Practical Gifts

Originally published on on June 26, 2014.


Fifteen years ago…fifteen years ago, lord, I graduated from high school. While I don’t think I fought with Mom quite as much as I did over Confirmation, I didn’t want a party. I don’t like being the center of attention mainly because I have to mingle, be all social, and can’t chill in the nearest corner. Some things haven’t changed. 🙂 The party was fine with some pleasant surprises, like my seventh grade English teacher showing up. But the point of the whole thing, as they say, is the gifts. The money which mostly went toward the POS Gateway laptop with…10 GB of memory!!! Of the gifts I only remember a few, such as the fifth of Absolut Citron from my cousins that was responsible for my nearly giving myself alcohol poisoning the night before classes started and towels that I still have. The towels were one of those practical gifts that you didn’t really appreciate at the time. Towels, cheap. Fuck no, good gift. Did you see that I mentioned I still have and use them? But there was one gift to rule them all. It was also the gift that left me a bit o_O after opening it.

It was a tool set. A portable case with somewhere between 50 and 100 tools and pieces. After I stopped doing o_O at it, I basically was WTF tools? Of course, in those days, we didn’t say WTF yet. 😉 Anyway, flash forward to my first couple years where those tools got used by me and several people on my floors. You always needed a wrench to tighten those shoddy lofts we had. Flash forward to living on my own and that tool set has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion. You always need tools. I have never once been, “Damn, I really wish I had a hammer/screw driver/wrench…” because I have it, right there in a sturdy plastic case. Best fucking gift ever.

Which was why when Steph’s eldest graduated last year, and Deb’s eldest this year, I knew the perfect gift. Tool set.

And if you can’t afford the tool set for the kid, get ’em towels. They might give you a look, but they’ll be grateful down the road.

Also, who did I get the tool set from? A woman. Who’d gotten the same thing for her graduation years back. Yup, massive points there.

So, don’t give money, give something useful. And if the kid ends up with multiple tool sets and a fuckton of towels or whatever? So what. They will get used. Also, tool set, best way to meet new people even if you tend toward the not social like me.

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