Oh, you know what I’m talking about. Those hideous gifts that, for some reason, others thinks are simply adorable or just perfect for you but, in fact, leave you wondering WTF? Seriously. W-T-F? Crocs? A ceramic knick-knack? A teal foulard?! Of course, you bite your tongue, force a smile, and thank the giver for being so thoughtful – before re-gifting the monstrosity or packing it away to be discovered, generations from now, in the deepest, darkest corner of your crawlspace.
We’ve all received our fair share of truly terrible presents. Here are a few of my most memorable:
The red sweater vest (what my friends derisively coined “the shvest”) my mother got me one Christmas when I was about ten. “It’s very stylish,”she insisted (mothers, of course, always being on the forefront of what’s cool and what’s not) as she made me try it on and parade around, much to my little sister’s delight. The first and last time I wore it. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn it’s still sitting upstairs in my old bedroom drawer.
“I figured you could use a Jets hat,”said my cousin, looking positively embarrassed as I eyed the cap. Me, a life Raiders fan, glancing back at him, confused. He shrugged as if to say “Yeah, let’s move on.” Free swag? Re-gift? Found on the bus? Hard to say but suffice it to say that cap remained in mint condition for a very long time. The Jets? When was the last time they were good? Certainly not thirty years ago when I received this gift.
I remember heading downstairs with my little sister and cousins on Christmas Eve and trying to identify the contents of the brightly colored wrapping. We would weigh, shake, feel and, of course, hold them up to the light. Definitely a record. I could make out letters and words “M—– Melodies”. Of course! Monster Melodies! A collection of creature-feature themed tunes, the perfect present for the little horror aficionado. I was thrilled. Until I tore off the wrapping paper and discovered it wasn’t Monster Melodies but Messiah Melodies. The perfect present for the little church hymn afocionado!
At the end of every season, my fellow Stargate produers and I would occasionally receive gifts from the cast. It was never expected and always appreciated. Well, the gesture was mightily appreciated. The giant box of sour keys – not so much. They sat in the writers room, untouched, for three years before mysteriously disappearing one night.
Another end of season gift – for the man who has everything, except a goldfish. I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Not exactly something I could pack away, and flushing it was out of the question. Fortunately, Playback Supervisor Krista McLean was more than happy to take the little guy off my hands and add him to her growing home aquarium.
Okay, let’s hear it (and, if possible, see ’em!). What were your Worst Presents Ever?