Suddenly realizing how weird the concept of gift shops is.

"We sell gifts. Just gifts, generally. Yes, you can *technically* give literally anything as a gift, but these things are specifically here to be gifted, which makes them more gifty."

alternate universe in which it is considered tacky to give gifts that are not from gift shops

@emily
Me: gift shops are cheap, only those who lack imagination need them

Also me: I have no idea what to give them...

@bcgoss I have embraced the "I will prefer getting you nothing over getting you generic garbage, and I expect the same from you" strategy. It weirds people out at first, but they get used to it. It helps to be weird as heck in many other ways already.

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@bcgoss (This is relaxed from many years of completely refusing to do gifts at all, in either direction. That weirded people out even more, and occasionally offended them, because how dare I ask them to *checks notes* not buy me things?)

@emily I forego gifts a lot, usually because I forgot the occasion was coming up or I don't realize the occasion required gifts.

I have started to realize that some people really value being good at gifts, I accept gifts from them. But I agree with you that, like, don't give me a gift out of a sense of obligation, I'm good.

@bcgoss mm. I think the thing with me is that there are many people in my life who *think* they're Good At Gifts, but are not: some of them are the sort of people who conflate "I like X" and "I think you would like X", and most of the rest will think "oh, you're into X! I'll get you a thing that sounds X-related even though I know nothing about X" and then I get a worse version of a thing I already have.

(Especially when X is a broad thing like "computers and technology in general" - it is incredibly hard to fake excitement over receiving a charger for a phone that I do not have.)

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