What do you want for your birthday?

My birthday is next week (June 12).

I’m a man – so friends don’t really buy presents for one another at this point in our lives outside of either big number birthdays or perhaps a goof-type gift that one may stumble upon…
Parents and relatives, though, still buy gifts for their children, son-in-laws, etc...

This said – without fail EVERY year – I get asked the question, “what do you want for your birthday?” Now, when I was 9 years old – this makes some sense. There is no way for a parent to know exactly what to get a 9 year old in the sense that 9 year olds could have temper-tantrums if, say, their parents bought them the “not cool anymore toy” for their birthday. So - my parents would ask me what I’d want – I’d say a skateboard or Colecovision (the smurf game was my favorite) and assuming the gift wasn’t too costly and I had been a good kid (which to be honest – I almost always was) – I’d receive the answer to the question "what do you want for your birthday?"

Fast forward over 20 years later – and the same rules do not apply.
  1. I will not have a temper-tantrum if you buy me a present that I didn’t necessarily have my heart set on.
  2. I have my own money to buy things if I really really want them. When I was a kid, it would take me all year to accumulate $50 in weekly allowance in order to buy the new Donkey Kong game – so getting the game for my birthday was the best way to get it. That’s not really the case now. I’m not saying “I’m rich bitch!” – and I can afford anything I want – but yes – at this point I can afford something in the range of where parents spend money on birthday gifts (say $50-$100) if I really really want something…
  3. When I was a kid – for some reason even if I said that I wanted a skateboard, there was a mystery if I was really going to get it. I didn’t have a sense of if a skateboard cost $50 or $5,000 and so, I really would still be surprised if I got the skateboard. Now – if I tell you that I really want the new Micheal Lewis book – and you buy me said book, that’s not much of a surprise. It’s not really as much fun if I tell you what to buy me. (I don’t think I’ve ever written a post on registries – but trust me when I say I could easily fill up some space with my thoughts here)
Sadly, I just thought of this response, but had I thought of it 2 weeks ago when both my parents asked what I wanted for my birthday, I should have said that for this birthday – I wanted them to never ask me what I wanted for a gift ever again. (I would have said it nicely - and tried not to sound like the wise-ass the response COULD read as - but is not intended)

I don’t want to come off as a brat. I understand why my parents are asking me the question: They would rather spend money on something I really want – rather then something I may not desire or use very often. And I get this – but at this stage of my life – I have greater appreciation of the thought given to the gifts then the actual gift/value/etc.

This all said – if anyone wants to know of a can’t miss gift for me …. An iTunes gift card is a great idea. For some reason – I enjoy buying $1.29 songs a lot more when there is already a balance in my iTunes account versus when there is not. So- - If my parents bought me $50 each of iTunes gift certificates – they would essentially be buying me “Music of my choice for a year.” That sounds like a great thing for me!

I don’t know if everyone agrees, but the reasons above is why I really try to never ask anyone what they wanted for their birthday.

1 comment:

Roz Towers said...

If I knew you liked buying songs on iTunes and there was such a thing as an iTunes gift card, I might have thought of buying this for your birthday. Expressing those things you enjoy, certainly would make make gift buying fun and easy...just the way I like it! We'll just have to talk more!!Thanks for the hint-Better late than never-and well taken. XXXXX Ma

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