The Norman Transcript

October 2, 2012

The card that keeps gives to recipients

By Shirley Ramsey
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Selecting a gift card can’t be easier. Folks getting a gift card should choose the gift they need or like.

“Finally, it’s in the mail,” Ellie tweets her husband at work. “I sent Marty and Celia a gift card. Brilliant, huh?” Sigh of relief.

Ellie meets a friend for lunch. “Why do I feel so guilty?” she says. “I felt good at first, sending a card so they could choose, but now I feel like I betrayed them. I don’t understand.”

“That’s just buyer’s remorse,” Mary tells her. “You’d probably feel the same if you sent anything else.”

“Maybe. But shouldn’t I have spent more time and figured out what they wanted?”

“Well, that would have been nice. But you’ll get over it. Have a piece of chocolate cake.”

Receiving a gift card saves returning a useless gift or wearing a color that makes you look warmed over.

“Wow!” Bryan exclaims, “I got a gift card from my brother. Let me think ... What will I buy with it?”

“Better put some thought into it,” his wife suggests. “There are lots of ways to shop these days. Why don’t you buy something you’ve been wanting, like Western boots.”

“Yeah.” Pause. “But Joe will ask me what I got. I’ll have to be smart, or he’ll think I didn’t use it wisely.”

“What does that matter? It’s your gift.”

“Anyway, I’ll think about it.” Six months later, Bryan still carries the gift card around, always looking, always changing his mind.

Marsha goes shopping online the minute she opens her gift card. It takes her just a few minutes to decide on a gift. Then it takes hours to get a live person to work out the deal. Marsha spends on postage returning the wrong item mailed. She then receives the right gift. Finally, she can’t wait to tell all about it.

Marsha’s friend, like some others, gives a card and never thinks about it again.

“But don’t you want to know what I finally got with the card?” Marsha says to her.

“Not really. Enjoy.”

Excited, Dan tells his girlfriend he got a ticket to a Giant’s game with his birthday card.

She remarks: “You got what with the card? You said you needed clothes. Now I wish I’d taken you shopping, instead.”

Folks smart enough to shop and choose a nice present usually fair better.

“Look at that great desk set. Wouldn’t that look chic on our secretary? Let’s check it out.”

After lengthy discussion, both partners agree on the set.

“I wonder, though, if they’ll ask us what we spent?” one says. “If they ask what we bought, they will know we went over the card. What do you think?”

They buy the set and spin a tale for the gift-giver.

Some know their friends well. Ellie takes her chocolate cake home with her. She immediately cancels the gift card that’s haunting her. She emails her husband about it. Then she enjoys the cake.

Her husband emails back, “Now what?”

Shirley Ramsey, a retired journalism professor, lives in Norman.

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