a nice set of canisters for the last real man. Naturally, I was expecting a “thanks so much, you shouldn’t have,” but instead I got the look of death, and a comment along the lines of you shouldn’t be buying me things. Honestly, I thought my lovely, thoughtful, and usable gifts would be thrown right back at me and I booted out the door. Talk about act like an ungrateful child. I cared about this guy, and I wanted to show this with my generosity, but it left me feeling like I’d done wrong. The following morning, after reflection, he did thank me.

Because of this incident, I was apprehensive about Christmas and gift giving. But surprisingly, it was the complete opposite. When Christmas came around he seemed appreciative and happy with what I’d selected. Although, I did only see the Elwood t-shirt I gave him twice, ever. Once on him and once on the bedroom floor (which seemed to double as a wardrobe most days). As for the bottle of Armani Code, well no one can really go wrong with that scent. Then for shits and giggles, I also gave him a book called Drinking Games and Hangover Cures and some bed fart eradication mints. It was a loving gift with a light and fun hearted tone.

I love a practical gift; something I can use. Yes, I like a good bottle of Dior perfume or some beautiful jewellery as much as the next woman, but they aren’t things I can use regularly. When I was asked about what I’d like for Christmas all I asked for was a perfect pair of kitchen scissors. The look on his face was one of relief. I’m pretty sure he was expecting perfume or jewellery. “A pair of kitchen scissors?” he said. “Yes, you know, the ones that you can cut up a chicken with?” “OK, kitchen scissors it is! Well, that was easy,” he added.

If this guy was thinking I want or must have the best of everything, he’s got me totally wrong. Yes, I like beautiful things, and when hard work pays off I do reward myself with the odd luxury item, many people do, but I don’t live outside my means. I’m just as happy with a $20 handbag from Sportsgirl as I am with a $2000 one from Prada.

Along with my brilliant kitchen scissors (honestly, they are) I also received a pair of Havaianas thongs (which I still wear daily) and an excellent sleeping bag, which had its fair share of use at the music festival we were set to head to for New Years.

Christmas was sorted, and both boy and girl were happy. Little did I know that it would be the only Christmas we’d spend together.