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Giftless In Seattle (And Everywhere Else)

“Men who have pierced ears are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.”  – Rita Rudner

Balance Sheet Blues

Something happens when a man reaches his sixties, and that something is frequent and obsessive revue of his retirement portfolio.

Even a still-employed senior knows he’ll soon have to depend on Social Security and investment income to pay his bills. In case Pfizer should take a twenty cent hit, he’s wary of gifting you with something you’d truly appreciate. Like a trip to a restaurant that is not a national chain.

At my age, I don’t take lightly the fear of outliving the retirement money. But I’m wistful about the old days, when a bouquet of flowers was de rigueur — a standard part of the dating ritual.

I’ve had a ton of fun dating senior men, but I don’t have a lot of booty to show for it. Here’s the gift tally from my Dating Gallery:

MILITARY MILO                Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towel

FIGARO                                    Ticket to “La Boheme” at the Met

FIREFLY                                  Montblanc pen

PASHA                                      Bottle of Bulgari, several tulip bouquets

STUNT MAN                           Two Budweisers, one tube of toothpaste

WEBSTALKER                       Wildflowers bouquet, pack of spearmint gum

DR. SHRINK                          Conference lecture ($3.00)

STARGAZER                          Night sky map, sheet music to Send in the Clowns

LUST FOR BRAINS             Jar of face cream (omg — do NOT miss this story!)

HARVARD YARD               Degas calendar, Odwalla smoothie

TV IDOL                                 Signed copy of his autobiography (yes, really)

PAST PERFECT                    Pair of socks, Las Vegas souvenir deck of cards

Gift Me Or Else

In 1940 movies, a graceful negligee-clad heroine receives three dozen roses with a note that says: “you were ravishing last night at Chez Germaine.” Greta Garbo’s characters (and Garbo herself, of course) could expect bouquets from rich, gray-haired guys, but if you and I wait around for such gallantry we’ll be a lot older than we already are. And don’t try shaming or threatening a senior man into buying you some pretties. Dr. Jekkyl will become Mr. Hyde, but without the remorse.

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'Giftless In Seattle (And Everywhere Else)' have 10 comments

  1. February 13, 2015 @ 3:43 pm Katy Did

    Been there, done that. I have duplicates of all of these except the bottle of Bulgari and the pen hahaha. IMHO men are unsure that really nice gifts will not be appreciated, so they won’t go for the gold. Don’t they know the degree of gratitude is in direct proportion to the worth of the gift? It’s enough already with the single rose and the bottle of wine.

  2. December 1, 2011 @ 1:36 pm MsPreserved

    I’m glad you said this. Men are becoming stingier and I am sure it is because they are getting away with it. Older men I’ve dated are all about not being taken advantage of instead of just relaxing and enjoying the company. They want you to take them to a restaurant and then they say I’ll get the tip, like it’s a grand gesture.

  3. October 9, 2011 @ 12:07 pm Sienna

    LOL – Lynn, I actually think men are cutting back on flowers and you’re offering one good reason why….lots of people are allergic to them. One imagines that a giant sneeze is not the reaction a guy would be looking for. Anyway, cut flowers die quickly and in rather spectacular ways, smelly and putrid – symbolically the antithesis of romance. To any man stuck on the idea of flowers I make a big fuss about how much I love orchids, which are actually cheaper than cut flowers and last about 5,000 times longer. Thanks so much for your comment!

  4. October 9, 2011 @ 9:51 am lynn

    i’ll pass the flowers, they make me sneeze

  5. April 8, 2011 @ 8:32 am ElizAnn

    I had a man friend who after I had been with him for 3 whole years gave me an expensive necklace with rhinestones on a huge ebony pendant. I am 5’4″ and I weigh 120 pounds and my wordrobe is very tailored. I didn’t know whether to be angry or just put it in a drawer and stay calm. I have never worn it and it’s still in the drawer.

  6. February 12, 2011 @ 9:11 am Sienna

    So true too, Rachel. Especially if it’s clothing or jewelry — they always want to know why you never wear it. Sometimes, nothing can indeed be better than something.

  7. February 12, 2011 @ 7:01 am Rachel

    I look on the bright side, though. I hate it when a man gives you something and you hate it and have to act pleased.

  8. February 2, 2011 @ 12:39 pm Betsi

    Isn’t this depressing? I bet if you were younger (no offense) the gifts would be better.

  9. January 23, 2011 @ 1:41 pm Mara

    Figaro probably got the opera ticket free, too.

  10. January 23, 2011 @ 1:39 pm Willa

    The face cream story is really funny. lol


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