When I was 11 or 12, I can’t quite remember, my parents bought me a bike for my birthday. It was a grey Shimano mountain bike that had all sorts of fancy gears on the handlebar. Back then, most kids didn’t have bikes with gears. Thus, the bike was a huge upgrade from my BMX. Next to the Shimano, the BMX looked intimidated. If it could, its handlebars would probably bow down in reverence of the superior Shimano. You think the new bike made me the envy of the neighbourhood or happy? It didn’t.
I hated the bike. Not because it wasn’t good and all, a new bike was great and I loved bike riding, but circumstances had changed. We previously lived in a large estate with a vast tarmac road that was ideal for bike riding. Also, I had many friends in our previous neighbourhood and we would often challenge each other to races around the estate. It was a ton of fun! Sadly, we moved to an almost lifeless neighbourhood where kids preferred the indoors to the outdoors. Our compound was also fairly small, thus there was inadequate space for bike riding. This was a huge departure from our previous residence. Thus, with no friends to ride with and limited space for riding my bike, together with my BMX, my new bike was relegated to the store.
My parents would often try to encourage me to ride the bike but their efforts were in vain. I tried explaining to them my predicament but they couldn’t or wouldn’t understand. I’m not quite sure which is which. And so, the bicycle remained in the store. It became lonely. It lost its metallic lustre. The BMX probably taunted it in the store. It must have told it, “He may have loved you but he loved me most. At least he frequently took me out for a spin. But look at you. He never rides you. Never!” Poor Shimano.
The Shimano almost risked fading into oblivion but I think the watchman must have seen how lonely it was in the store. He would sometimes take it for a ride. He kept it company. He cleaned and greased it too. It’s as if he was on a mission to salvage it to its previous glory but he too eventually gave up. Back to the store the bike went.
My parents had good intentions when they bought the bike but they should have been keener before they bought me a present. Around that time, PlayStations were new on the market and every kid (at least in our new neighbourhood) had or was getting one. I would have much rather preferred a PlayStation to a bike. If OLX existed at the time I would have probably sold the bike on OLX and used the cash to buy a PlayStation. Do you know that kid from your childhood who was often knocking at your door asking if he could come in to play? I was that kid and I hated it.
Anyway, the point is, we should all be more careful before buying gifts for anyone. So if you’re thinking about buying your loved one a gift for Valentine’s, here are a couple of things you may want to do or consider before choosing a cliché gift:
Perhaps your loved one keeps giving you a wish list. Its right under your nose and you still don’t know what to buy. Like I once had this pal who would often take me on her window shopping sprees. I loathed them. I dislike looking at things that I know I won’t buy or I’ll buy in the distant future. But this pal loved window shopping and she loved tagging me along. At the time, I was oblivious that she took me window shopping because it was her subtle way of telling me what she wanted. If you are buying a gift for someone like her, selecting what to buy should be a piece of cake.
What does your loved one love to do? Does your loved one love sports? Buy your loved one something sports related. Does your partner love new experiences, adventure and the outdoors? Take him/her to a park or on a road trip. I love reading. Many people don’t really think of books as gifts but an avid reader would really appreciate a good book. Buying a gift that is somehow related to your loved one’s interests or hobbies makes a memorable gift.
This is the simplest way to pick the right thing to buy. Well with kids maybe. With your loved one, you may want to ask in a discreet manner so as not to preempt the surprise when you give the gift. Ask tactfully during casual conversations.
Buy a gift your loved one needs. Does your loved one constantly ask you the time? Look at his/her wrist. Voila! Some of the best gifts I’ve received are things that I needed. Like for my 19th birthday, my mom bought me a wallet. Previously, I used to stash my various cards and cash in my pockets. Thus, the wallet was a welcome gift since I really needed it. Buy a gift that the receiver will find useful.
There may be many other things to consider before choosing an appropriate gift. However, I hope this post will help you pick out a memorable gift for that special someone. Plus, buying your loved one a gift needn’t be difficult if you’re an attentive partner. Love is keen observing. Love is active listening. Love is a verb.
Happy Valentine’s Day.