Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Happy Friday, Dear Readers!

Yes, I’ve resurrected Fun Friday. This week, I want to know about the worst gift you ever received. You don’t have to name names, and let’s face it–the person who got you that horrible thing is not reading this blog! (I’m not that popular, so your secret will be relatively safe with me.)

It’s the thought that counts, of course, but what if that thought was seriously wrong? I’ve gotten some disappointing gifts over the years-everything from ugly hand knitted slippers that didn’t fit from my well-intentioned grandmother to a coffee maker with a selection of coffees from a friend who knew I don’t drink coffee. Her explanation? “Well, you might have someone come over who wants coffee.” Um, thanks. The worst gift I received as a child was a lace dickey. I didn’t even know what it was, until my mother explained that you wore them with plain sweaters to make them look fancier. Did I ever tell you I was a tomboy? A lace dickey I did not need.

But one guy I dated took the proverbial cake. Almost every gift he gave me was so hideous or misguided that I was afraid to open it. He seriously challenged my acting abilities. For our first Christmas, I received a rusted elephant sculpture. This lovely hunk of rusted metal (with orange flakes falling off it periodically) was supposed to stand by itself, and was the size of a small dog. It resembled a shapeless blob more than anything, and it kept falling over, scaring my cat and gouging the hardwood floors. Lovely.

The following year, it was a vase in a wire pedestal that was lovingly designed to incorporate all of the world’s ugliest colors: puke yellow, booger green, and our old favorite–rust. What was with this guy’s obsession with rust? Again, the finish flaked off when you touched it, and the pedestal’s legs were crooked. I threw an ivy plant in it, and that actually made it look okay, until it rotted out and fell apart. Problem solved!

Deciding he’d done enough to decorate my living room, he turned his attention to my bathroom. I love baths, so for some reason he though I must need a new bathroom set. (I don’t know about guys, but I’m sure most of the women who read this like to pick their own colors, and probably already have their home the way they like it. This guy didn’t know that.) So, to replace my lovely teal-and-aqua bathroom accessories, he bought me a plastic jungle-themed shower curtain, a set of forest green towels, and every gadget you could possibly imagine for softening one’s feet.

“I hope you don’t think that I think there’s anything wrong with your feet,” he said. “I just thought these would be nice to have.”

Translation: he went to the Bay’s bathroom department and bought everything they have. And I do mean everything! I’m surprised he didn’t get me one of those scary razor-type things that remove calluses.

Thankfully, The Boy is a much better gift-giver!

What’s the worst present you ever received?

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  1. Lisa

    Hmmm How long did you date said boyfriend? (It almost sounds like he went to the bargain basement and bought up whatever was left for bathrooms…;))))))

    I dated a guy who was obviously not going to commit to much of a future. We began seeing each other in September so by the time Christmas came we were at the point where we knew each other pretty good – I stayed about every second weekend with him. He had an 11 year old son who I got along better with than his dad. When it came time to exchange gifts his son rushed over to the tree and brought me a rectangular gift, saying that it was something that ALL girls like…Uh…ok…I opened it up and it was a plastic cassette holder for 12 tapes. Gee thanks…? “Open it!!” young son urged. I did so and tangled up loosely banging around inside was a gold chain. Um …presentation is everything – didn’t he know? Was he too cheap to get a box for it? Or was it a re-gift…?

    For my birthday a few months later he gave me a hideous silk blouse (huge blotches of orange and purple and black…seriously?!)Ok this just wasn’t going to work… A week and a half later he left for a ski holiday that I wasn’t invited on, let alone aware of. I never called him again…oh and I gave away the blouse.

  2. Story Teller

    Wow, that’s some story, Lisa. Thanks for sharing it! One thing I’m not clear on–was the cassette tape holder/tangled necklace a gift from the son, the dad, or both?

    I dated that guy for three years, until he cheated on me, upon which I promptly dumped him. Guess the gifts should have been a warning!

    The girl who got me a coffee maker was also famous for horrible gifts, until I suggested we just exchange Christmas tree ornaments. You can’t go too wrong with those, and if all else fails, you can hang them at the back of the tree.

