So Mom In Scrubs has posted her Top 3 Worst Gifts of All Time which are pretty funny. So I thought about it and couldn't really come up with a really terrible gift I've received, although I'm sure I've gotten a few doozys.
However, what is acutely crystal clear in my mind is the worst gift that I've ever given. I can remember every lurid detail in frightening clarity to this very day.
Back when I was pursuing my first degree, (pre-med actually) I was working in the IV room of a children's hospital pharmacy. I was one of only a few boy pharm techs, and definitely the only one without severe social handicaps. The group of women that I worked with were--how can I put this diplomatically?--well, women. There was a distinct pecking order and everyone's business was well, everyone's business indeed. All community happenings were closely observed and cataloged for later discussion of gossip-worthiness and social merit.
For example, when one of them became pregnant with no husband in her repertoire, it was a red banner gossip treasure trove. Yet, lest you think these women unfriendly or uncaring, everyone brought in gifts for the pending baby. Except for me. A fact that was pointedly pointed out to me in a casual if not indelicate manner.
Now realize this was back when I was not the quintessential smooth gentleman I am today, so I left the present selection to my wife. (My FIRST wife--important distinction there.) And she did produce a gift for me to take in to work--in an appropriately cute gift bag to boot.
At my next shift when I set the gift bag on the counter, whispers spread like wildfire.
"A gift, a gift, he brought a gift."
And every female in the department was quickly assembled to play 'rate the gift'. With an awkward swallow and sweaty palms I handed the gift bag over as the expectant mutterings increased to a dull roar.
My coworker pulled out:
Item #1... A onesie...an obviously well worn and not so well laundered onesie in that famous shade of dingy used-to-be white.
Item #2... A bib...with an obvious stain down the front.
Item #3... A book...with a lovely inscription to my daughter in the front cover, "With Love, Aunt Paige."
Mortified doesn't even begin to express.