User Input

User Input: Repeated Requests


I collect hand-made items, specifically hand-made coffee cups, but also just about anything one-of-a-kind or made by an artisan. If I can get a handmade desk, or chair, or shoes, or whatever, if it’s within my budget, I will always choose that option.

You would think, then, that I should be pretty easy to shop for, when the holidays roll around. When people ask me what they can get me, I tell them to choose a hand-made coffee mug. They’re easy enough to find, if you’re willing to put in a small amount of time, and they’re not usually all that expensive. For me, the interesting thing is to see what different people choose to buy; it’s a little insight into the person giving the gift, and as a result, every time I use that mug, it’s a reminder of the person who gave me the gift. Nevertheless, despite  saying this time and time again, I think I’ve probably received three mugs in the last five years. Come Christmas morning, I’m told that I didn’t really want a mug, that’s not a real gift, I’ve got plenty of those already.

I don’t need anything at all, really. I’m comfortable, and not seriously wanting for anything essential. So it really is the sentiment that counts. It puzzles me, then, that asking for a gift that is almost entirely sentiment — and happens to also hold  my coffee — never goes well.

What gift have you long asked for, and never received?

  • ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

    V8 Rover SD1 3500 Vitesse in black

  • jalopjackie

    Someday that orbital laser cannon will come, I just *know* it.


  • I bought a set of Henkels Professional S kitchen knives on ebay, way back when they were cheap on there (I assume that people were getting rid of extra wedding presents.) I got these in about 2001. Since at least 2003 I have been asking for a Santoku knife to add to the set. I have gotten many great gifts, but still not this knife.
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    • cruisintime

      J.C. pennys $29.00 special offer 7 inch Henkel Santoku.

      • What I want is the Professional S version, made in Germany, they run about $100. The $29 special at Pennys is made in China. I'm about ready to settle for at least the Spanish made Henkels, for about $60.

  • cruisintime

    The gift of patience while waiting in line…
    I do do all my shopping for the week early Sunday morning.
    Mostly at self-checkout .

  • The Professor

    Bah! I keep asking for a few dozen north monopoles, but do I ever receive them? No, I do not, and I know that the bastards are sitting on a supply of them. Greedy bastards….

    • Getting them is easy. It's unwrapping them that's a pain.

  • I always ask for toys 'cause that's what Christmas is all about. This year, though, I'm going to ask for shelves to put all my toys on.

  • I still want my two dollars.

    • cruisintime

      Will you accept "Loonies" I got a couple Canadian dollars.

      • Number_Six

        You could offer "twonies" – the Canadian two dollar coin.

  • I insist that people not get me anything at all. Mostly because at 46, I've gotten to the point where if I want it, I go out and get it. I'm far from made of money, I just have modest wants. Stuff is just stuff and if you take care of it, it lasts a long time. Also though, my family totally sucks at gifts. Here's some examples:

    As a kid, no matter what I ever told my family (mother) I wanted , she would either ignore my request, get me the opposite, or buy whatever crap was on sale. Seriously, every request for Legos was met with another box of incompatible off-brand Lok Bloks. I could tell her that the small set I wanted was the same price as the mega-pack of ill fitting, all-rectangle imitations and I'd be admonished for not seeing the value in getting more for the money.

    In the rare case I was able to get her to see the light and get me something good, I would be rewarded by having my kid brother get the exact same thing. Then, when he'd break his, guess who had to share!

    My mother would have me make a wish list. Then, a couple weeks later she would have me repeat the process a second and then a third time. She later revealed that her thought process was that whatever was on all three lists was what I really wanted. Without thinking, I revealed to her that the reason my lists never matched was because I assumed the things on the previous list were unacceptable so I picked new things. She claimed to be crushed that her brilliant scheme had backfired. Somehow I think she enjoyed thinking that I was not capable of deciding what I wanted. A few years ago she told me how much my father enjoys wearing fleece vests and she noticed how I seem to like the full fleece jackets. Would I like to try a vest? You could move your arms better! I told her no thank you. I like the jacket better. Guess what I got for Christmas the next THREE YEARS IN A ROW!

    You know those giant inflatable lawn decorations Dearthair likes so much? My mother, obviously after buying a bunch of them on sale at Costco, asked me if I wanted one a few years ago. I told her that the question was moot as I have a very old house with no outside electrical outlets. Not taking the hint, she suggested I have an electrician install some. Great idea but that would be cost prohibitive as the basement ceiling had been sheet rocked. Thanks for the offer Mom, but I'll pass. Guess what I got for Christmas anyway. You know, just in case I change my mind.

    Kramer : Loneliness, that's the bottom line. I was never happy as a child . . . Christmas Ted, what does that mean to you? It was living hell. Do you know what its like falling in the mud and getting kicked, in the head. With an iron boot? Of course you don't, no one does, that never happens. Sorry Ted, that's a dumb question.

    Sorry, my mind wandered a bit there. But who doesn't love Airplane!

    At any rate, I actually think I'd be a fairly easy guy to shop for. For example, I throw two big parties a year for friends and family. 4th of July and Oktoberfest. I foot 100% of the bill for food, beer and decorations. I realize a kegerator is a big ticket but do you want to know what I've spent on these parties for the last 20 something years? I sure don't. Then how about some folding tables or chairs. They make really nice ones. Maybe replace the mish-mosh of donated "hey I've got a couple left over used ones I was going to put out at the curb" we've been making do with? Nah, here's a fleece vest.

    Well I better quit now before I risk over-sharing.

    • cruisintime

      Best Christmas story since the last one ….

    • Vairship

      Why do you need a bay window in your garage? 😉

      • Zoning regulations limit the footprint of an outbuilding on my property to 250 sq. feet, but box windows don't count as part of that total. That's just a way to increase the curb appeal while giving myself a place to sit that doesn't count toward the max size of the building.


    One of these mugs is not like the others,
    One of these mugs just doesn't belong,
    Can you tell which mug is not like the others
    By the time I finish my song?

    Did you guess which mug was not like the others?
    Did you guess which mug just doesn't belong?
    If you guessed that one is older than the others,
    Then you're absolutely…right!

    I've only ever wanted to be understood.

  • Renchick

    I crochet, occasionally (read: around the holidays) kind of obsessively. All I really ever want is to know that people appreciate the things I make – I love to see pictures of my stuff in action. It's the only thing I ask for when I give away my work. Never happens.