Sometimes the smallest gifts are the most memorable. They may not be items you thought you wanted, but those little gestures often reveal just how well a person knows you. After years of exchanging impressively high-priced gifts, RLB and I decided to treat each other to fun, little things. My birthday gift last year was a copy of the 1960 musical, Bells Are Ringing, starring Dean Martin and Judy Holliday. Seeing 1960s New York made for one perfect birthday. Plus, knowing how to select a classic movie from my favourite era is much more impressive than paying for designer denim.
On an ordinary school day last year, one of my teacher's reminded me that he had photocopied an article that I might be interested in reading. I figured it would be a designer profile, or a feature on a Canadian magazine editor. After class I collected the required reading for the week, along with the extra article. It was Gay Talese's "VOGUEland." Published in 1961, the article took readers inside the Conde Nast office. Before The Devil Wears Prada, there was "VOGUEland." As I read about the "suave and wrinkle-proof women who call one another 'dear' and 'dahling'" I smiled at this unexpected treat. I was extremely grateful, and pleasantly surprised.
Both instances may have been results of quick decisions. It's no secret that I read fashion magazines and enjoy old movies. But these two moments reminded me that small gifts can be the most surprising. Maybe such gestures do reflect how well a person knows you, but they're also a reminder of what you've chosen to reveal.