From time to time, I entertain the idea of having a “No Life Events” party, whereby my friends and loved ones can give me gifts in celebration of my non-marriage, non-children, non-children graduation, non-anniversary… . Carrie Bradshaw registered for a pair of shoes; I think I’d register for some really nice Denby, a wine fridge, gift certificates at the Depot, kitchen doo-dads (but wouldn’t use them), maybe even some furniture. And/or I could have a shower: lingerie, plush towels, self-indulgent bath accessories.
I love my friends. But it does seem rather unfair that single people go through life giving gifts for all sorts of occasions for which the kharmic wheel will never spin ’round to them. Of course, gift-giving is selfless or, on the other hand, totemic to our consumer culture. Life milestone? Gimme! Gimme!
When I turned 21, my Grannie gave me a big brass key – something she found at a garage sale, I have no doubt. About as much as she could afford, month to month.
She said that it was a Scottish tradition to give a key “to the house” to someone when they reach “adulthood” – to be given permission to come and go as one pleases and to stay out as late one likes. Interestingly, the tradition is attached to young MEN coming of age. I wonder if she knew that?
Purposefully subversive or no, it was a good gift.