One the hardest tasks, in my opinion, is selecting a present for someone. I think most people will agree with me. We've all been there - someone's birthday is coming up, and you can't figure out what to buy them. You rack and rack your brain, but it's of little avail. What do I get her?
If only there was some sort of standard formula or algorithm that we could use to come up with a great gift everytime. Some sort of fantastic machine into which you feed in all the characteristics of the person you want to gift, and out pops the name of the perfect present. Voila!
Nowadays, people have more or less given up. Noone evens make an effort any more. You just go down to the nearest book store and buy them a gift voucher. Simple as that. Jerry Seinfeld, in one of his routines, claimed that the least thoughtful gift in the world is a paperweight. I beg to differ. The least thoughtful gift in the world is a gift voucher! I mean, what exactly are you trying to convey by gifting someone a voucher on their birthday? That you care so little about actually trying to come up with a good present for them, that you don't even want to try. You might as well just give them some money instead. That way at least they can choose their own store to spend it in. "Here's a hundred bucks. Just go buy yourself whatever you want. I don't care."
The funny thing, though, is that gift vouchers are, in a sense, pretty sensible gifts. Because 99% of time, when you do end up buying something for someone, you end up making the wrong choice. And then what follows is whole sham of fake appreciation.
"Oh my God! I love this hat you gave me!" [But I wouldn't be caught dead in it!]
"This rug is just the thing I've always wanted!" [To throw into the corner of my attic and forget about for the rest of eternity!]
"Wow, this really is a nice painting!" [Did someone throw up on that?]
At least with the voucher you're jumping into a larger blanket! There's less of a chance of you going wrong. Okay, so maybe it's as impersonal as hell; but at least I don't have to trouble my brain and you don't have to put on a phoney show of appreciation!