Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shopping For Others

FC brought me two shirts as gifts from Beijing, from my FAVORITE shirt store, Art Of The Shirt. One in particular struck her as something that I would wear. Her exact thought was: "I can see C-Belle wearing that!" But then, upon leaving the store with her purchases, she thought: "Hmm. Is it because I HAVE seen her in it?" (I do have a very similar shirt - purchased from the same shop - but since it is getting so worn from repeated washings, it is PERFECT timing for a replacement! Thanks, FC!)

But I digress.

I've been spending an extraordinary amount of time lately in the humidor rooms of various cigar shops.

I enjoy the occasional cigar myself, but it's been years since I've purchased them, because I never buy them for myself but only ever as gifts.

I had forgotten that I enjoy the ritual of cigar selection. Length? Ring gauge? Color of the wrapper? (Factors affecting or suggestive of the body and strength of the cigar).

There's also a sense of intimacy inherent in choosing a cigar as a gift.

It's less personal than choosing perfume or cologne. But it's more personal than say - choosing a tie. When I buy a tie for a man, the purchasing decision is based entirely on what I find pleasing to my own eyes.

With cigars... you have to think about the recipient, make some guesses, and sometimes be surprised that the man whom you thought would prefer a full-bodied cigar actually prefers something smoother.

But I suppose at the end of the day, the calculus involved is no different from what should be employed in buying ANY gift for ANY person. So many gifts are given without that specificity of thought. Or are more reflective of what you want to say about yourself, as the gift giver, rather than reflective of focus on the recipient.

Of course, mistakes can result in humor, immediate re-gifting, or even insult. But when you get it right... that's a pleasure in and of itself.


chilibean said...

So happy you like the shirts! And there's more where they came from... Beijing beckons!

MomVee said...

I was at my parents' house recently and my father walked into the kitchen after dinner to say "Gigi is having lessons with her Great-Aunt." My mother and I joined him and watched the whole movie. Her lessons include cigar selection--you would have made a great Parisian courtesan.

And the movie is worth watching. An appalling and bizarre subject for a musical, but worth watching.

C-Belle said...

I LOVE that movie.

And "Ah, I remember it well..."