To gift or not to gift? 

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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By Aunty Pam

Dear Aunty Pam,

I’ve been seeing a lovely woman for a couple of months and last week was her birthday. When I learned that her birthday was coming up, she told me to please not buy her anything, that we’d only been going out a short while and didn’t want me to feel obligated to get her anything—that a nice card would do just fine. I took her at her word, picked out a beautiful card and presented it to her on the day and she thanked me, but then was really quiet for the rest of the afternoon.

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I can’t help feeling that she was disappointed and that I screwed up. I’m worried she thinks I’m a cheapskate, and I’m completely confused. What do you think??



In the doghouse in Irmo


Dear Dog,


Oh, no you didn’t!! Dude, surely you have enough experience with women to know that when we say, “Oh, no, please, don’t go to any bother,” we are attempting to do two things: to appear modest and humble, so that when you take it upon yourself to disobey and buy a gift, well, then, it was all YOUR idea…but, indeed, dear Doggie, you should have had a gift standing by, tucked in the glove compartment of your car, just in case, for you to whip out and say, “Now, I know you said not to buy anything, but how could I have passed up this bracelet/sweater/book and not thought of you?”


I have a closetful of gifts, having learned the hard way from both men, women, friends and neighbors who, in the past, have popped by out of the blue, with zero warning, ambushing us with Christmas cheer and an armful, if not plateful, of goodies. I normally stock up on those ritzy looking, but small golden boxes of Godiva chocolates. They’re considered more of a treat than the obligatory Whitman’s Sampler, and are an affordable, festive gift. And while having acted on a sitcom for several years might have had particular challenges, my heartfelt, “Oh, I’m so glad you dropped by as I was just about to bring this around to YOU,” performances were truly Oscar-worthy.


So live and learn, Dog. Live and learn. Christmas is coming and you have another chance. Don’t blow it!


Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam