Do You have Increasing Trouble Asking for Gifts as You Age?

Birthday gifts, that is. I have come to the conclusion that I do. I used to ask for all kinds of junk for my birthday - video games, electronics, books, movies, etc. But that was when I was pretty young, under 15 or so. Now I hardly every play video games (and they hold my attention less and less these days), the only electronics I want are out of birthday price range (I couldn’t expect someone to shell out for a huge gift), I don’t really like owning movies since I only watch them a few times (I’d rather just watch them online). Just about the only thing I do ask for in recent years is books. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read, but I can go out to the bookstore any day of the week and get a book. There isn’t much surprise in unwrapping the books you asked for. The only things I can think of that I really want are either immaterial or out-of-range of anyone’s birthday budget.

What do you ask for these days?

Hoooo-boy. This was a minor stress point for the last couple of weeks because my birthday is tomorrow and my wife kept wanting to know what I wanted. But I couldn’t think of a damned thing. Then she’d get flustered because she couldn’t think of anything and she was sure she’s disappoint me and I’d get irritated because my birthday gift was feeling like a job for me and it was just a mess. But then she decided on a few video games based on my interests (historical strategy simulation stuff) and it was all good.

But I owe her some suggestions for future events.

I’m in the same boat I assume a lot of folks are in: Anything minor you pick up yourself along the way and anything major would be too major for the occassion. I wish I could offer more than sympathy.

Edit: Also, I should note that she researched a Commdore 64 emulator for me and a copy of Elite (and put them on a flash drive) based on threads where I ranked it among the best video games. She’s a keeper :smiley:

Gifts are hard to get for me because I pretty much give myself anything I want when I want it. I ask for more personal things from my family, like a baked cake, cookies, clean my gutters, help me hang some pictures, etc.

I buy dozens of books each year - but to make it easy on the only person who buys me a birthday present (Mom) I leave a few for her. It isn’t that hard, since there are so many I want.

I collect silver, so I recommend people buy me some of that.

I like a good meal, so anyone could buy me dinner.

Usually there is a game or two I might like.

Naw, it isn’t too hard for me to come up with stuff.

This OP was made for me. The only things I really want or need are things that I’m so picky about that I need to buy them myself. Clothing falls into this category…I love getting new clothes, but no one picks out stuff for me that either fits or suits my style. I appreciate the sentiment, but a closet full of stuff I can’t or won’t wear is not really a gift.

I also get a lot of “stuff,” such as knick-knacks, candles, costume jewelry, etc. that I wouldn’t buy myself and will possibly use but don’t really need, and then I feel bad for wasting the giver’s money on something unnecessary. Gifts stress me out. :frowning:

Yeah, me too. I loved asking for gifts as a kid and loved the whole “opening presents” thing, but nowadays I do buy pretty much everything I want for myself, and the spouse does the same. I hate it when people buy me clothes (invariably they get either the size or the style wrong), and I’m trying to eliminate the entire category of items I call “stuff to dust” from my life (which isn’t easy, but I’m getting better–basically any item that’s sole purpose for an adult to put it on a shelf and look at it: stuffed animals, action figures, toys, swords, etc.). Lately I’ve just been happy going out to dinner or whatever on my birthday, and I actively dislike getting gifts from people who don’t know me very well so they give me something that’s totally wrong for me (not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment–don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that they cared enough to give me something, but now what do I do with it?) Fortunately the family has started giving each other gift cards for restaurants or whatever; it’s kind of impersonal, but I think they’re great gifts.

My parents ask me if I have any ideas for birthday or Christmas and I sometimes have thought of something. I think this year I even said “If you’re thinking of getting me something…” Ever since my mom told me my father believes gifts = love, I feel OK mentioning wish list items.

Last year was a heated throw for on the couch and this year was a heated mattress pad. Yes, there’s a theme and the theme is – Conserve heating oil!

I’m awful with gift ideas for myself. About 5 years ago, I just started telling everyone to get me gift cards to Home Depot/Lowes, Best Buy or Steins (garden store). Then about 3 years ago I got wiser and each time there was something coming up where I would be reciving gifts, I would still ask for gift cards, but I would pick one place and tell that to everyone. It’s all well and good to get $150 spread among three or four or five different places that I know I’ll use, but it’s more fun if I tell them all the same place, then I can put it towards something bigger.

I recently discovered that compiling a giant wish list on Amazon is the best way to go for me. My current list has 85 items on it, comprising mostly of books but with a few DVDs and board games. I’m still mildly surprised by what is picked off of it, and it’s always something I want.

