Last night Mary amused me with a fun little game. There’s an article in the July 24 issue of The New Yorker called “You Shouldn’t Have -The Art of the House Gift.” The writer, Patricia Marx, believes that you should not give people wine, soap or candles as gifts, and suggests a number of alternatives. So here’s the game we played:

Which would you rather have?

  • Wine or “porcelain cups made to look like crumpled Styrofoam with dents and nibbles”

M – Wine; L – Wine

  • Wine or “a fruit bowl assembled from fruit shaped pieces of white resin”

M – Wine; L – Wine

  • Wine or “a minimalist kite that looks like a black falcon”

M – Wine; L – Kite

  • Wine or “plates whose edges curve up into semi-bowls, so that you can adroitly hold your barbecued ribs and balance your drink and silverware…”

M- plates; L – plates

  • Wine or “a beige felt cat mat that looks as if a canine-size feline had been given a light touch by a steamroller”

M – wine; L – wine

  • Wine or “a blue latex bath rug that looks like a manhole cover”

M – wine; L- wine

  • Soap or “strings of tiny paper lanterns in dozens of colors and patterns”

M – soap; L – paper lanterns

  • Soap or “Prehistoric-Planet Dinosaur Fossils”

M – soap; L – soap

  • Soap or “bright-colored stacked lunchboxes”

M – soap; L – soap

  • Soap or “chimeric pillows with the head of a Chinese girl and the body of a dachsund, but instead of a tail, another girl’s face”

M – soap; L – DEFINITELY soap

  • Soap or “coppery abacuses”

M – soap; L – abacuses

  • Soap or “a guzheng, which is a Chinese zither”

M – guzheng; L – guzheng

So I’m curious. Most of the time we chose the soap or the wine. I wonder what other people choose? Are people cursing us when we give them yet another bar of fancy soap and another smelly candle? I wanna know! Play this game at home. Post your comments here! (By the way the guzheng costs $295 which is a lot more than any candle or soap or wine I’ve ever given!)