I received many great gifts when I turned 35. They included gift certificates to local restaurants, my own copy of Forrest Gump on VHS, a few bottles of booze and a very special gift from my friend Dave that I cherish to this very day. It was an electronic shoe buffer with spinning fluffy pads that keep your shoes looking great. One side was black and one was red although I’m really not sure why. I generally don’t wear shoes that need to be buffed but it was proudly displayed in our bedroom until the kids began to play with it and it was then relegated to the walk in closet.
At my 40th birthday party, Dave gave me an even better present; a megaphone! Early the next morning, (while still in bed) I used it to ask my wife what she wanted for breakfast. She didn’t seem to appreciate waking up to the soothing sound of the megaphone, but it has come in handy. I used it to disperse some crowds at my kid’s parties and to get a word in edgewise at Thanksgiving dinner with our extended family. Dave prided himself on giving gifts that you never thought of getting, but shortly after owning them, realized that you couldn’t live without them. I responded to the megaphone by giving him a referee shirt when he hit the big 4-0. He liked it, but his thank you note referenced it as prisoner’s uniform (yet another useful gift).
Dave just turned 50 and I wasn’t sure what to get him. I thought about getting one of those metal shoe measurement devices along with one of those low angled stools found in quality shoe stores. It would make a nice gift set, but most people’s feet seem to stop growing by 50 and although it would be a stylish addition to their parlor, it wasn’t very practical.
That’s when it dawned on me. I’ll get Dave something stylish, classy yet quite useful – monogrammed handkerchiefs!
It was the perfect accoutrement to adorn a fancy suit’s breast pocket or be more modestly placed in the front pocket of some casual slacks. And talk about functional; you can blow your nose in it all day and after a spin in the washer along with your wife’s delicate knits, it can show up back in your dresser drawer all folded up nicely ready to re-use. Think about all the tissues people use today! Handkerchiefs are the ultimate green gift (no pun intended) as they are great for the environment and save trees. As a Doctor, Dave will be able to pull it out of his pocket and offer it to a sobbing patient who just learned that her Lupus tests came back inconclusive. I made sure it was adorned with his initials, so as not to confuse it with his son’s handkerchiefs. Dave will wonder how he ever lived without them. He will learn to lovingly refer to them as hankies.
Its uses are endless. If he’s playing Blackjack in Atlantic City and is dealt a poor hand, he can surrender by waving it at the dealer. Imagine if he gets an upper respiratory infection. Think of how disgusting it would be for him to blow his nose and cough into tissues and then just casually toss them in various trash receptacles around town. Now, he’d be able to use his trusty hankie, and then just plop it in the hamper in the comfort of his own home. I hope he enjoys his gift.