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THE PENCOPAL PROJECT

2004-09-28 - 10:06 a.m.

DAMN THE DVD
I wish DVDs were never invented. Itís the perfect cop out for men who donít want to put any thought into gifts for their girlfriend. My birthdayís coming up and I sincerely hope that when I got nostalgic for 30 seconds and flipped out over the Punky Brewster boxed set, The Honey didnít think to himself,Ē A-ha, the perfect gift.Ē Because itís not. I repeat: It. Is. Not. Yes, I like the two seasons of Strangers With Candy you bought me last year. But hereís the thing: I only started watching them last week, and that was because Iíd smoked a joint and needed to laugh. Theyíve been in my DVD case for a year and I never once picked them up. They sat there for so long because, while you got points for listening when I said I used to love that show, the slogan isnít ďStrangers With Candy DVDs are forever.Ē The same applies to The Lion King special edition boxed set. (I wonít add the My So-Called Life or Sex and the City boxed sets to this list because those are actually good ideas.) The slogan goes, ďDIAMONDS are forever,Ē fool!
A DVD is a part of a gift, a supplementary gift, if you will. Like for your birthday I got you [omitted for personal reasons], and [omitted] AND season one of Reno 911. You see how Iím outlining the DVDís supplementary nature? Right. When you present a DVD as the be all and end all of gifts, itís insulting because it seems like you ran your ass over to Best Buy, grabbed the first thing you saw me looking at last time we were there, and bought it so you didnít have to bother worrying about it anymore. And if you tell me you agonized over what DVD to buy, youíre either completely full of shit or completely misguided. Agonize over what BOOK to buy me. I mean, DVDs are your thing, not mine. Do I easily spend three hours in Best Buy, lovingly fondling anime DVDs? No, honey, thatís you. But I do spend three hours in Barnes and Noble fondling book spines. I even get a little moist, to tell you the truth. So hit that G-spot and get me what I want, not what youíd want.
Then last year you bought me all that shit for my car. And after a while, I really dug it. My driving lights are amazing and allow me to blind assholes whoíre driving to slowly in front of me. But again, the phrase isnít, ďA new trunk mat is forever.Ē Say it with me now, diamonds. Itís not that Iím unappreciative. I love you for you, not your gifts, and after about a month, I come to love those too. But itís just that those gifts all felt like something youíd like, not something Iíd like. I like books, museums, plays, the symphony, yoga, music, and more: Any of these interests call to mind a host of gift ideas if youíd only think about it for a fucking minute.
After all this ranting, I remember, most women complain about this type of shit. I guess 9 out of 10 penis-bearing humans are bad at choosing gifts. So I try to take the guesswork out of it for you. But even that didnít work. And itís not like Iím asking for diamonds. I didnít say, buy me a bracelet (which Iíd like), or a necklace (which I wouldnít mind), or a ring (which Iíd love). Iím not asking for expensive trips or purses (which Iíd also like) or shoes (which would be nice). Iím asking for something very simple.
Three weeks ago I said, ďWhen my birthday comes up, Iíd like my cello re-pegged, or Iíd like a few cello lessons.Ē Itís simple, inexpensive, and it would really mean a lot to me. So when we were on the phone last night, why did you say, ďI really donít know what you get you for your birthday.Ē Yes, you do! Because I made sure of it. This selective listening thing is a royal fucking pain in my ass. People say it's the thought that counts. But if you didn't put any fucking thought into it, then I guess it doesn't count, does it?
Letís see how you like it. Iíll buy you what Iím interested in, not what youíre interested in. No more top-of-the-line drawing tools, no more money for carparts to refurbish your vintage car. Next year for your birthday youíre getting every book ever written by Joyce Carol Oates. And a membership to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And a subscription to the Walnut Theatre. And maybe, if youíre good, a really nice dress.

p.s. I'd never hurt The Honey's feelings by actually saying all this to him. Of course, in the end, I will smile and say I love whatever I end up getting.

p.p.s. So I take back everything I said here. Due to a gentle (?) reminder to The Honey, I will soon be the proud owner of four new pegs, a new C string, and a lesson or two, come October 6. I know what you're thinking: what an impatient, spoiled bitch. To that I say: Your thinking on the matter is completely right.

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