Tag Archive | gifts

Buddhist Gifts


I was over at my gran’s house the other day and she asked me to go check on her kindly neighbor “St Nickolas” down the street who had recently broken his ankle rock climbing.

St Nick is British but he speaks good German too, so he gets on well with my gran. He’s probably in his 60s, but he’s in better shape than me because he does a lot of mountaineering.

Once he lead a group, including myself, up a local mountain — which I confess is not all that high.  A few people die on the mountain every year because of stupidity. They try to climb the face and fall off or are washed away by a sudden rush of water during a storm. So it’s good to have an experienced guide.

I couldn’t even make it up the bottom third. I alone, embarrassingly, had to turn back and go home. But I didn’t feel too bad because I cooked dinner while waiting for everyone else to return. And as it happened, although the day had been clear and sunny,  once I left  the group it began to cloud up.  Those who reached the summit found it totally socked in and came home crushed.

At any rate, St Nick was doing well. We talked about this and that. I skimmed  his pool of leaves then  he made some chai as I tidied his kitchen. I told him about my various stresses: Piccolo, book deadlines, my gran’s screwed up medical bills, Der, moving, and . . . . . and then I saw his mala lying on a table.

It’s wood, but the rich red-gold color of  the wood, the silky texture, the inner gleam, the soft scent . . . . Oh my!

Being a total magpie, I went straight to it and began to sing its praises. St Nick smiled and admitted he had another rosewood mala just like it. He’d bought a twin in case his ever broke, but it was so well made it never had.

He said he’d give me the extra one and walked away, leaving me to fondle his mala shamelessly. Eventually he returned with a blue silk brocade sack. I opened it with glee, only to find a rough, dull strand of clunky beads.

“The mala is identical, I assure you,” he said, flopping down.  “They’re the finest quality natural heartwood.”

My expression was skeptical to  say the least.

“But you’ll  have to add a million mantra repetitions to develop a patina of the same luster,” he continued, putting a splash of brandy in his hot buttered chai.

I frowned slightly.

“At 108 a day, it should only take you 25 years or so.” He took a sip of his tea and tried not to laugh.

I took the beads anyway.

After all, if his mala had really started out the same as mine, decades ago, this truly was a gift from a saint.

Buy the Gift Your Woman Wants, seriously.

Honestly, it is the gift that counts. I know that sounds harsh, but that’s how it is.

If you ask me what I want, and I give you an item in a box, I expect you to get me that exact item in that’s in that exact box. At the very least, I expect that exact item.

If you cannot get that exactly, then buy me something else completely, or ask me where to find what I want or what else you can give me that I want.

I know this is hard to grasp, gentlemen, but pay attention here. Perfume 101 — when you buy a lady perfume, if you do not buy the exact bottle shape, size, style she always uses, it is not that perfume.

It’s probably a knock off or  a “new” version of the old perfume that she really likes (hence the manufacturer put it in a new bottle), which means you’ll have to look a little harder and spend a little more for what she wants, but she’s worth it right?

Perfume makers tend to update their scents and reinvent them slightly to go with current trends in perfume. They do this every dozen years or so.

A perfume that was born in 1922, might be remade in 1977, and again in 1980, and again in 1995 and again in 1999.  Each time, it will be slightly or radically different.

Your lady might find the 1980 and the 1995 not that different, but the 1999 version might suddenly be so different it smells to her like something the whores on Canal Street would wear.

So, take this message to heart!

If she’s handing you a visual aid and saying: Bring me this. You better be damn sure you get her that because if you get her a different “version” of perfume, she’ll feel insulted. Like you didn’t care enough — even after she told you what she wanted and gave you a visual aid — to get her the right thing.

Really.  And that’s your relationship in the toilet because you will not be sniffing, kissing or otherwise caressing any body part she sprayed with her current perfume, trust me.

And yes, I think the “new” 1999 updated version shown below smells so bad I scrubbed it off my arm and threw out the bottle and the person that had the gall to give it to me! — and it’s a really ugly stupid bottle too! Relationship status: OVER.