The Cost of Generosity in Corporate America

I want to buy a baby present for young friends.  Several couples actually.  And yet I want to tell them that the crap will weigh them down.  All the paraphernalia isn’t necessary.  What do I wish I had had for my kids when they were little?   More time. Less activities.  Less stuff.  Less peer pressure to have and do and be.  Not wipe-warmers.

But they didn’t register for my advice nor for my agenda.  So as I select a gift, do I give ’em what they want, or give ’em what I think they need.  I chose the former.

Which costs dearly.  Registries… God help us.  I’m Scrooge-y today.  Yet it’s not the cost of the gift that’s a problem.  I chose within my desires and means.  It’s the cost beyond it.  It’s the cost of getting an email (2.3 seconds after handing over my VISA number) saying “Welcome to the Babies R Us Family.”  I can’t think of a family I’d less rather be in.  Corporate. Huge. Logo-ed.  Exploiting a giraffe through their parent company.  Ok… I’m going too far.  Nothing wrong with the giraffe (Geoffrey, isn’t he?).

But it is a dubious distinction to be wedded to or born into (or however I got into) the family.  And I want a divorce.  I want to opt-out, but I never really wanted to opt in.  I just wanted to buy what my friends wanted.  And it isn’t made, as far as I know, by some cool, progressive, crafty gal or guy who sells at my beloved Crafty Bastards Crafts Show in DC each fall, or I would have put in an order and bought local, bought real, bought human… and probably experienced some real community and conversation instead of  feeling kidnapped by corporate America and buried under a pile of friendly, chatty, inviting emails welcoming me to a family.

Ranting middle-aged woman.  That’s what I am.  But it deserves a rant.  AAAGGGHHH.


2 responses to “The Cost of Generosity in Corporate America

  1. Nope. Give what you think they should have. Don’t get one of those gift slips that make it easy to return . If you’ve invested all that shoe leather and time and thought in finding the gift, they get to keep it. Yup. One of the advantages of being Grandmother age is that you get to be old-fashioned and wear purple if it pleases you.

  2. At least I do- but purple doesn’t really suit me, so my daughter says I can settle for plum.

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