The following post was inspired by the third suggestion in No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog, which was randomly selected by Deron Staffen of Lectures on Everything.
The nicest present I gave anyone went to my little sister, in 1984. She wanted a copy “Like A Virgin,” and I bought it for her. This may not seem too impressive, until you consider that (a) I was a shy, 13 years boy, and (b) the front of the record featured a reclining, bustier-clad Madonna, with bosoms heaving every-which-way. I was mortified by the thought of handing it to a cashier and telling her I wished to purchase it. And since I only had enough money for the record, I couldn’t even employ the teenage-boy condom-buying ruse of piling an assortment of miscellaneous other items on top of it at the checkstand and then feigning surprise when the cashier uncovered it. (“What the-? How did that get there?! Well, you might as well ring it up …”).
Several Christmas earlier my sister had given me a package of pencils that she purchased with her allowance, because she’d heard me say I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. At the time I thought it was the lamest gift ever, paling in comparison to the Death Star playset I’d received from my folks; In retrospect I think that might be the most thoughtful present I’ve ever received.