Gearhart the Gentleman: The Christmas Gift
Dear Sir Gearhart,
I'm tots miffed. My boyfriend got me a Christmas present that sucks. I know this because he did a lame job of hiding it and—duh!--I saw it. Now I feel all ugly, unloved, and under-appreciated. How can I make him see that he's stupid?
The frankness of your letter, as well as some of its foreign vocabulary, startles me. Nonetheless, I managed to decipher the heart your dilemma: Your beloved's choice in a Christmas gift for you has left you feeling like less than his beloved. Despite your impropriety, I shall give you the benefit of the doubt and kindly assume that you a comely young lady. You are likely kind-hearted, charitable, and faithful. Naturally, you would then wonder why your beau has apparently forsaken you.
While I understand your concern, I must first address your implied slyness. You say that your beau did not properly hide your Christmas gift. Yet I must ask if you did not purposely seek it. Even the most bumbling of beaus would have made a decent attempt to conceal the gift. Was his effort so failed? If I am wrongly castigating you, please accept my sincerest apology. It is not my intention to shame you, only prompt a wee bit of soul-searching.
Now on to the second and far more important point. Society dictates that a gentleman only bestow gifts upon his fiancée or wife. Considering that you referred to your beau as your “boyfriend,” I do not sense a more serious commitment. It appears that both of you are still in the throws of the courting stage, but have yet to promise your hearts to one another for all eternity.
If I am mistaken, then allow me to clarify: At the very least, your beau has not yet made such a promise, though you may have tossed your honor to the wind and made such a premature promise without first having his word (how Eugene Onegin!). In either case, I must admit to my bafflement. You are not an engaged couple. Therefore, I blush at the very thought that you expect a gift from your beau. Is he a married man already and you his mistress? That prospect, too, would cause me to redden.
Since you are not engaged, he should not have gotten you a gift period, in which case, you should not complain about his selection. Instead, you ought to disclose your indiscretion and demand that he discard the gift. Your beau got you a gift for one of two reasons: 1) He is a noble but naïve man not fully acquainted with proper etiquette, making him innocently unaware of his faux pas, or 2) He is not naïve of such etiquette, but hopes that in giving you a gift, he may seduce you and destroy your honor.
Reflect carefully upon both of these possibilities, dear lady. I dare say your future depends upon what you deduce and decide. Any other action you take related to this matter disregards the crux of the matter at hand. Choose wisely.