Monday, October 23, 2006

Birthdays; Holidays; old past time

I have decided to finally post this topic, well just because I think it is time and I don't want to talk about politicks or government.

Birthdays, why do we celebrate them? We are only born once, and by using different calendars we could have multible birthdays throughout the year. Therefore, I think we should stand up for the right to save our money and not celebrate birthdays. Everyday, I have to congratulate someone for their birthday. Here's a hint, if you are passed 21 there is not much left to look forward to except for when you turn 25 and the cost of insurance falls; therefore its time to stop counting birthdays. Years come years go, we live and then we die. Why should we count just to know we are only getting older? How about you stop counting that way you feel forever young?

Well, my real point is namely on gifts. If you want to celebrate someone's birthday that is your choice, but do not waste your time by searching for the perfect gift. Most likely, whatever you buy will not be the perfect gift. Why? Because you are not them therefore you do not know for certain what they would like. You only increase the price of the gift by spending the amount of time searching for it. To save time (cost) and make the gift more efficient you should just give money or a gift card. This way, whoever you were given the gift to could buy themselves what they would like. Since they know what they would like, they will be able to maximize the gift's utility(someones rate of enjoyment).

How many times have you been given the sweater that you never wear? How many times have you given the bread maker that was given to you two years ago for your birthday but it just is returned to you at another birthday/holiday?

If it were up to me, you save your money, I shall save mine. On your birthday, you buy yourself a gift with the money you would have spent on me, and I will do the same with the money I would have spent on you for your birthday/holiday. This way, we will actually use or admire what it is we had bought for ourselves, since we know what it is that we want.


Melissa said...

If it were up to me, you save your money, I shall save mine.

Yes, but if I can con someone into buying me something that I like, but could not perhaps afford on my own, then gifts are a good thing. I suppose there is also the materialistic nature of American society, where we show our worth in what we own and how much money we have- and then what better way to say "you really mean something to me" in a society where possessions are status symbols and very important than by giving someong something material?

Also, in some cases, gifts are a way of making up or coming even with someone who has done something nice for you. It's like a market, in a way, because you either exchange items that a person would like but may not be aware of the existance of (and that raises the question, "if I do not know it exists, do I really need it?") or you exchange a gift for a service, be it simply one's prescence or like baby showers, where we know that money will be tighter with the family because of the new baby or...hell, I dont' know.

You're asking someone who was talking about relationships with a friend today and came to the conclusion that "There's no point in complaining if you get dumped, because there's nothing you can do. She's obviously concluded that either there is a substitute good of a higher quality or of lower costs in existance, a good at a lower price (which I mean in the one time meaning, like, you pay $5 for a cup of coffee, but the costs are that it has lots of calories, it hypes you up, you could have spent that $5 elsewhere, etc), or that the cost of being with you another day is so high that she'd rather do without the good than with what she's got now, which is you." Heh.

PS: Listen, I understand if you forgot that my birthday was on Friday. You don't have to go overboard explaining WHY you forgot. ;)

Anonymous said...

My thoughts exactly, idunois. But I say, extend it for all holidays. Christmans, Hannukah, whatever else we buy gifts for. Just scrap the whole system and buy ourselves what we want!!!

We should notice that the woman here is saying stick with the gifts, while us two men are saying do away with them. Social commentary, perhaps??

Idunois said...

Anon 12:54 Thanks for agreeing. Melissa wants to stick with the gifts because she receives the benefits. For the most part, it is women who enjoy giving and receiving gifts. In giving gifts, they try to change others style. Hoping that the new sweater or shirt would provide a new sense of fashion to the other's wardrobe. Not always the case, but perhaps one of many.

Remember those on minimum wage love it, while those who do not have a job because of minimum wage dislike it.

Melissa, you did say con, and a con is deception therefore you are taking advantage and receiving the benefits while the other is losing in the gift giving. This is why I don't support gift giving; its just a someone trying to take advantage of another. I don't celebrate my birthday, because then I would be taking advantage of others which is what I do not want to do. Hopefully, others do not want to take advantage of others as well.

Anonymous said...

If I were a young woman, I'd take advantage of my sexual allure and try to get everything I could from men: jewelry, dinners, free furniture moving, sex (but only when I feel like it), etc.

So, I don't entirely disagree with melissa. Were I in her position, I'd probably think the same way. But, alas, I'm not. I'd rather come off as a cheap bastard, though, than be taken advantage of.

Melissa said...

For the most part, it is women who enjoy giving and receiving gifts.

Long story short, we like to shop, and we can shop more guilt-free if we can say "well, we're not buying for ourselves."

Another group of people who benefit from gift-giving are those who are what Malcolm Gladwell terms "market mavens"- the people who follow partciular markets or companies or the economy in general obsessively and know practically everything about everything. They're the people that always get the discount, know what days things are cheaper or it's better to shop, etc. So they can buy a beautiful present for someone, feel good about doing something nice, make the other person happy with them, perhaps get a nice gift in return, and end up spending probably less money on the gift than the other person. And again, I think sometimes, gift giving is a way to do some sort of transfer and thus make people aware of products that they wouldn't have been aware of previously. If you buy someone something they would like but dind't know about, and they do the same for you, it's also a form of education. And it's a way to relieve societal guilt- we might not buy ourselves a particular product, but if we buy something for someone else, we can

a. justify spending money needlessly.

b. Perhaps get that product that we wanted in return, and since it's a gift, is "guilt-free" again.

I'm stretching this, aren't I? Either way, gifts are good for women, bad for men. Women not only tend to get gifts more frequently, but enjoy the gift-purchasing process more and thus have a lessened cost of purchasing gifts for otheres than men. They also tend to multi-task while purchasing gifts, and use the time to be with friends, whereas I don't know any (straight) men who say "Hey, we should hang out sometime, we're so busy we never see each other, let's go shopping!"

Anonymous said...

Why not just limit the gift-giving among the women-folk, then?? No need for us men-types to get involved.

Anonymous said...

Ian Dunois' birthday is July 24.