My birthday’s tomorrow, as well.

We’re flying to Maui in the morning… but not for my birthday. This was a trip I’d planned months ago, and it just so happened that the best time for it was tomorrow. That hasn’t stopped my wife from saying that this trip is my “birthday present”, which I’m finding a little grating. If it’s MY present, why is SHE getting to go too, especially since I’m paying for it?

I suspect she’ll give me something. If she doesn’t, I think I’ll be very disappointed, especially after the fuss I went through for her birthday last month.

I don’t need more crap. I don’t have enough closet space for all my clothes and shoes. Or enough shelves for all my books. Electronic doodads are wasted on me; I don’t know what they do, I don’t know how to work them. I don’t even own a cell phone … I sometimes get taken out to a good restaurant, but as my birthday is in the armpit of winter, sometimes the outing is delayed due to rotten weather. I would LOVE to get gift cards, but I never do! …This year I made it crystal clear that instead of random ‘stuff’, I would like Mr. Salinqmind to send the money he would have spent to the Humane Society. Well, he forgot, and ended up getting me, yes, random ‘stuff.’. … Which brings us right back to the beginning of this paragraph.

To all my fellow bibliophiles: Since the opening of this thread, I’ve been entertaining the idea of asking for a Kindle 2. My biggest complaint about it is that it’s obscenely overpriced…but if someone else will buy it for me…

Plus, my bookshelves are running out of space.

I ask for nothing, and get it. I’m an old fart with everything I want and if I wanted something else, no one who would consider getting me something for a birthday could afford it.

Life is good.

You know what I want for gifts is really the shopping I hate doing for myself. I want someone to give me a shirt and pants and say “these go together, wear them as a set,” or “here is a lifetime supply of the shaving cream you use, now you don’t have to dry shave for a month at a time because you keep forgetting to buy more.”

When it comes to stuff I really want, I like the experience of researching and buying it.

This works very well for me, too. I have to go through my list every now and then and clean it up, but otherwise, it’s very easy to tell someone about my list. My mother in particular loves this list, because it’s hard for her to pick out books or anything else for me.

I think this is the year that I am just going to tell my brothers that just a card would be sufficient. I don’t expect them to spend any more on a gift than I would feel comfortable spending on myself anyways, so what’s the point if I have to tell them what to buy me? I know that I will always be my parent’s little boy though, so I will come up with something for them, even if it is just a Lowes gift card. Last year I got a compound miter saw. Woo-hoo!

We’ve run into this problem. When someone inquired, we asked for donations to charities for Christmas and we bought each other gym memberships. There’s not a whole lot we want anymore.

I told my husband I wanted the leg hair sander “as seen on tv” (Smooth Away) but he got me the water globes instead. That was after he told me he wasn’t getting me anything. 2 days after my birthday he showed up with the globes. Does the man know nothing about me that that’s the best he can do? I was so hurt, then so pissed. I constantly have a stack of library books on my table but it didn’t occur to him I like to read? I have exactly one houseplant. Water Globes. :frowning:

His birthday is next month. I’m thinking about what “as seen on tv” to get him as payback, maybe the dog nail groomer. Ahh, how much is that blanket with sleeves?

To answer the OP, I don’t usually ask for stuff, (most of) my family knows me. Christmas at my sister’s usually turns into a big book exchange. We’re all voracious readers. One year my brother and I gave each other the same books.

My husband is one of the worst at this. There is nothing he wants. Everybody says “he’s a computer guy; get him some computer doodad!” But *he *knows about that stuff; I don’t. The way he looks at it: If he needed it, he wouldn’t wait till his birthday, and if he didn’t need it, he wouldn’t ask for it.

I’m asking for an iPod for my birthday, but that’s five months away.

We really need a new etiquette rule on this. I think most people have the OP’s problem. I know I do. I end up postponing getting something I really want, so as to allow someone else to get it for me. Which they usally don’t do.

After two years of disappointing gifts from my husband, I have relieved both him and myself of gift giving-duty.

Instead, we each ask and give 15 minutes every day to each other in which we do everything the other person wants, immediately. Apart from blow jobs :slight_smile: the time has been spent on such things as
-Cleaning up a corner of clutter
-doing some chore
-Sorting out clothes
-Foot and backrubs
-getting each other interested in a certain hobby; I have played some of my husbands Playstation games for fifteen minutes;
-getting 15 minutes of romantic attention. " Now, tell me again how hot you thought I was when you first met me. With details, please."

It really works, because be both have a strong incentive to ask and to reciprocate.