What is the best gift you have ever gotten?

I’m not a good person to ask for this because I don’t like to get gifts.

Really? You’re just opposed to the idea of getting gifts in general?!  Did you have a receive a really BAD gift at a young age or…?

No, no. It’s nothing like that, but more the principle.  Giving is nice, but part of receiving a gift, intentional or not, is that it leads to the expectation that I need to give a gift in return. Even if that is not what you think, that is what I think.  It is not that I think you’re mean and going to be mad if I don’t get you something…

Right, it’s like “You jerk! You got me a gift and now I’m obligated…”

It’s just one of those things where that’s the polite thing to do.

So, no matter what the gift is, the obligation that comes with it is so stressful that…

Well, not only that, but I’m not a big fan of useless things. The things that I want are expensive, hard-to-get, or non-specific.

Non-specific? Like…

Like computer parts for an upgrade. For example, a lot of times I haven’t even looked up what the best graphics card is for the best price, so I can’t just say get me this, because I haven’t researched what this is, and even if I do, it is an expensive thing…

…and the inexpensive stuff is useless. I’m obligated to get you a useless thing in return, and then we’re just giving each other useless items that fill up storage space. My house has enough utensils, plates, base necessities…

I take it you’re more of a minimal kind of guy?

Yes, I’m pretty minimalist. Obviously, I like to splurge on occasion…

Then it must be for a specific idea or project…

Specific set…um…    Carpentry. I recently started working on woodworking stuff. I might like an awl, but I want a good one. You might go and get me a crappy one from Walmart and say, “here you go, here’s your awl”. Then it gets bent, but is still good enough to use for some things, and I can’t get rid of it because my friend gave it to me, but I don’t have room enough to keep it and another awl.

Those kinds of situations make me not a big fan of gifting.

If you’re a minimalist, then at home in your minimal layout, you probably have just a few things that you really like – that you’ve researched at length… right?

I bought a house recently, and I bought all the utensils that I need. I needed some folding tables, and I researched what I wanted and put it on my wish list for a housewarming thing, but someone got me something else.

What kind of folding table did you want?

I’ve got the tables now – I might as well use them until they break!

Hahaha! OK, but what was it about the ones that you wanted that was different from what you got?

The legs mainly. The table legs fold down, and the one I got only had a stop. The one I wanted had a latch to keep the legs from folding back up again.  That’s the main difference, and it’s not a big difference, and that’s why I still have the ones that I have ­– because they function.

That’s just one of those things why I’m not a big gifting person.



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