  3. Lisa

    The gift was from ‘dad’…if it was from son I’d totally overlook the ‘packaging’…;)My kids have wrapped things just like that…

    I have another “ugly gift” story. A friend of mine (who does read this blog)and her husband received a ceramic rabbit vase/pitcher as a wedding or anniversary gift I believe. During a “re-gifting” Christmas party it was wrapped and given as one of the gifts. It has reappeared every single year since and someone else ends up babysitting this thing for the year until it’s time to ‘get rid of it’ again…It’s become a game now to try to wrap it up really special so that someone will want to choose the gift.:)

    (oh and p.s. at that intial re-gifting party I ended up with a can of Lysol…so maybe the rabbit vase wasn’t so bad after all! haha!)

  4. Story Teller

    Wow. Someone actually received a can of Lysol as a gift? We may have a winner.

    The rabbit pitcher story is hilarious. Thanks for sharing! I’d love to see a photo of it, should you have one. I’m in love with the idea of a regifting party. What a great idea!

  5. Zsanett

    The worst gift that I can remember, at least from recent times was actually for my 25th birthday and it was from my man (Holli, I know you know him but let’s keep the name secret for now 🙂 )
    So I thought that the 25th is kind of special, a time when I realized I really wasn’t a little girl any more, a grown woman with her needs and wants and I was ready for a gift accordingly. And he got me a boardgame…I was so disappointed, I was ashamed to tell my mom cause it sounded so childish to get a boardgame for a birthday. And just so you know I like boardgames but really not that much to be a present for a birthday.
    Later on I told him not to ever get me a boardgame again, haha.

    Last year, however, I made an amazing shopping discovery that I’d like to share in case you aren’t doing this yet:
    So basically I went Christmas shopping, for MYSELF but without actually spending any money. I had the best time writing a list of things I’d like, trying them, smelling them etc in the stores and then I gave the list to the family so they can pick what they want to choose from there for me. 😀 I got very nice Christmas gifts last year!

  6. Sherry

    The worst gift ever? Mine came from a guy I dated. He sent me, parcel post, a hand carved, heavily varnished replica of his male organ, which he assured me, was true to scale. The strangness of this gift appalled me almost as much as the odour of the varnish which was so strong that I had to double bag it on garbage day. No re gifting this one!

  7. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comments and hilarious stories.

    @ Zsanett – I feel your pain. Some guys get focused on what you like, without considering whether or not it suits the occasion.

    I love your idea of Christmas shopping for yourself! I’d never thought of doing that, but there does seem to be a fair number of presents for me that I pick up while I’m buying for others at this time of year. :/

    @ Sherry – Welcome to the blog, and thanks for commenting. You have officially won the prize for Worst. Gift. Ever. All I can say is, he must have been really proud of that particular part of his anatomy, if he thought it was worthy of sculpture. Ick! You could have always re-gifted it to his next girlfriend. “Here, you get to deal with the big penis now.” 😀

  8. Laura Best

    Puke yellow, huh? Okay that made me laugh out loud.

    As a kid, my aunt always bought us clothing. What I remember most were the tartan skirts she bought my two sisters and I. Do you think we wore them? Ah well, she never found out.

  9. Lisa

    @Laura…were those the skirts with the huge pin on the side? I got those too….

  10. Story Teller

    Ah, personally I love a good kilt, but I can assume these weren’t the fashionable kind.

    Buying clothing for another person is usually quite dangerous. Gift cards are much safer.

    Thanks for your comment, Laura, and happy holidays!

  11. Laura Best

    @Lisa the big pin for sure. Believe me, back in the seventies you didn’t find anyone wearing them.

    @Holli, oddly today I do think they look nice, but you still wouldn’t find me wearing one, just because.
    Happy holidays to you, Holli!

  12. Kim

    I dont’ think I’ve had a really bad gift. Although, I did my turn with the famous rabbit for a year. Don’t think I took a picture though. too bad.

    I did get the most hideous baby outfit for my daughter when she was born. I don’t think I can even describe it. It was horrid material that reminded me of what you would use for placemats. Stiff. And it was an awkward outfit that would have been hard to get on a baby. And it was kinda boyish if I recall. It was like a baby outfit from the 1950s or something, but brand new. It came from a client of my then husband. I never put that thing on my kid.


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