These Socks Are the Best Present EVER!

What Women Really Think
Dec. 11 2009 5:07 PM

These Socks Are the Best Present EVER!

DoubleX is starting a new partnership with The Washington Post Magazine . Each week our contributors will argue over a certain question, and we invite you to join in. This week: How do you react when you get a holiday gift you don't like?

Amanda Marcotte : Being born and bred in Texas means that I was carefully trained to stifle inconvenient ingratitude under a sea of sunshine and fake gratitude. From the time I could speak, my parents hovered over me at gift-giving time to make sure that my immediate reaction to any present, no matter how stupid, was to grin like it was exactly what I wanted. That reaction is so automatic in me that sometimes I try not to grin too hard when I get a gift I dislike and give away how I really feel. Bad gifts can usually be handled by returning them to the store later, as long as the store tags are left on. There have been times when I returned a gift to a store that had nothing I liked for exchange, and so what I do is use the store credit to buy something the giver would like and keep it on hand for the next birthday or Christmas. After all, I may not like that store, but they clearly do.


Hanna Rosin : Graciously, except when it's from my mother. If there is even the slightest defect in a gift she's given me, I use it as an excuse to unload thirtysome years of stored complaints on her. It's juvenile and unreasonable, and every holiday I swear I'm not going to do it and then ... the wrong color scarf comes out of the box and I start. Maybe this year she should give me a therapy session as a present.

Jessica Grose : My family avoids this problem by having a no-gift policy. What can I say, I come from an unsentimental lot. My mom and dad bought us presents for our birthdays and the holidays until we were about 12, at which point they felt we were old enough to dispense with the custom. Since then, we get cold, hard cash or specific requests for information about what we want. Of course, this approach also eliminates the joy and happy surprise that result from opening a thoughtful, carefully purchased present. But I never have to worry about pretending to love a godawful sweater, either.



Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.